Wind turbine wins uni top environmental award

The Lancaster University team at the Green Gown Awards.
The Lancaster University team at the Green Gown Awards.

Lancaster University has won the Carbon Reduction Award for the second time in the 2014 Green Gown Awards, which recognise universities for exceptional sustainability initiatives.

The university won the award for its innovative wind turbine project in 2012, which is projected to reduce carbon emissions by 40,000 tonnes over its 20 year lifetime.

The judges said: “The project achieved a very significant carbon reduction, visibly positioning the university as a champion of alternative energy use. It involved staff, students and the local community and combines many features that are replicable elsewhere.”

From August 2013 to July 2014, the turbine generated 5,042,328 kWh, which is 15 per cent of the university’s electricity consumption – enough to supply 1,528 houses for a year.

Vice-chancellor, Prof Mark E Smith, said: “This award recognises the efforts we have put into carbon reduction projects and the implementation of our carbon management plan. It is also an excellent symbol of our commitment to sustainability.”

Now in their 10th year, the Green Gown awards are organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges, which launched in 1996 to facilitate the improvement of environmental performance in universities and colleges.

Author and TV presenter, Simon Reeve, who presented the awards, said: “I was honoured to be involved with the Green Gown awards this year. On my journeys I see the increasing impact of humans on the natural world and the issues caused by completely unsustainable lifestyles. So the extraordinary work of brilliant minds at our universities and colleges to help create a more sustainable world is something we should all be celebrating and applauding.”