Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland – 2020 Winners

2020 Winners image #1 2020 Winners image #2

Green Gown Awards Celebrate Initiatives Playing Leading Roles in Addressing Climate Action

In the first ever virtual ceremony, the Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland, in association with UKRI, celebrated the inspirational work and projects of 74 Finalists in 12 different categories - showing the importance of sustainability commitments even in the most unprecedented of times.

As the Climate Crisis is increasingly recognised as the most pressing issue our world faces, the Green Gown Awards put a spotlight on the innovative and inspiring sustainability work taking place in universities and colleges to create a brighter future for their students.
This year’s UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards Finalists represented over 850,000 students and 130,000 staff. They are leading the way with their commitment to the global sustainability agenda and proving the value that universities and colleges bring to the wellbeing of society.

Winning initiatives ranged from social projects, like The University of Nottingham's Vets Need Pets initiative that provides free care for pets belonging to homeless and vulnerably housed people with the help of students, to projects that focus on a low carbon future, like North East Scotland College's Girls in Energy project that gives female engineers of the future a platform to drive positive change with their skill.

Host, Iain Patton, EAUC CEO, said, "The Green Gown Awards occupy a very special place. They force us to ask what our institutions are doing well, and, of course, what they could be doing better. They raise the bar. Our Winners, Highly Commended and indeed all of our Finalists have shown the sector’s resilience and adaptability on how to collaborate to build back better and play a pivotal and leading role in tackling climate action, in even these most challenging of times. We hope that others will be inspired to take similar actions in their institutions to benefit staff, students and their local communities."

Co-host, Alison Robinson, NERC Deputy Executive Chair & Director, Corporate Affairs, said, "Sustainability should not be seen as an add-on to good practice, but an inherent part of research and innovations excellence. We must champion and celebrate all who are taking strides to reflect this across the sector; learn from each other to build on successes; and collaborate across the research and innovation system to rise to the challenge of our ambitious environmental sustainability goals." 

Huge Congratulations to all of our Winners, Highly Commended Entries and Finalists!

Case studies and videos from all projects are available on the Sustainability Exchange and we'll be running webinars with our Winners over the next 12 months to encourage further engagement.

Winners' Brochure

Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland Winners' Brochure from HelenExton


Green Gown Awards Winners

2030 Climate Action 

Category Supporter: TEC

Winner - University College London - Change Possible: Action for a zero carbon UCL by 2030

Highly Commended - University of Plymouth - Collaborating on a Net Zero pathway


Benefitting Society

Winner - The University of Nottingham - Vets in the Community - Pets need vets

Highly Commended - Aston University - The Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme

Highly Commended - University of St Andrews - Learning from Loss: Climate change, coastal heritage and community action



Campus Health, Food and Drink

Winner - University of St Andrews - Small changes for significant impact on sustainability



Campus of the Future

Winner - The University of Edinburgh - Greening our Campus and City

Highly Commended - De Montfort University - Campus Transformation - A campus for the 21st Century

Highly Commended - University of York - A second chance for single-use lab plastics



Category Supporter: CUBO

Winner (Large Institution) - Manchester Metropolitan University - Young Enterprise: How entrepreneurship and sustainability combine to form the DNA of successful start-up businesses

Winner (Small Institution) - South Eastern Regional College - SERC Sustainable Student Enterprise 


Next Generation Learning and Skills#

Winner (Large Institution) - University of Gloucestershire - A Rounder Sense of Purpose

Winner (Small Institution) - North East Scotland College - Girls in Energy - A catalyst for change

Highly Commended - De Montfort University - Learning English through sustainability: Teaching international students English for academic purposes using the SDGs

Highly Commended - University of Salford - Collaboration: Learning and sharing together



Research with Impact – Institution
Category Supporter: Emerald Publishing

Winner - The University of Sheffield - Desert Garden 

Highly Commended - Keele University - HyDeploy: A research and innovation partnership for decarbonising the nation's gas network



Student Engagement#

Winner (Large Institution) - Queen’s University Belfast - Nurture and Grow: Connecting people through nature

Winner (Small Institution) - Buxton & Leek College - BLC: Keen to go green!

Highly Commended - Durham University - Green Move Out - 15th Anniversary: Special edition for lockdown 2020



Sustainability Institution of the Year Award#
Category Supporter: EAUC

Winner (Large Institution) - Keele University - Creating change through collaboration

Winner (Small Institution) - Dumfries and Galloway College - D&G - A green region


Reporting with Influence

Winner - University of the West of England

Winner - University of Worcester




Research with Impact – Student

Winner - Nalinee Netithammakorn, De Montfort University



Sustainability Champion: Student
Category Supporter: Salix

Winner - Charlotte Evans and Millicent Sutton, University of St Andrews

Highly Commended - Meggie Eloy and Carla Field, University of Leicester

Highly Commended - Emma Kidd, Glasgow Caledonian University


Sustainability Champion: Staff
Category Supporter: Salix

Winner - Dr. Katherine Haxton, Keele University

Highly Commended - Grounds & Gardens Team, University of Leicester

Highly Commended - Dr. Amanda Slevin, Queen’s University Belfast

FOOTNOTE: # Included in the International Green Gown Awards

View all the Finalists