3 December 2015 09:24

Lancaster University has been successful in scooping two accolades at the Green Gown Awards 2015.

Lancaster University won awards for both of its entries in the research and development and food and drink categories at the ceremony in Bristol organised by The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, which was devised and led by Lancaster University, has won the ‘Research and Development’ category. The award reflects the success of a unique partnership between Lancaster University, the University of Liverpool and Inventya Ltd in working with businesses on innovative environmental research and development projects. This is the second prestigious accolade the Centre has won within months after winning the ‘Outstanding Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Initiative’ category in The Impact Awards 2015.

The Centre aligns university research more closely to the needs of businesses across North West England ensuring that this research delivers significant benefits to the economy as well as the environment. The Centre has worked with around 300 SMEs and has helped support the creation of almost 270 new jobs. It is on track to exceed environmental targets of saving 27,000 tonnes of CO2, 46,000 tonnes of water or enough to fill eighteen and a half Olympic swimming pools, prevent 55,000 tonnes of material reaching landfill and has seen 30,000 tonnes of material being reused.

The Green Gown Awards judges said: “This large-scale initiative promotes sustainability in SMEs and harnesses the power of postgraduate students to develop new products and services. Its powerful collaborative structure can be replicated and demonstrates impressive outputs.”

Professor Mark E Smith, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University said: “This Green Gown Award publically recognises the exciting collaborative achievements of over 200 people from Lancaster University, the University of Liverpool, and Inventya Limited, who have come together with ambitious North West businesses to share their knowledge, drive innovation, and create new eco-innovative products.

“This represents a noted approach of getting high quality research into a wider range of companies and in products that can make a real environmental difference.”

Lancaster University, and Lancaster University Students Union (LUSU), also won a Green Gown Award in the food and drink category for their ‘Grow it, Eat it, Live it’ project. Lancaster’s integrated, cutting-edge approach to sustainable food, incorporating projects such as ‘edible campus’, is widely regarded as sector leading.

Together, Lancaster’s Facilities Division and LUSU have developed and implemented a range of complementary sustainable food projects and strategies designed to encourage healthy eating, facilitate and teach growing and cooking skills and encourage student and staff participation.

The project is also focused on driving behaviour change from a sustainable food perspective across the campus and in the local community through embedding and ‘normalising’ these activities.

The Green Gown judges said: “So many strong collaborative elements to this programme mean there are many ways other organisations could learn from Lancaster to embed sustainable food production and consumption across campuses, curriculum and community.”

Professor Mark E Smith said: “Winning this Green Gown Award is a great recognition of the efforts we have put into our cutting edge sustainable food projects. We are extremely proud of our integrated attitude to sustainable food which encourages healthy eating, teaching and facilitating sustainable behaviour, as well as producing a great eating experience.”

This is the first time that Lancaster University has won two awards in the same year at the annual Green Gown awards.

Jonathan Mills, Carbon and Environment Manager said: “The University and LUSU have won six Green Gown awards since 2009, for sustainability projects covering carbon management, the travel plan, waste management, sustainable building, research and development and sustainable food. This really demonstrates the high quality and breadth of the sector leading sustainability projects we have implemented at Lancaster University.”

The Green Gown Awards bring together the most inspirational projects from across the Higher Education sector and is delivered by the EAUC and is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Lancaster University Green Gown Awards include:
2009, Eco-residences (Residences)
2011, Project Exodus (Student Engagement)
2013, Lancaster University Travel Plan (Carbon reduction)
2014, Lancaster University Wind Turbine (Carbon Reduction)
2015, Lancaster University Grow it, Eat it, Live it, (Food & Drink)
2015, Lancaster University Centre for Global Innovation (Research & Development)