Dedication from staff and students towards creating a more sustainable future has seen De Montfort University, Leicester (DMU) shortlisted for four prestigious Green Gown Awards.
The national awards, which were established in 2004, recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges.
The esteemed awards not only honour projects, initiatives and individuals for their positive contributions to their institution and communities, but also celebrate their commitment to aligning their efforts with the United Nations (UN), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year, the Sustainability Team at DMU has been shortlisted in four categories, the highest number of nominations they have received to date:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Sustainability: Decolonising and Decarbonising DMU
The Decolonising DMU project, through DMU’s Race Equality Charter actions, aims to challenge racism and build an anti-racist university that creates fair outcomes for staff and students.
The university’s mission through the project is to dismantle racist barriers and structures so that staff and students can succeed, by challenging racism, changing cultures and behaviours, improving representation, progression and talent, and measuring this through governance and accountability frameworks to ensure equity in education and research.
Nature Positive: From grey to green – the transformation of a city centre campus
DMU’s campus is a city centre campus with public access which presents challenges for biodiversity and managing green space but the university is committed to enhancing biodiversity across its site.
Through a range of different mechanisms and interventions including campus developments, engagement initiatives and student volunteering the campus has been transformed into a campus of greenery, biodiversity and pleasant public realm for all to enjoy.
Student Engagement: The Daria Project
Sustainability Champion of the Year – Staff: Daria Brazhnyk, Sustainable Supply Chains Coordinator
Through the Daria Project, the Sustainability Team and Leicester City Council are now offering DMU staff and students the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike.
A year ago, when Daria joined the Sustainability Team at DMU, she had never ridden a bike before but always wanted to learn. Daria knew she wouldn’t be the only adult who didn’t know how, so she took it upon herself to not only learn to cycle but to document her cycling too, in hope to in inspire others.
With encouragement from the Sustainability Team at DMU, working in partnership with the Leicester City Council, Daria mastered the bike and opened up a whole new opportunity for others.
Daria’s video documentary of bike riding was shared with the DMU community and as a result, over 100 students and staff registered their interest in biking lessons offered through The Daria Project.
To date, dozens of new cyclists have emerged at DMU as a result of project, reducing car usage and transport emissions at the university.
Karl Letten, Sustainability Manager at DMU, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be finalists in four different Green Gown Award categories this year.
“To be finalists in such diverse categories really demonstrates how the whole university community is embracing sustainability.
“None more so than the staff champion category where placement student Daria Brazhnyk has been selected as finalist in the staff champion category for her work with the sustainability team during her placement year.”
On the news of her success, DMU’s Sustainability Supply Chains Coordinator, Daria Brazhnyk, said: “I couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement from my incredible colleagues from the Sustainability Team and my colleagues across the university, who have helped to make my placement year an exciting and transformative experience.
“My colleagues have been the motivation for me on my sustainability journey at DMU and I aim to continue this journey when I graduate.”
Awards will be announced on Thursday 30 November 2023.
Posted on Monday 31st July 2023