The inter-college competition

If you want to challenge yourself and make new friends, while developing the skills, and mindsets to live, work and act purposefully for people and planet, sign up to Green Lancaster’s inter-collegiate ECOChallenge!

In collaboration with the nine Colleges, Work in Progress and Team Mentors from across campus, this year’s competition launches on Tuesday 30th January. The Live Final takes place on Thursday 14th March; you and your team will get to pitch your ideas, and you might even win a share of £500.

Register for ECOChallenge 2024

Click the Register here button to secure your place to take part in the 2024 ECOChallenge. Further details about the launch event will be circulated to you before the event.

Register here

Our colleges

A team learning journey

Community action and working with others is at the heart of making a difference. Your team will work together as changemakers and innovators to learn to explore, reframe and identify solutions for change, to real and pressing environmental challenges on campus.

Over this 7-week programme your team will have access to:

A dedicated Team mentor – 3, one-hour team mentoring sessions - use these sessions to get feedback, have your assumptions challenged, and to practice your pitch before the final.

Innovation tools and support – Work in Progress (WIP) Wednesdays – 3 Wednesday afternoons during the challenge, the WIP team will be running bookable team sessions to signpost you to tools, contacts and feedback.

Team working space – You and your team can book the Work in Progress Studio (subject to availability) as a co-working space to meet and work on your ideas.

Competition Prizes

Being part of ECOChallenge you’ll win and transform.


  • Belong, make friends and learn to make a difference
  • Connect and align with like-minded people from your college
  • Embody and embrace complex sustainability values
  • Research and identify solutions to environmental challenges
  • Design and pitch your vision and solution, to sustainability experts
  • Share your project learning to change the world around you
  • Earn 15 points towards the Lancaster Award
ECOChallenge 2023 Winners.

Bonus... Win £500 with ECOChallenge!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a competition without prizes. The winning team will receive a prize of £500. The runner-up team will receive £250. Prizes will be split between team members.

Last year’s winning team ECOEats went on to put their idea into action! Through building communities, eating sustainably, and tackling the cost-of-living crisis, the team runs weekly cooking sessions and in Welcome Week, successfully delivered 2000 boxes of vegan chilli to student kitchens across campus.

Your team’s project idea might just be the seeds of something new.

ECOChallenge Stages

ECOChallenge Launch and Workshop

Choose your challenge – be the change

Tuesday 30th January 2024, 7:00-10:00pm – Management School Lecture Theatre 15.

Our launch event and introduction to the challenge - An overview of the remit, judging criteria and how to succeed. Innovation begins by taking action to meet real needs. The ECOChallenge Launch Workshop with Work in Progress will support and prepare you to:

  • Meet and align with your team ready for action.
  • Choose and unpack your ECOChallenge for exploration.
  • Navigate your journey with a kit of resources and innovation tools to guide the way.
  • Access team mentors, innovation and pitch support.
  • Discuss and evaluate potential project ideas with your new team.

ECOChallenge Live

Weeks 1-7 you’ll work as a team drawing on:

  • Your Team Mentor to refine your ideas and thinking and get feedback on your pitch.
  • WIP Wednesdays - short Team Power Sessions with Work in Progress to keep your team moving through sign posting to tools and resources and conversations to get unstuck.*
  • WIP Studio Space as one possible campus team co-working space.**
  • Your dedicated secure Teams Area for online team connection.

*While highly recommended, these sessions are not compulsory.

**subject to availability.

ECOChallenge Final

Thursday 14th March, 7pm - 10pm, Management School Lecture Theatre 1.

You've worked through your project and developed your ideas. Now it's time to put your project to the test against our panel of judges. This year we will see judges from across the University, from the highest level and across all areas.

Taking the Challenge

ECOChallenge is about fun; it’s also about stretching yourself to do and be more. If you’re asking ‘Can I do this?’ The answer is ‘Yes!' ECOChallenge encourages experimentation, having a go, and learning through experience.

Innovation takes teams, multiple perspectives and going on a journey together. Just bringing yourself to contribute is enough. If you want to get clarity on what you bring to the team, and what you want to develop or try by taking part...

The Work in Progress on line Self-Assessment tool (ECHO) enables you to measure your enterprise and entrepreneurship skills before and after this experience. Take it and you might be surprised!

It’s a quick online assessment using sliders to reflect on your current level of confidence in 15 skill areas including ethical and sustainable thinking, mobilising others, creativity, and vision. Do it at the end and you’ll have the data and reflections to add to your ‘Lancaster Award’ claim and ‘Skills Bank’ submission. You can take a sneak peek of ECHO.