Award for University’s Sustainability Work with Schools

A poster demonstrating what can be recycled, designed by University of Worcester Creative Media students, using drawings done by pupils
Poster on recycling designed by local schoolchildren in collaboration with students from the University of Worcester

The University has received an International CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Excellence Award, for the second year running. This year, the University has been recognised as a ‘Community Commitment Education National Champion’ for a project in which students worked with local schoolchildren to increase their knowledge and commitment to recycling.

University students visited Oldbury Park Primary School, working with pupils to produce posters of what can and cannot be recycled for display at home. Hollymount School also took part in the project, which was supported by social housing organisation, Platform Housing. The idea was for the schools to compete to see whose pupils could recycle the most. The initiative was also shortlisted in this year’s Green Gown Awards. Free recycling bags and posters designed by the school children were given to children to take home so they could help ‘educate’ their families on what can be recycled. Following the success of this project, Platform Housing it’s now distributing the recycling bags across its properties throughout the Midlands.

Run by The Green Organisation, the CSR Awards reward companies, councils and communities for their efforts to be a realistic force for good and change for the better. The University has previously earned a Silver award for the Woo Bikes partnership pilot e-bike scheme, led by the University, recognising its efforts to encourage people to move around the City and County more sustainably.

The University’s Director of Sustainability, Katy Boom, said: “This Award is in keeping with our long-standing commitment to not only ensuring that sustainability is embedded into all of our work here at the University, but also inspiring students, staff and the wider community to do what they can to make a difference. It is wonderful that our work with local schoolchildren, who are the next generation, to instil an awareness of sustainability and what actions they can take, has been recognised. Even the smallest acts can have a positive impact, and such efforts have the potential to produce real change, which is needed if we are to tackle the climate crisis. 

“Members of the school’s eco club, who took part in the workshop, went on to teach others in the school what was recyclable. The children then embraced the project, educating their families. The headteacher reported that the buzz around the school during the month of the campaign was palpable.”

The University of Worcester has a long-standing record on sustainability and was named 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. The University, which has committed to cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, is ranked 5th in the UK’s greenest universities in the People & Planet University League, in which it has been among the ‘First Class Honours’ ranked universities for more than 12 years.

The University was earlier this year once again ranked in the top three UK universities for Quality Education in the prestigious Times Higher Education’s global University Impact Rankings, which highlight the contribution made by universities towards the international Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2019, the University of Worcester and Worcester Students’ Union both signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Accord, pledging officially to work towards a more sustainable future and supporting the United Nations’ internationally agreed 17 SDGs.