The International Green Gown Awards announced today in the UK highlighted the fantastic efforts of the tertiary education sector in becoming more sustainable, with the University of Wollongong and Sunshine Coast TAFE taking two of the three top honours.

The winners of the 2013 Green Gown Awards Australasia, presented by Ecosave, were recently announced at a fabulous dinner and award ceremony at the scenic Waterview in Bicentennial park in Sydney on 26 September 2013. The evening was an extremely positive celebration for institutions undertaking sustainability and showcasing their achievements.

Now in their fourth year in Australasia, the Awards recognise sustainability excellence and drew winners in nine categories, with over 40 institutions involved. Organisers were, as always, delighted with this overwhelming response which has seen the awards grow year on year. Each of the winning entries showcases the innovative and diverse sustainability initiatives being developed and implemented upon our campuses.

Founded in the UK almost 10 years ago, the Awards have now gone global, with the International Green Gown Awards in their second year. Australasian winners compete with the UK winners to claim the ‘international’ title in three categories.

Representing Australasia in the Continuous Improvement – institutional Change category was Sunshine Coast TAFE with “reTHINK for sustainability @ Sunshine Coast TAFE”. University of Wollongong for their ‘Illawarra Flame – Sustainable Home” and TAFE NSW –Western Sydney Institute for ‘building sustainable communities through the wellbeing of individuals and families” within the social responsibility category.

Judges were delighted with the calibre and diversity of entries and commended both countries on their excellent initiatives – showcasing how tertiary education institutions are playing their part in developing a more sustainable future.

The International winners were announced this morning (local time) at the UK Green Gown Awards, hosted by Professor Iain Stewart, MBE in Derby. The International titles were awarded to three inspiring institutions, two of those from Australasia. Sunshine Coast TAFE took out the Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change category, while University of Wollongong won ‘gold’ again in the student initiatives category for their ‘Illawarra Flame – Sustainable Home’ project which saw them win the 2013 Solar Decathlon in China earlier this year, the first and only Australian competing team. This is the second time that the Australasian contender has won in the student category. University of Manchester, UK was awarded the international title in the social responsibility category for their “School Governor Initiative”.

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 “Internationalisation of the awards brings further prestige to the Green Gown Awards while also providing further opportunity to share learning and experience. This ensures that as a sector we continue to improve and progress as well as demonstrating the critical role tertiary education plays in delivering sustainability.”

ACTS is also delighted that the International awards will be coming to our shores, with Australasia hosting the international awards ceremony in Hobart on 6 November 2014.

As a commitment to showcase the inspiring efforts of institutions the 2013 Green Gown winners and highly commended entries from Australasia and the UK will be producing their own short video’s on their initiatives, which will be available online in early 2014.

The Green Gown Award Winners’ Brochure incorporating all this year’s winning and highly commended entries can be found on the Green Gown Awards website The 2013 Australasian Green Gown Awards Winners’ Brochure can be found here.