Bike Loan Scheme is an Award Winner for University of Worcester

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The University of Worcester has won a top award in recognition of its commitment to sustainable development.

After being shortlisted for a record six categories in the 2014 Green Gown Awards, the University took home the top prize in the Facilities and Services class for its bike loan scheme.

The University’s Director of Environmental Sustainability, Katy Boom, said: “To win a Green Gown Award is a huge achievement and honour for us. The bike loan scheme works together with a social enterprise where young people with learning disabilities can develop practical skills and increase their self-esteem by maintaining the loan bikes and managing the campus bike shop.

“The scheme was launched in September 2013 to fill an identified gap in cycling provision. Staff and students pay an annual £20 membership fee and have the ability to hire bikes at any time from any 24/7 University reception.

“The scheme aims to promote cycling and reduce car use; transport related carbon emissions account for 30% of the University’s footprint.”

During the 2013/14 academic year 1,500 bikes were hired out under the scheme with more than 9,000 miles cycles, diverting approximately 1,858kg of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Green Gown Awards, run by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and now in their tenth year, recognise ‘exceptional sustainability initiatives’ being undertaken in universities and colleges across the UK, and are regarded as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the sector. In all, 102 projects representing 62 institutions were nominated, with the winners announced at a ceremony in Manchester on Monday evening.

Worcester’s tally of six nominations was the joint highest this year, along with University of the Arts London.

Katy added: “We are so pleased that the innovations and commitment to embedding sustainability throughout all areas of the University were recognised through six nominations.

“We have the explicit vision to promote sustainable ways of working and living and to promote sustainable development with the community, and this success shows we are fulfilling this.”