Oxford Brookes University takes home three prizes at national sustainability awards

Oxford Brookes University has been named the winner of three out of five national sustainability awards, in recognition of staff and student’s commitment to biodiversity and the environment.

The University’s Green Impact team, based at its Swindon Campus, received the ‘Environmental Improvement Award’ at the Green Impact National Awards 2023, which were announced last week. In addition, a graduate student and a staff member were awarded prizes for their hard work and dedication to sustainability on campus. 

Green Impact is a multi award-winning sustainability learning and awards programme, run by student-led charity Students Organising For Sustainability (SOS). 

Oxford Brookes’ Swindon Campus team was rewarded for a transformative rewilding project, which involved rejuvenating a previously neglected patch of land on the Swindon Campus, bringing back native flora and fauna. A colourful and biodiverse outdoor space for students and staff to enjoy was also created, along with installations of bird boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog houses to boost local wildlife. 

Adult Nursing graduate, Emily Palmer, was awarded the ‘Student Leadership Award’ in recognition of her dedication and initiative in advancing sustainability on campus. Emily was the first student member of the Green Impact Team at the Swindon Campus and from the outset showed fantastic enthusiasm in attending and contributing to team meetings and posting about the team on social media. Emily has also volunteered her time for local organisations such as the Canal and River Trust where she helped raise awareness of plastic pollution and water safety.

The ‘Sustainability Hero Award’ was awarded to staff graphic designer, Lisa Hill, for her dedication and leadership in advancing sustainability efforts. Lisa acted as the driving force behind many environmental initiatives at Oxford Brookes, such as leading on the Green Impact programme, revamping a bug hotel at the University’s Headington Hill Campus, named ‘Buggingham Palace’, making nature reserve improvements, and helping the University achieve a Silver accreditation as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus.

Michele Morley, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Oxford Brookes, said: “We’ve been delivering the Green Impact programme with SOS since 2021.  I am always so impressed with the level of commitment and dedication individuals and teams show towards embedding sustainability practices across their departments and the workplace. Winning three out of the five national award categories just drives it home how inspiring these students and colleagues are. I couldn’t be prouder of them and thrilled they have been recognised for their efforts as global citizens.”

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