Ecollegey logo with slogan in colour with boxUxbridge College has been recognised in the national Green Gown Awards for its commitment to the environment.

The College is a finalist in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category in the awards, which are run by The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC). The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK. The College, nominated for its ‘E-Collegey’ initiative, now goes through to Stage 2 of the competition when the final winners will be selected.

E-Collegey was launched at Uxbridge College in 2012 to boost participation in green activities and encourage awareness of sustainability issues. The initiative has covered a range of activities for staff and students, including a student competition to choose a name for it and design a logo. Campaigns were run to encourage staff and students to recycle more materials and switch off lights and computers, a photographic competition was held on a green theme, and a fashion show staged using recycled materials. Teaching about sustainable technologies and practices has been included in the curriculum wherever possible, a car-sharing and cycle purchase scheme set up for staff, a bike workshop held, and an ecology area created on campus. The College has also invested in cutting carbon emissions and saving money by maximising the use of sustainable materials, systems and practices in campus building and improvement projects.

Sara Sands, Vice Principal Finance & Corporate Services, said: “Uxbridge College is delighted to have been shortlisted in the Green Gown Awards in recognition of our efforts to be as environmentally responsible as we can. E-Collegey has made a real difference, increasing recycling and cutting energy use both on and off campus, and helping students create sustainable habits which can make a huge difference across their lifetimes.”

Iain Patton, Chief Executive of the EAUC, said: “It is fantastic to see more institutions than ever being finalists – the strength and quality of applications is truly inspiring. The breadth of activity within the sector shows that sustainability really does bring positive impacts, both on the institution, their staff and students and the wider community. These finalists are proof that where institutions take sustainability seriously they are reaping the benefits.”

Stage one applications for the Awards closed in June and a judging panel chose a list of finalists who are now asked to submit their Stage 2 applications with a deadline in September. The winners of the Green Gown Awards 2014 will be announced at the Green Gown Awards’ Ceremony to be held at Whitworth Hall, The University of Manchester on Monday 3 November 2014.

In its 10 year history the Green Gown Awards has recognised 93 winners, 130 highly commended, 553 finalists and 1,412 applicants. This year the competition has attracted 180 applications across 14 categories.

EAUC is a not-for-profit charity with a membership of over 220 universities and colleges, supporting sustainability within the UK tertiary education sector.