The project led to the submission of an EU Horizon 2020 project ‘African H2Orizons’ (combining local knowledge and global science to integrate water and sanitation safety planning empowering African communities), which seeks to build on this collaboration’s success by bringing together additional partner institutions in Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Germany (WHO Centre), Austria, Ireland, and the Netherlands (UNESCO-IHE) to establish regional knowledge hubs at strategic locations across Africa.
On the same night as the THE awards, the University of Brighton collected three EAUC Green Gown awards.
It was Highly Commended for its Waste House, the first house in Europe built almost entirely from thrown away material, in the Built Environment category.
The project, led by architect and lecturer Duncan Baker-Brown, was described as “promoting the strategy of ‘rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle’. The Waste House takes this one step further by stating ‘There’s no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place’.” The Waste House was also a finalist in the THE awards’ Excellence and Innovation in the Arts category.
The university was also Highly Commended for its ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ project in the Food & Drink category.
Led by Julie Barker, the university’s Director of Accommodation and Hospitality Services, the university over the past year has focused its efforts on tackling food waste in campus restaurants.
The university’s Hospitality Services and Environment Team united under the banner of the c-change campaign (the university’s award-winning environmental engagement campaign) to reduce food waste and ensure all food waste produced in university restaurants is processed by anaerobic digestion; Defra’s preferred treatment option.
Through this project, the university’s recycling levels increased dramatically, from 34 per cent in Jan-May 2014, to 48 per cent over the same period in 2015 - diverting an additional 16 tonnes of food waste from the waste stream.
A food waste awareness campaign engaged 313 staff and students during Green Week, and a ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ cookery workshop was run in halls. To inform the food waste reduction elements of the project, the university worked with an MA student to understand the causes of food waste in University restaurants.
Highly Commended in the Enterprise & Employability category was the university’s Green Grown Platform, led by Zoe Osmond.
The platform supports a thriving green sector in Sussex through a menu of 1-2-1 business support, innovation and R&D support, events and opportunities and skills development, delivered by a team of industry experts, business advisors and university academics.
The project supports the growth of environmental sector businesses and the drive to a low carbon and low impact economy. Through its works it enhances student employability through its internships and placements with green businesses and helps embed university research into the local economy.
Within a year of its launch, over 500 environmental businesses have taken advantage of the project’s services, including product development support, business coaching and networking opportunities. Over £565,000 of grant funding has been secured by green businesses with the project’s support, enabling new product development, collaboration with the university on research and development projects, staff recruitment, business expansion and more.
It is the Platform’s second success in as many weeks, following their Green Apple Gold Award for Education and Training from the Green Organisation.
Professor Chris Pole, the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “These are all extremely worthwhile projects which demonstrate the university’s commitment to helping tackle climate change and to reaching out to communities by sharing our expertise and research where it can help the most.
“These are thoroughly well-deserved national recognitions and on behalf of the university I’d like to thank and congratulate all those involved with the projects.”