This year’s Aston Go Green Awards saw nine teams from across the University enter to try to help their department to ‘go green’ and see how they compared with other departments.
There was stiff competition but we did have to pick a winner and last year’s Gold award winners, the School of Languages & Social Sciences support office, triumphed again! LSS continued their good work, with our dedicated eco-champions also signing up to become Energy Champions, removing all bottled water coolers and working with Freecycle and local charity shops to dispose of and buy surplus office equipment.
All of the teams that completed the workbook did a great job and it was clear that a lot of effort in particular had gone into the bonus ‘Innovation’ category. The Innovation Award went to first-time entrants Optometry and Vision Sciences Department in LHS for a range of initiatives including paper reduction, phasing out plastic vending cups, switching to low energy LEDs, and setting up a student sustainability focus group.
Silver Awards went to Estates and Capital Developments, Human Resources and the Centre for Staff and Graduate Development. Bronze certificates were also awarded to the ABS Undergraduate Office and ABS Operations and Information Management Group.
The winners were announced at a celebratory lunch with a menu provided by Aston University catering which, sticking with the Go Green theme, was a vegetarian, locally-sourced or Fairtrade menu accompanied by Fairtrade wine and fruit juice. Following the meal, Professor Julia King presented the awards to the winning teams. Professor King congratulated all of the entrants and urged them to get more colleagues from across the University involved. Speaking at the event she said: “It’s great to see the continued commitment to this campaign in the second year of the Go Green Awards, an initiative that makes a really important contribution to raising awareness of, and engaging our staff in sustainability issues.”
We would like, once again, to congratulate and thank all of our champions and all the staff across Aston who are involved in making the university a greener place to be and work. The importance of staff and student involvement cannot be overestimated, and we are relying on our staff to ‘go green’ and help us meet our targets for environmental performance. So, if you’re keen to get involved and help knock LSS off their top spot then watch this space for news on next year’s Go Green Awards – in 2012 we’re aiming for even bigger and better!
Words by Victoria Johnsen
22 September 2011