Keele has been recognised as the top university in the world for sustainability at a prestigious awards ceremony celebrating sustainability in higher education.
Building on its success at the UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards earlier this year, where Keele took home the coveted title of Sustainability Institution of the Year, the University has now been recognised internationally by winning Global Sustainability Institution of the Year at this year’s International Green Gown Awards too.
The Green Gown awards celebrate the efforts of higher education institutions to promote and embed sustainability across all their operations, and this success reflects Keele’s commitment to embedding sustainability across all its campus operations, including in its research, education, operations and community engagement.
In 2019, Keele was one of the first UK universities to declare a ‘climate emergency’, and has also reduced its carbon emissions by 39%, exceeding its 2020 target. Keele also announced an ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030, and has partnered with ENGIE to build two wind turbines and 12,500 solar panels and an industrial size battery on campus, integrated with Europe’s largest at scale Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND), to support this pledge. The SEND project, delivered in partnership with Siemens, also provides a platform for businesses to develop new energy-related products and services, with over 250 SMEs in Staffordshire having already benefitted.
The University has also launched its Institute for Sustainable Futures to drive research into issues such as climate change, food security and clean energy on a local, national and global scale, and sustainability forms a crucial part of teaching and education at Keele across the whole curriculum, not just in environmental programmes. This ethos saw Keele’s Medical School ranked No.1 in the UK in the 2021 Planetary Health Report Card - a student-led initiative which aims to introduce climate change and sustainability into medical school curricula.
Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, and Institutional Lead for Sustainability at Keele University said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Keele University has won Global Sustainability Institution of the Year.
“This is a tremendous accolade highlighting our sector-leading whole-institution approach and commitment to sustainability, and the breadth and profile of our sustainability activities embedded across all aspects of our activities – research, education, external engagement and partnership activity, and our campus and community. It has been achieved through huge collective effort, great teamwork and inspiration from both staff and students.”