The Greenspace Movement has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2022 Green Gown Awards in Student Engagement Category. The results will be announced at the awards ceremony on 9 November 2022 at Loughborough University.
The Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the world.
"Winning the Green Gown Award would be fantastic recognition for Durham University, signalling the progress we have made delivering our Greenspace Movement. The award would celebrate the hard work of the University community; our staff environment champions, student environment representatives, and the hundreds of people signed up to our My Greenspace platform." - David Loudon Director of Estates & Facilities
Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony which will take place on 8 November 2022 at Loughborough University.
Greenspace was created in 2010 to bring together all of Durham University’s environmental plans, policies and procedures. Since then, the Greenspace Movement has grown to include a range of support networks, resources, campaigns and events, working to include the entire University community in pushing forward the transition to net zero emissions.
The Greenspace Movement seeks to encourage collective, student and staff-led climate action. For example, our annual Ring Fenced Carbon Budget has supported projects like Bailey Wardrobe, a formalwear swap scheme that promotes both slow, sustainable fashion and accessibility and inclusivity at formal events. The Greenspace Student Environment Group (GSEG) representatives have led on the creation of wildflower meadows in college grounds. One student rep in South College event ran a clothes swap event using seed paper tokens, later planted in the college grounds as part of this project. The Energy & Sustainability Team have worked with students to support the creation of new societies to support the transition to a sustainable campus, such as DU Beekeeping Society, and Natural History society. We have also created the Sustainability Dashboard through PowerBI so that colleges can track their energy use. Last summer we took on three student interns within the Durham Energy Institute, which brought new perspectives on issues such as lab inefficiency, while also helping these students build experience in the Energy sector. We also took on one PHD and one undergraduate Biodiversity intern, one of whom now sits on the Biodiversity Steering Group and has informed our new Biodiversity Strategy, due to be published later this year. Our PHD student intern now holds a professional position in Biodiversity. Similarly, Michael McKenzie, an MScR GeoEnergy student, has worked closely with our team on the feasibility of a mine water district heat network on the University estate. Working alongside the University he led a day-long Interdisciplinary Workshop on Mine Water Heat Networks, which was well attended by academics and stakeholders from County Durham and beyond.
At the heart of the Greenspace Movement is the Greenspace calendar, which constitutes a range of campaigns and events delivered each year to educate and involve students and staff on key sustainability issues. The Greenspace engagement calendar is bolstered by green rewards app and online platform MyGreenspace, launched this academic year to promote a sustainable lifestyle change across all members of the University community.
You can be rewarded for your sustainable actions via the MyGreenspace app. You can report recycling, shopping second-hand or volunteering. We currently have over 700 users on the app with an average of completing 382 activities per week under various categories such as Health and Wellbeing, Travel, Energy and much more. Your college or department can also compete on the leaderboard to win a voucher that can be donated to charity. This term, the winners were Estates and Facilities who donated their winnings to the Foodbank. In addition, the platform formed the basis for the launch of a new inter-collegiate Sustainability Varsity initiative this spring, which had each of our colleges competing in three rounds: Get Involved, Energy and Waste, to be crowned the greenest college.
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