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The University of Plymouth has been shortlisted for three accolades in the 2023 Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland.
Just months after it became the second university in the UK to achieve carbon neutral status, the University has been named among the finalists in the 2030 Climate Action, Tomorrow’s Employees, and Reporting with Influence categories.
The nominations are a further endorsement of the University’s world-leading expertise, excellence and innovation in all matters linked to the health of our planet.
They also continue its success in the Green Gown Awards, with the University having previously one six accolades for its sustainability achievements.

Every individual and institution in the UK has a role to play in helping the country achieve its ambitious net zero targets. Universities are a critical element of that, and integral to the fostering of skills and solutions that will drive global action. The University of Plymouth has committed to doing that through its research, education and innovation, for example, developing the technologies that will drive the offshore renewable energy revolution, as well as educating the next generation of global citizens. These nominations, coupled with the recent certification of carbon neutral status, are a further recognition of our continued efforts.

Judith Petts CBEJudith Petts CBE

The shortlisting in the 2030 Climate Action category acknowledges the University’s long-held commitment to carbon reduction.
When it declared a climate emergency in 2019, the University made a pledge to achieve net zero for scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025. The awarding of PAS 2060 verification for carbon neutrality – externally verified by NQA – confirmed that had been achieved three years ahead of schedule.
The award also acknowledges its continued work with partners across the South West, including local authorities and businesses of all sizes, to develop collaborative approaches to net zero.
In the Tomorrow’s Employees category, the University’s place on the shortlist recognises the impact of the Future Shift Internship and Sustainable Leadership Programme.
An innovative knowledge exchange project, it provided invaluable support for Devon-based enterprises combined with practical experience and leadership development for students and recent graduates.
Part of the £2.6million Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon project, the Future Shift programme enabled 43 students and graduates to complete a variety of three-month low carbon projects for enterprises, from measuring carbon footprints to researching a report on future energy markets.
Bringing skills from their various degree programmes, the students and graduates completed a series of workshops to give them the skills to become future-fit as change-makers, leaders and role models of a low carbon society.
The shortlisting in the Reporting with Influence category recognises the University’s ongoing efforts to document its sustainability achievements, and how any challenges have been overcome, so that it can both learn from its actions and provide others with the tools to follow suit.
Since 2016, the University has disclosed its performance in accordance with the internationally recognised GRI reporting standard, and continues to work to provide stakeholders and interested parties with full disclosure of its performance against sustainability targets.

A carbon neutral university

In 2023, the University of Plymouth was verified as being carbon neutral in recognition of its pioneering and ongoing efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of its campus operations.
The awarding of PAS 2060 verification, an independent and internationally recognised standard for carbon neutrality, acknowledged the University’s success in delivering net zero emissions from scope 1 and 2 three years ahead of schedule.
net zero sustainability

The Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland

With 102 finalists representing 65 institutions, the Green Gown Awards - supported be UK Research and Innovation - are a celebration of innovative sustainability projects right across the country.
The University of Plymouth has continually earned praise from the Green Gown Awards judges, and won accolades on six previous, and will find out if it has added to that in 2023 when the winners are announced in November.
Green Gown Awards 2023 finalist