ARU in the running for 2021 Green Gown crown

Published: 21 July 2021 at 11:27

Building on Anglia Ruskin University's Cambridge campus

Anglia Ruskin is shortlisted for the Sustainability Institution of the Year award

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has been named as a finalist in the 2021 Green Gown Awards, which celebrate the best sustainability initiatives taking place at universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland.

ARU is shortlisted in both the Sustainability Institution of the Year category and the Next Generation Learning and Skills category, with the winners being announced at the annual Green Gown Awards ceremony in November.

The Sustainability Institution of the Year nomination focuses on the breadth of work being done across ARU to meet sustainability goals. 

It recognises that ARU has embedded sustainability in all aspects of university life, with ARU’s Sustainability Strategy including a number of challenging key performance indicators (KPIs) covering students, research and innovation, university operations, and the wider community.  The Sustainability Strategy includes a commitment for ARU to become net zero (without offsetting) by 2045.

The Global Sustainability Institute was launched by ARU in 2011 to lead on sustainability research across the university, and the GSI also runs the successful MSc in Sustainability, in conjunction with the Eden Project. A new cross-university research theme on Sustainable Futures has started this year, while the Education for Sustainability team help academics embed sustainability into every course. 

ARU’s nomination in the Next Generation Learning and Skills category focuses specifically on the exciting Ruskin Modules initiative, which will see students from different degree courses work together – outside their own discipline – to find solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing society today.

Closely matching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, these are core modules that every student will complete. Over 50 Ruskin Modules have been developed and the first 20 will be launched this September.

James Rolfe, Chief Operating Officer of ARU, said:

“With environmental concerns and climate change now arguably the most important issue facing society today, we have worked tirelessly over recent years to ensure ARU rises to this challenge and have implemented a number of key initiatives.

“These range from making immediate reductions in ARU’s carbon footprint, such as our agreement to purchase electricity directly from onshore wind farms, to ensuring our students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to help them shape a more sustainable society when they graduate. We are pleased this work has been recognised as being amongst the best in the Higher Education sector.”


The Green Gown Awards are organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC). Iain Patton, CEO of EAUC said:

“It is clear from the number and quality of applications, that sustainability and the now irreversible sustainability movement is not only resilient but profoundly energised, opportunistic and dynamic!  

“UK and Irish universities and colleges have turned Covid-19 challenges into opportunities and ensured that every change is a change for sustainability. A reset of our economic and social foundations is happening and the Green Gown Awards are all the more important to inspire and scale change for sustainability. Congratulations to all our Finalists.”