The University of St Andrews is celebrating after scooping two awards at the 2021 Green Gown Awards.
The University won both the Sustainability Institution of the Year and Student Engagement categories at a virtual ceremony 18 November 2021.
The University fought off competition from across the UK and Ireland to take Sustainability Institution of the Year with an ambitious strategy of becoming net zero by 2035 – working towards a climate positive future in partnership with students.
St Andrews was commended by the judges for the drive shown by its leadership in creating the Environmental Sustainability Board and for weaving sustainability throughout the University, from support for individual action to energy planning and the launch of a student-inspired programme for carbon offsetting.
The award recognises initiatives such as the Transition team, which aims to support a more sustainable way of living, the St Andrews Network for Climate, Energy, Environment and Sustainability (StACEES), which aims to build ambitious, lasting research capabilities focused on climate change, energy research and environmental sustainability, and the Eden Campus, which is home to the University’s award-winning biomass plant and Hydrogen Accelerator which is creating new hydrogen energy solutions.
The Third Generation Project, which leads climate justice through social change, won the Student Engagement category.
The project, which was founded by Professor Ali Watson and student Bennett Collins in 2016, has initiated a range of programmes from Emerging Researchers, which upskills students in critical thinking, research and in communicating climate justice, to the Aamusnaan Maya Initiative, which analyses the humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic within marginalised communities in Somaliland.
Professor Sir Ian Boyd, former Chief Scientific Advisor to DEFRA, who heads up the Environmental Sustainability Board at the University, said: “These awards are a great achievement and testament to the hard work and dedication of our University community, which understands the journey towards sustainability must be both ambitious and lengthy.
“We are only just starting to grasp the magnitude of the changes we will need to make, and I hope what we’ve achieved at St Andrews to date can help to inspire others and give them confidence to achieve even more than us.”
Now in its 17th year, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland.
The University will now go through to the International Green Gown Awards with both awards.