The University of Nottingham has won one of the most prestigious awards in UK higher education.
Nottingham won the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2012.
Judges praised the University for its sector-leading approach to environmental practice, and for embedding sustainability in everything it does – from the way new buildings are constructed to the way energy is generated and used on campus.
The University’s Carbon Management Plan saw more than £1.5m invested in 71 carbon reduction projects in its first year.
In 2012 the University achieved a reduction in its carbon emissions for a second successive year - a decrease of more than 1,000 tonnes – despite increasing student numbers and an increase in the number of buildings.
Other highlights include:
• £800,000 invested in cycle facilities, including new cycle lanes, parking, storage and a cycle hire scheme.
• New buildings on campus designed to be low-carbon in order to meet BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology ) ‘Excellent’ rating.
• A combined heat & power plant was recommissioned at the King’s Meadow Campus; this combusts gas to provide electricity and heat in a much more efficient manner, reducing CO2 by 280 tonnes. Similar low-carbon options are being considered for University Park and Sutton Bonington.
• 96 per cent of the University’s 10,000 PCs brought onto the PowerMan system, switching them to a low-power mode after a period of inactivity.
• A teaching and learning Grand Challenge to include sustainability in our curricula, and help students to gain practical skills and knowledge.
Leading the way
Patrick Finch, bursar and director of estates at the University of Bristol and one of the award judges, said Nottingham had been a “trailblazer” for environmental best practice, but “there is no sense of resting on laurels… In both the innovative approach to estate development and the determination to embed best sustainability practice across the university, Nottingham has again shown the way.”
Professor Karen Cox, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Infrastructure at The University of Nottingham, said: “By adopting progressive strategies, we have put sustainability at the heart of operations on campus. This award is a tribute to the skill and dedication of colleagues who are working hard to reduce the environmental impact of our activities – it’s fantastic that they have been recognised by the Times Higher Education. Congratulations to all involved.”
Across all of Nottingham’s campuses, activity is driven by the drivers laid down in the University’s Strategic Plan 2010-2015, which seeks to engage all parts of its community to reduce collective environmental impact.
This work has already gained recognition on the international stage. In the 2012 Greenmetric league table, which surveyed universities in more than 40 countries, Nottingham was ranked as the most sustainable university in the world.
The university’s victory was witnessed by more than 1,000 people, who gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London for the awards. Universities from all over the country gathered to celebrate the greatest ideas, the finest practice and the very best researchers and teachers in the sector.
John Gill, Editor of Times Higher Education, said: “Anyone looking for evidence of the pioneering spirit, adaptability and sheer quality of our higher education sector need look no further than the winners of this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.”
Nottingham was also shortlisted in the categories of ‘University of the Year’ and ‘International Collaboration of the Year’.
PICTURED ABOVE (left to right) are: David Walliams, compere at the awards; Dr Keith Pitcher, Director of Sustainability at The University of Nottingham; Gavin Scott, Environmental Manager; and Matthew Biddle, Managing Director of category sponsor Berkeley First.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news