Borders College is celebrating global achievement after they were announced as a winner at the 2023 International Green Gown Awards in the Climate Action Category.
The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education (EAUC) and Allianz Global Investors, one of the world’s leading active investment managers, announced the College as a winner among 93 finalists from 25 countries from across the world.
In November 2022, the College was awarded the prestigious Green Gown in the Climate Action category for the project ‘Our Sustainability Journey’, which emphasised the fantastic initiatives that were developed or are ongoing, aimed at tackling climate change head-on.
The winning submission, based on an ambitious project to develop a new Sustainability Strategy in response to the Scottish Government’s commitment to be a net zero country by 2045, then went through as a finalist to the International Awards.
The objectives were to implement good sustainable sector practice, influence positive sustainable behaviours across the community, adopt ethical, sustainable social practices in their operations and promote sustainable innovation and technological breakthroughs with stakeholders.
Through a number of groundbreaking projects and initiatives relating to the underpinning themes of Behavioural Change, Circular Economy and Global Citizenship, the College has become sector-leading in many areas, and these were recognised by the Green Gown judges.
Borders College Director of Estates and Facilities Robert Hewitt commented:
“Winning an International Green Gown Award is a fantastic achievement for a small college from rural Scotland. It demonstrates what we can and must achieve collectively to tackle the Climate emergency.
“Our sustainability journey to date has focused on reducing our emissions by implementing Co2 reduction measures including Solar PV, greening our fleet, building an ECO House and installing Wastewater Heating System.
“Whilst developing our new strategy, our focus was to broaden our base to embed sustainability across all aspects of college life. This meant engaging with multiple stakeholders including staff, students, suppliers and the wider community with behavioural change as the underpinning theme, ensuring sustainability is at the forefront of all our plans moving forward.”
Borders College Principal and CEO Pete Smith added:
“This recognition of Borders College as an international leader in action to respond to climate change is something we are all incredibly proud of. It really is a testament to the work of our dedicated staff and students over many years that we were able to implement the measures we already have done and that we have changed our own culture and been able to influence that of others."
The Green Gown Awards cover all aspects of educational institutions – from teaching and research, to leadership, to campus infrastructure and even to catering and nutrition – to how their communities can benefit themselves and the society around them.
The International Green Gown Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the world. Now in the second year of its three-year partnership with the International Green Gown Awards, Allianz Global Investors is delighted to see more engagement and participation.