UNIVERSITY of Worcester chiefs have been honoured with a national award for sustainability for a scheme to encourage sustainable food choices.
The university achieved silver in the recent Green Apple Environment Awards, which recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice.
This Green Apple – the latest of six – has been earned by the university introducing a series of successful interventions to encourage people think about the food they eat and promote more sustainable choices,
It has now been invited to The Green World Awards in Florida, USA in the spring to represent the UK. To save carbon dioxide emissions, the university plans to be represented virtually.
Professor David Green CBE DL, Vice Chancellor and chief executive of the university, said: “ As a university we are deeply committed to tackling the climate crisis and to working collaboratively to find solutions and encourage behaviour change.
“Our students, staff and wider community all share in the belief that we all have a part to play, and this award is testament to their efforts.”
Director of Sustainability, Katy Boom, said: “Despite growing awareness of the need to eat more sustainably, actual behavioural change is hard to achieve.
“The ‘Worcester Way’ is a series of interventions which aims to promote new social norms and make things easy and fun to facilitate the change process required.
“The university was chosen as a UK site for a leading sustainable research project, SU-eatable.
“Collaborating with our contract caterers, Chartwells, and the Sustainable Restaurants Association, we applied UK, international and European best practice to our on-site catering provision.
“The university introduced simple messaging when people select their food to highlight a ‘One Planet Plate’, indicating a sustainable choice, making it easy for diners to make low-impact choices as well as use of a phone app for imparting information, monitoring, and rewarding sustainable behaviours.
“There was also imaginative education and awareness raising using student-created digital content, along promotion of on-campus allotments, with foraging events, and the creation of campus foraging maps.
“The Worcester Way to a healthy campus demonstrates our holistic approach to encouraging behaviour change, health and wellbeing across students and staff and the broader community.”