The University held its fifth Sustainability Showcase on the evening of 14 June, with staff and students from across the University gathering in the Museum of Natural History to recognise the contributions they have made over the last year towards making the University’s operations more sustainable.
The evening’s main focus was the Environmental Sustainability team's two flagship engagement programmes - Student Switch Off, an awareness-raising initiative in which the University’s students once again had the best engagement figures in the country, and the Green Impact scheme aimed at empowering people to make their workplaces more sustainable.
The Showcase attracted around 200 people from all over the University, with just under sixty awards presented. Dr David Prout, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Resources, hosted the evening after a welcome from Paul Goffin, Director of Estates.
In this year’s Green Impact scheme gold prizes went to nine recipients, with Saïd Business School and Queen’s College putting in particularly impressive performances by achieving at the highest level in their first year. Six more teams got silver awards, four bronze, and one team took their first steps in Green Impact and were recognised with a ‘Working Towards’ award. There were also four special awards to reward innovation, the most impressive project of the year and particularly exceptional efforts by students and staff.
There were also prizes for the top-performing colleges in the 2017-18 Student Switch Off competition, in which 3,310 Oxford students took part, with 84 receiving training as ambassadors for the campaign. Oriel took the overall prize for the college whose students did most to raise awareness of environmental, receiving £250 for an end-of-year event. It is the first college to win the overall price twice. Brasenose, which did the most to raise awareness of recycling and re-use facilities, won £150 to put towards future sustainability work.
The evening also recognised the achievement of the University venues that have gained the nationally-recognised Green Tourism accreditation, with four sites receiving Gold and Silver awards. Finally, the winners of the Sustainability Photographer of the Year 2018 competition were announced, with Sofia Coelho of Merton College taking top prize.
All these programmes are run by the Environmental Sustainability team within Estates Services, but they also rely on the efforts of staff and students to make the University more sustainable.