University Shortlisted in National Sustainability Awards

Bulb planting on campus 2023 1
Bulb planting for woodland flowers on campus earlier this year

The University is a finalist for a Green Gown Award in the Nature Positive category, based around its initiatives to promote biodiversity, such as wildflower planting. It is also shortlisted in the Reporting with Influence category, which assesses how sustainability is reported.

The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives by universities and colleges and best practice within the further and higher education sector. Winners will be announced later in the year.

Professor David Green CBE DL, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said: “The threat to humanity presented by global heating is real and growing. We all have a role to play in tackling this serious issue. The University of Worcester has a deep-seated commitment to environmental sustainability and the globally agreed sustainable development goals. We recognise our own responsibilities to limit greenhouse gas emissions, contribute to environmental science and work with students, staff and the whole community to take effective action together. We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised again. The wildflower areas created have produced a joyous array of flowers, while promoting biodiversity and vibrant natural habitats. Clear analysis and reporting is essential to the scientific approach which is essential if global heating is to be limited and climate catastrophe averted.”

Wildflower sowing 2

The Nature Positive category focuses on institutions who are taking action to promote nature on their campuses, in their operations, teaching, research and in partnership with local communities.

In 2022-2023 the University established a number of wildflower and grassland sites on campus to encourage nature to thrive, while also installing an additional 12 bird boxes and four bat boxes.

These projects were made possible with part of a grant from the Natural Networks Programme, a partnership between Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust funded by the European Regional Development Fund, along with further funds from the University.

The University also linked up with the Worcester and Malvern RSPB Group two years ago to create a food crop site at its Lakeside Campus to help farmland birds through the winter months. Last year, the University was one of 117 universities globally to sign up to the Nature Positive Universities Alliance, pledging to work towards reversing biodiversity decline.

Bulb planting on campus 2023 2

The University has a long-standing record on sustainability and was awarded 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. At the 2020 Awards, the University won the Reporting with Influence accolade and was a finalist in the Benefitting Society category in 2021 for a recycling initiative with local schools.

The University has been consistently ranked among the most sustainable institutions in the Country for more than a decade by the People and Planet League. In 2018, it became one of the first universities to sign the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Accord, pledging to work towards a more sustainable future. The University was also among the first to declare a climate emergency, and to commit to a net-zero carbon target by 2030 for both direct and indirect carbon emissions.