Posted Friday 8 December 2023
Kingston University's commitment to sustainability, both as an institution and through the development of student-led projects, has been recognised in the annual UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards, run in association with UKRI.
The University scooped an award in the Student Engagement category with the Kingston Sustainability Innovation Challenge, with the judges commending how many local community stakeholders were involved and directly benefitting from student engagement on the project.
The challenge was run by the University's enterprise education team and coincided with COP26 hosted in Glasgow. This included lightning talks, in-curricular sessions, and a Hackathon (problem-solving workshop) co-facilitated by students from across the university. The challenge culminated in a poster exhibition showcasing students' ideas developed in class and the Hackathon.
Head of Enterprise Education Martha Mador said: "We are all thrilled at this award, which recognizes the contributions of many people – colleagues, distinguished alumni, and most of all our students – who delivered this exciting programme. The Sustainability Innovation Challenge helped students to develop their capacity to innovate, and their confidence to make change for sustainability. We are delighted that they have been recognized."
Vice Chancellor Professor Steven Spier said: "Students understand better than anyone the impact of climate change. As a university, we must do all we can to contribute to this vital agenda, empowering students to act. I am delighted our efforts to put them at the heart of our strategy has been recognised."
The awards, organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), celebrate exceptional sustainability initiatives and achievements within the higher education sector.
The University was recognised for three projects across two categories in this year's awards. Its whole-institution approach towards achieving net zero saw it named among the finalists in the 2030 Climate Action category, as well as another project being nominated within the student engagement category.
Kingston launched a five-year Sustainability Plan in 2021, encompassing initiatives ranging from reducing carbon emissions and waste to promoting biodiversity. This was followed by a comprehensive Sustainability Report published earlier this year.
The University was also one of 10 institutions recognised for their roles in organising the London Student Sustainability Conference, led by City University and held at King's College London in February.
Kingston University was among 102 finalists representing 65 institutions across the UK and Ireland. It is the only London university to have been shortlisted in the 2030 Climate Action category, highlighting its leadership within the capital in addressing the climate crisis.