Green Gown Awards 2023 - Reporting With Influence win (hero crop)
The University of Plymouth has earned praise for its pioneering work on climate innovation and action in the 2023 Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland.
In the year that it became the second university in the UK to achieve verified carbon neutral status, the University won the Reporting with Influence award.
It was also Highly Commended in the 2030 Climate Action category, acknowledging the University’s long-held commitment to carbon reduction.
The successes 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 extend its achievements at the Green Gown Awards, with the University now having won seven accolades – and been shortlisted a total of 22 times – for its sustainability achievements.

The Green Gown Awards are among the key initiatives enabling universities to showcase their climate innovation. As such, it is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected to the University of Plymouth to win new awards acknowledging both our actions and ongoing ambition. We are fully committed to helping the country achieve its net zero targets through our research, education and innovation, from developing the technologies that will drive the offshore renewable energy revolution to educating the next generation of global citizens. These successes, coupled with the recent verification of our carbon neutral status, are much deserved recognition of our continued efforts.

Judith Petts CBEJudith Petts CBE
Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Universities UK Climate Task and Finish Group

Green Gown Awards 2023
Green Gown Awards 2023
Green Gown Awards 2023

The award in the Reporting with Influence category recognises the University’s ongoing efforts to chart its sustainability journey.
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 transparency on its performance against sustainability targets.
This ensures the University is not only delivering on its own commitments, but also highlighting how any challenges have been overcome so that it can both learn from its actions and provide others with the tools to follow suit.
Green Gown Awards 2023 Winner
What the judges thought
The judges were impressed with the responses to the feedback given in Stage 1, and the information supplied. A great structure, strategy and clear 12 point action plan over Climate Change shown. Clear links to the SDGs and strategy and governance features heavily here also. An easy read and lots to look at and be engaged in. A great report.
 

Being Highly Commended in the 2030 Climate Action is a further acknowledgement of 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 and 2 emissions by 2025.
The awarding of PAS 2060 verification for carbon neutrality – externally verified by NQA in early 2023 – confirmed that the pledge 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.
Green Gowns Awards 2023 Climate Action
What the judges thought
This impressive approach underpinned by suitable policies led to the achievement of demanding targets 2 years ahead of schedule, with data verified by NQA. The productive links with partners across the city demonstrate potential to develop a city-wide collaborative journey to net zero.
 

The University was also shortlisted in the Tomorrow’s Employees category, recognising the impact of its 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, 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.
Green Gown Awards 2023 finalist