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The Green Gown Awards are an annual celebration of sustainability success across the UK tertiary education sector. The University of Cambridge was shortlisted in two categories, joining 60 other HEIs across the UK in vying for this prestigious recognition of best practice.

The Environment and Energy Section are thrilled to announce that we brought home a Highly Commended Award in the Technical Innovation for Sustainability category!

Congratulations to the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre and University partners for their work on retrofitting a demand ventilation control system in the building. The Award application, entitled 'Of Engineers and Occupants: Energy efficiency through innovative ventilation control', has saved over 41% of their gas use as a department.

The Hutchison/MRC Research Centre undertook a multi-faceted approach involving building occupants and engineering expertise to reduce its environmental impact, enhance its energy saving culture and crucially reduce costs and wastage, to protect the 'science budget'. Driven by these corporate, social and financial needs, the improved environmental performance has resulted in highly significant saving of utilities costs with a project payback of less than 2 years.

We were sadly unsuccessful in our second Finalist category for ‘The Living Laboratory for Sustainability as a platform for research and action’, under the Research and Development category. Through the Living Lab, students and staff use our estate as a practical resource or test bed to research real-world sustainability issues. Examples include running freezer audits to identify ways for departments to improve their efficiency, or post-occupancy evaluation work. It not only provides an opportunity for students and staff to research ways to reduce environmental impacts, but an opportunity for staff and students to better engage with their university. If University staff or students have ideas for projects, please contact Claire Hopkins on

Congratulations to all of the winners from across the sector!