University Shortlisted for National Sustainability Award

Poster - Recycling
A poster demonstrating what can be recycled, designed by University of Worcester Creative Media students, using drawings done by pupils

The University is a finalist for a Green Gown Award in the Benefitting Society category, based on a recycling initiative working with local schools.

The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives by universities and colleges and best practice within the further and higher education sector. Winners will be announced at a ceremony later in the year.

The University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE DL, said: “The University of Worcester is deeply committed to ensuring that sustainability is embedded into all of our work at the University. We aim to inspire students, staff and the wider community to take action themselves. It is very good news that our work with schools to bring good practice on sustainability into the classroom and beyond has been recognised. Such efforts have the potential to produce real change. Real change on a local, national and international scale is desperately needed as the recent violent weather events in London, Belgium, Germany, China, Siberia and Canada remind us all that Global Warming is a dangerous reality.”

After a successful campaign on campus to increase recycling rates using specially designed posters and videos, students worked with the University’s sustainability experts to translate this idea into something similar in schools. University students delivered a session on recycling to members of the Eco Club at Oldbury Park Primary RSA Academy, improving pupils’ knowledge of what could be recycled, then got them to draw typical items for rubbish or recycling. Creative Media students then used their artwork to create posters for pupils to put on display at home. Students also delivered a session on recycling to the whole school. Alongside this, pupils from Hollymount School designed their own posters for display at home.

Pupils measured their recycling rates, keeping a tally over a four-week period and the two schools competed to see who could recycle the most. The pilot scheme was run with partners, social housing organisation, Platform Housing, which provided free re-useable recycling bags to all school households involved, along with support from facilities management consultancy firm, Sitemark, and Worcester City Council. After the success of the pilot, organisers hope to repeat the process in other schools once Covid-19 conditions allow.

The University has a long-standing record on sustainability and was awarded Sustainability Institution of the Year at the 2019 Green Gown Awards, going on to be Globally Highly Commended at the International Green Gown Awards, at the United Nations in New York. At the 2020 Awards, the University was recognised again, winning the Reporting with Influence accolade.

In a continued mark of its commitment, the University recently launched a BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability degree course, due to start in September 2022, providing students with the knowledge and skills needed for roles within the environmental and sustainability sectors.