The inaugural International Green Gown Awards announced in the early hours of 6 November highlighted the fantastic efforts of the tertiary education sector in becoming more sustainable, with the University of Technology, Sydney taking out one of the top honours.

The winners of the 2012 Green Gown Awards Australasia were recently announced at a fabulous dinner and award ceremony at the prestigious Customs House in Brisbane on 27September 2012. The evening was an extremely positive celebration for institutions undertaking sustainability and showcasing their achievements.

Now in their third year in Australasia, the Awards were founded in the UK to recognise sustainability excellence and this year drew winners in 7 categories, with over 40 institutions involved. Organisers were delighted with this overwhelming response from more than 20% of the Australasian tertiary education sector.

Each of the winning entries showcase the innovative and diverse initiatives being developed and implemented within our tertiary education institutions towards sustainability. New for this year is the inaugural International Green Gown Awards, which saw Australasian winners from three specific categories compete with the UK winners to claim the ‘international’ title.

Representing Australasia in the Continuous Improvement – institutional Change category was Edith Cowan University with “Sustainable Communities”. University of Technology, Sydney – Students’ Association represented the Student Initiatives category, for their sustainable breakfast bar and Charles Darwin University represented the Social Responsibility category with their winning “Lakeside Drive Community Garden” entry.

The International winner’s were announced this morning (6 November 2012) at the UK Green Gown Awards, hosted by broadcaster and writer Simon Fanshawe. The International titles were awarded to three inspiring institutions. Manchester Metropolitan University from the UK took out the Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change category for it’s “Let’s make a sustainable planet – Manchester Metropolitan University’s campus-wide commitment to creating a sustainable future”. Also from the UK, De Montfort University won the Social Responsibility category while the University of Technology, Sydney Students’ Association won the International Student Initiatives and Campaigns award with “Bluebird Brekkie: free sustainable pop-up café”.

Combining the excellence from the UK and Australasia, Leanne Denby, President of Australian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) and partner with the EAUC in delivering the International Awards says “internationalising the Awards provides further opportunity to share learning and experience to ensure that as a sector we continue to improve, progress and recognise the great work being done. These Awards show that the tertiary education sector is committed to sharing examples of best practice internationally and at home, further demonstrating the critical role tertiary education plays in delivering sustainability.”

In an effort to promote dissemination of good practice, 2012 Green Gown winners and highly commended entries from Australasia and the UK have all been asked to provide a case study and a short video on their projects. These videos will be available online in early 2013.

The Green Gown Winners’ Brochure incorporating all this year’s winning and highly commended entries can be found on the Green Gown Awards website. The 2012 Australasian Green Gown Awards Winners’ Brochure can be found on the ACTS website here.