Keele University has been named Sustainability Institution of the Year at a prestigious awards ceremony to celebrate sustainability in Higher Education.
Keele took home the top prize of Sustainability Institution of the Year (Large Institution) at this year’s Green Gown Awards, which also saw success for Dr Katherine Haxton, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, who won the Sustainability Champion (Staff) award.
The Green Gown awards celebrate the efforts of Higher Education institutions to promote and embed sustainability across all of their operations.
This success reflects Keele’s commitment to embedding sustainability across all of its campus operations, including in its research, education, operations and community engagement.
In 2019, Keele was one of the first UK universities to declare a ‘climate emergency’, and has also reduced its carbon emissions by 39%, exceeding its 2020 target. Keele also announced an ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030, and has partnered with ENGIE to build two wind turbines and 15,000 solar panels on campus to support this pledge.
The University has also launched its Institute for Sustainable Futures to drive research into issues such as climate change, food security and clean energy on a local, national and global scale, and sustainability forms a crucial part of teaching and education at Keele across the whole curriculum, not just in Environmental Science.
Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost and Institutional Lead for Sustainability at Keele University said:
I’m absolutely delighted that Keele University has won Sustainability Institution of the Year at the sector’s Green Gown Awards. Our award, based on Creating Change through Collaboration is a tremendous collective achievement delivered through huge effort, great teamwork and innovation by our staff and students. I’m equally delighted for Dr Katherine Haxton winning the Sustainability Staff Champion award for her highly innovative approach to teaching sustainability in chemistry through problem and project-based learning. Winning two awards and being highly commended in another is fantastic and a measure of the breadth and profile of our sustainability activities.
Dr Haxton’s work has included the development of a module that placed chemistry in the social, political and economic context of ‘the real world’ with a heavy emphasis on environmental sustainability, covering topics including e-Waste and water security and exploring some of the underlying chemistry, as well as the implications for humanity.
Dr Haxton, who won this year’s Sustainability Champion award added:
I’m honoured that my work has been recognised in this way. It’s a reflection of several years of hard work and also the valuable input and support of many colleagues and lots of students. It is fantastic to work at an institution that values sustainability so highly and I’m looking forward to continuing this work.