Swansea University reaches final of the Green Gown Awards 2013

A Swansea University “green” project which showcases how its grounds are at the heart of a sustainable University has reached the final of the Green Gown Awards 2013.

Green Gown Awards 2013

The University was shortlisted in the Facilities and Services category for its ‘Canol, Calon, Craidd: Campus at the centre’ initiative. The nomination for the award highlighted how Swansea University uses its grounds to promote the interlinked issues of wellbeing and environmental sustainability by providing a wellbeing activity centre for staff and students; a green breathing space for people and wildlife; and an outdoor classroom as a learning resource.

 ‘Canol, Calon, Craidd: Campus at the centre’ includes the new ‘ecotherapy’ referral scheme which helps people with mental health and musculoskeletal problems, the newly established ‘Baycyles’ free bike scheme, the Biodiversity Management Plan to enhance the campus’s green function, the campus bilingual nature trail, restoration of the botanic gardens and the use of the grounds for ecology/botany courses.  

The Swansea University project was one of 81 motivational and inspiring sustainability projects representing 53 educational Institutions from  across the UK announced by The Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges (EAUC) as Finalists of the Green Gown Awards 2013 - all vying for the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the tertiary education sector.

Dr Heidi Smith, Sustainability Manager at Swansea University was delighted with the news that the University has been selected as a Finalist she said: “Competition has been fierce for the 2013 awards with 216 applications received across 13 categories. The judges said that they had a difficult time processing the applications.

“Our success was even more remarkable when you consider that our category ‘Facilities and Services’ was one of the top 3 categories - representing 42% of the overall applications.

“The opposition is strong but we will endeavour to showcase to the judges the important role that sustainability plays in the way that Swansea University provides an environment of exploration and discovery, offering the right balance of excellent teaching and research to its students in an enviable parkland setting.” 

Now in their ninth year, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK. With sustainable development moving up the global agenda, the Awards are now established as the most prestigious recognition of sustainability excellence within the tertiary education sector, as well as the environmental sector.

The Green Gown Awards provide universities, colleges and the learning and skills sector with benchmarks for excellence and are well respected by governments, funding councils, senior managers, academics and students alike.

A list of the Green Gown Awards 2013 Finalists can be found at www.greengownawards.org.uk