West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

7 December 2023

Shipley College Wins Top Prize at Green Gown Awards

Shipley College has won the first prize at the EAUC UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards, which recognises the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK.

The college, one of the smallest in the UK, entered the ‘Creating Impact’ category, which recognises educational establishments that have achieved significant sustainability-related outcomes, on-campus or within their community, using minimal or limited resources.

Shipley were the first college in the world to sign up to the SDG Accord (Sustainable Development Goals) and the winning project was around Shipley working collaboratively with the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) and providing technical SDG guidance, mentorship and sharing best practices with seven other colleges around West Yorkshire. A small selection of SDG champions undertook a training session facilitated by Shipley College. The SDG champions then had the knowledge and understanding to cascade the training to other staff and students in their colleges.

Watch our film all about the SDG project.

Each college took a bespoke approach, which means that the colleges have created an ongoing impact and to date, more than 2,000 staff and students have gained an understanding of the SDGs.

The judges said, “This project by Shipley College stands out as exceptional for its impactful leadership in Sustainable Development Goals training. It is a great example of a collaborative initiative which has led to impact being demonstrated across the sector. It is applicable and could create great impact for the sector due to its cascading model of empowerment and knowledge transfer.”

Natasha Wilkinson (pictured), Sustainability and Facilities Coordinator at Shipley College, who collected the award said, “It was an overwhelming experience, not just to be given the award, but to hear all the other sustainability projects from colleges and universities across the UK. The SDG project has been a story of true collaboration and it shows that you can make a difference and a positive impact. Well done to Shipley, WYCC and all the other colleges that continue to take part in the project!”

Greg O’Shea, Vice Principal - Curriculum and Quality at Shipley College said, "Working in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, we cherish our history and safeguard its future by nurturing the next generation of ‘SDG difference makers’. It’s with immense pride that we accept this award on behalf of our students, staff and employer partners – whose selfless actions made this possible."

Dr Joanne Harvatt, WYCC Project Manager said, “We’re delighted that Shipley College has received this award. It’s a testament to all their hard work as lead college of the SDG project and is a result of brilliant team work both within the college and with our partner colleges.”

Shipley College will now automatically go through as a Finalist for the International Green Gown Awards which take place in July 2024.

The collaborative Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) project was funded by the Department for Education’s Strategic Development Fund.


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