Sustainability awards and achievements

Staff member Victoria Tait receives the NUS Responsible Futures award

We're proud to have received the following awards and accreditation for our work on sustainability, and to be the home of the Global Sustainability Institute – established in Cambridge in 2011.


  • We’re finalists in three categories in the 2023 Green Gown Awards, including: ‘Next Generation Learning and Skills’ for our work on the Ruskin Modules, which are framed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and form a part of most undergraduate degrees at ARU; ‘Sustainability Champion’ for work led by the Global Sustainability Institute’s Dr Zareen Pervez Bharucha; and ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Sustainability’ for the Global Sustainability Institute's work to foreground female researchers as part of the Energy SHINES project.
  • We completed important retrofitting work across our Cambridge campus, including the historic Ruskin Building, home to ARU’s Cambridge School of Art.


  • The THE Impact Rankings measured university progress around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We were ranked 36th in the world and 2nd in the UK for Good Health and Wellbeing; and one of the top 200 in the world for Reduced Inequalities.
  • We're finalists in two categories at the Green Gown Awards: Sustainability Institution of the Year, and Next Generation Learning and Skills. These annual awards focus on sustainability initiatives taking place in universities.


  • We achieved NUS Responsible Futures accreditation for our approach to embedding sustainability across all aspects of our institution.
  • Our International Community Experience, Sustainable Sainji, was shortlisted for a Green Gown award.
  • We were shortlisted as a Sustainable Business of the Year finalist in the annual Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards.


  • Our Students’ Union received a gold Green Impact award from the National Union of Students.
  • Our Student Societies Green Fund was shortlisted for a Green Gown award.



  • We became one of the first universities to embed sustainability into our academic regulations, making it obligatory for all courses to include Education for Sustainability.
  • We also received a Green Apple Award for our Young Street Health Building in Cambridge.


  • Our MSc Sustainability, delivered in partnership with Change Agents UK and the Eden Project, was shortlisted for an EAUC Green Gown award. It's been described by our external examiner as ‘ground-breaking’.
  • We won the International Sustainable Campus Network Award for Integration.
  • The HEFCE Revolving Green Fund awarded us £1 million for the Combined Heat and Power plant on our Cambridge campus.


  • ARU was the first UK university to sign up to the Rio +20 declaration committing to the development of sustainable practices for Higher Education Institutions
  • We received a Wildlife Trust Living Landscape Award for the restoration of the Millpond habitat on our Chelmsford campus.
  • We won the Public Sector Sustainability Award for our Sustainable Travel at Anglia Ruskin (STAR) project.



  • We were one of the first universities in the UK to be certified to the international environmental management standard ISO 14001.