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Net Zero response

Fifteen Scottish entries were amongst the 84 finalists at the 2022 Green Gown Awards ceremony which took place yesterday evening at Loughborough University.

Now in its eighteenth year, the Green Gown Awards bring together the most inspirational environmental projects from colleges and universities across the UK and Ireland. The awards celebrate every aspect of activity including research, leadership, engagement and diversity.

Amongst the four winning projects from Scotland was a climate action project from Borders College. Our Sustainable Journey is an ambitious and wide-ranging programme which the judges praised for being well thought out and outstanding for a small institution. They believed it was capable of being replicated in any tertiary education setting.

The Research with Impact category was won by the University of Aberdeen’s Cool Farm Tool project. The Cool Farm Tool is a free app that makes it easy for farmers to accurately calculate their carbon footprint and environmental impact. The judges described it as ‘compelling research, distilled into an accessible tool’.

The University of Strathclyde’s Climate Education Kick-Off initiative is the first of its kind in the UK and won the award for Student Engagement. It involves students in exercising their ‘systems and critical thinking’ competencies to understand the climate emergency and has already benefitted around 650 students. The panel of judges thought the approach should be used in all taught programmes.

The students’ award in the Research with Impact category went to University of Edinburgh student Jiacheng Sun . His research centres at the use of fuels made from seaweed and microscopic marine organisms as an environmental-friendly alternative to fossil fuels. The judges thought Jiacheng Sun’s work had exciting potential for the future.

Scottish institutions also came away from last night’s event with three highly commended awards. Glasgow Caledonian University’s gender and mental health programme was highly commended in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion category and a local action project from the University of Edinburgh was recognised under Money for Good. The University of Aberdeen’s Lighthouse Field Station project was highly commended by the judges in the Research with Impact category.

Full details of all last night’s winners, highly commended and finalists are available of the Green Gown Awards website.