Green Gown Awards launched for 2017

15th May 2017

Applications are now open for the Green Gown Awards in the UK and Ireland, as well as Australasia and French speaking Europe and Canada.
Since 2004, the Green Gown Awards have been recognising the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK.
Working on sustainability projects in your institution is common practice these days but how do you inspire and motivate your team, management and students to do more? By applying for an Award, you open up new opportunities.

The key benefits of applying:

- Acknowledge your team's efforts – engaging your staff and students
- Increase the awareness about your sustainability projects
- Raise your profile and showcase your sustainability excellence via events, case studies and videos
- Gain recognition from senior management
- Obtain UK and international recognition
- Join a network of exceptional institutions with year-long promotion for your institution
- And last but not least, re-energise and motivate your sustainability commitment.

All categories are open to any tertiary education establishment – including all post-16 educational institutions such as colleges, universities and learning and skills institutions. Specific categories are also aimed at student applications and 3rd party applications (companies working with institutions).
And don’t let being small put you off. Judges will have the discretion to award up to 2 winners for each category to distinguish between Colleges and Universities. However, this will only be done when applications are of a high quality and is not mandatory for judges to do so. And the Best Newcomer category is now open to previous applicants who have never been selected as a Finalist.

Iain Patton, CEO, Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), said: “The Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland show society what is possible when you bring together students, academics, managers, businesses and community groups. We all want a better quality of life and the innovation and creativity going on in universities and colleges is leading the way to solving many problems in society.”
Nolan Smith, Director of Finance at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), said: “We recognise the fantastic contribution the Green Gown awards make in celebrating and encouraging the excellent work on improving sustainability across higher education. This is such an important area for institutions in terms of reducing environmental impact, improving student experience and making financial savings, and we’re looking forward to learning about the projects which are shortlisted for 2017.”
Matthew White, Chair of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO),
said: “We are very proud to once again be sponsoring the Green Gown Awards. It is imperative that the Higher and Further Education sector continues to look for new ways to drive sustainability and we are committed to supporting our members to reduce their environmental impact and future-proof their operations.
“The Green Gown Awards are a wonderful celebration of the incredible strides our universities and colleges are already making in this area and a great source of inspiration.”
John Kemp, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), said: “We are proud to recognise the great sustainability work in colleges and universities across the UK by supporting the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland. I’m excited to see the shortlisted innovations and achievements this year, particularly for the Continuous Improvement award which we are delighted to sponsor.”

With new and revised categories, we are sure there is something there for everyone. For those of you who regularly apply, we hope one of these new categories can tempt you again!

What’s NEW for 2017?

Enterprise and Employability is now split into two separate categories:

ENTERPRISE: This category recognises social, social media and sustainable enterprise as key ingredients of contemporary education to ensure a supply of education leavers who can rise to the 21st century's economic, environmental and social challenges.

EMPLOYABILITY: This category recognises the essential employability skills required for students when leaving education. Students need to be ready for the sustainability challenges faced by employers and need to have the ability to think and work creatively and flexibly. Employability outcomes are increasingly a key driver in influencing student choice and are of reputational importance.
And as in previous years, the winners of the International categories will be put forward for an International Award. These categories are; Community, Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change and Student Engagement.
Applications for UK and Ireland close on 7 June.
Applications for French-speaking Europe and Canada close 15 July.
Applications for Australasia close 21 June.

More information about categories, applying and FAQs is available here. Follow us on Twitter @greengowns for the latest updates. Any other queries you can email 

GGA Stage 1 open