Posted on 22 November 2013
The Department of Chemistry’s Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence emerged top in the Research and Development category of the annual Green Gown Awards which recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives in academic institutions. Judges praised the scale of the Centre’s links with industry and their contribution to promoting research and development with businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber region, nationally and internationally.
Dr Avtar Matharu, the Centre’s deputy director said: “This Award recognises our hard-fought efforts over ten years in developing, maintaining and enhancing the high quality provision of green and sustainable chemistry. We are aiming to enable a strategic step change to a knowledge-based, low carbon, biorenewable economy.”
The University was shortlisted for another two Green Gown Awards. Estates and Campus Services were finalists in the Carbon Reduction category with a project to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill. The introduction of mixed recycling and sending food waste for anaerobic digestion helped the campus reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill from 67 per cent to 10 per cent in one year.
A project to use more local fresh food on campus was a finalist in the Facilities and Services category. The project, managed by the University’s Commercial Services staff, reduced the University’s food miles by over 31,500 per year, reduced the number of food suppliers by over 16 per cent and cut food costs. Food complaints fell by 47 per cent and term time food sales increased by nearly ten per cent.
Now in their ninth year, the Green Gown Awards attracted 81 finalists from colleges and universities across the UK. The awards were presented by TV geologist Professor Iain Stewart.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Professor Stewart said: “The Green Gown Awards are about celebrating a shift in thinking within the university and college sector to embrace those that are really pushing ahead with meaningful ways of making a future that works for all.”