The Students' Union at UWE wins two sustainability Green Gown Awards

The Students’ Union at UWE won two awards at the EAUC Green Gown Awards last night. The awards, which took place in York at the historic National Railway Museum, recognise sustainability best practice within the further and higher education sectors.

The finalists, who came from over 12 institutions and represented over 1 million students, were shortlisted for their commitment to enabling and empowering young people to tackle pressing global issues to ensure they have a better tomorrow.

The Students’ Union at UWE came away with both awards they were shortlisted for on the night, winning the Student Engagement Category for large institutions with a Bring Your Own Bowl food waste event series and Student Sustainability Champion went to former Sustainability Officer, Amy Staff for her true display of commitment and innovative approach to sustainability.

The Bring Your Own Bowl series saw three events, held between September 2017 and February 2018, at which meals made from surplus supermarket food. Collectively, it saved over 200 kg of food waste, fed over 600 students and raised environmental awareness, it was also a key event of the 2018/19 Welcome for new students.

Comments from the judges, included:

"Bring Your Own Bowl is simple yet highly effective initiative that could be easily replicated. It will undoubtedly inspire other institutions to explore a similar approach to reducing food waste. The application was very well-crafted and presented quality data, which clearly demonstrated how you identified an issue and addressed it.

We liked that this initiative was Student Union-led and included Senior Management buy-in. The evidence of changes to the SU's own business practices was particularly impressive, along with links developed with community partners and the growth achieved between year 1 and 2. We would have been interested to know more about the number of academics and professional services staff that have engaged with the project. It is clear that the scheme’s popularity has grown since the start and we are pleased that further discussions are taking place around community fridges. We think this could be easily scaled up and run in local communities. Well done and best of luck for the future."

Freddie Gough, Vice President of Societies and Communication at The Students’ Union at UWE, commented: “Winning this prestigious Green Gown Award is a great honour and a testament to the passion of UWE students for driving forward positive change on and off campus. We thank our colleagues at UWE for their support and expertise. We have developed a truly meaningful and impactful partnership. Personally, I really enjoyed being part of our last Bring Your Own Bowl event and can’t wait for the next one on 22nd November.”

With 12 entries shortlisted for the Student Engagement Category, all representing amazing projects from universities and students’ unions across the country, it is a great achievement to have won and we look forward to taking our Bring Your Own Bowl event on to the International Green Gown Awards in 2019.

Amy Staff, who won the Student Sustainability Champion award, commented: “I am absolutely over the moon to be crowned 2018 Student Sustainability Champion – I still can’t quite believe it! I’d like to extend a massive thank you to everyone at The Students’ Union at UWE for their endless support and belief in me, I couldn’t have done it without you!”

UWE Bristol were also shortlisted for five awards on the night; Benefitting Society, Research with Impact (both student and institution categories) and Tomorrow’s Employees.

The Students’ Union would like to thank students for constantly driving forward positive change and impact and to UWE Bristol for their partnership, skills and expertise, which has allowed us to mutually achieve our goals.

You can read more about the impact of the Bring Your Own Bowl event here and for more information on The Students’ union at UWE’s approach to sustainability, visit: thestudentsunion.co.uk/sustainability.