The Department achieves bronze in this year’s Green Impact Awards

Pictured (from left to right): Director Matthew Weait, Conference and Facilities Manager Mark Bedford and Accommodation Officer Nicolas Regueiro-Rodriguez.

The Department was thrilled to receive a Bronze Award in the recent annual Green Impact Awards, as part of the University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Environmental Sustainability 2023. 

Having never worked towards the award previously, a small team was formed to address the essential criteria, never imagining that in less than six months it might be possible to enter the Department for an award. The primary focus was on biodiversity, energy and waste with team members each leading an area. Specific criteria under each heading needed to be met, with points gained for each activity. Activities chosen for the biodiversity focus included the National Big Garden Birdwatch, planting wildflower and sunflower seeds in one of the gardens at Rewley House and developing an ambitious garden renovation plan for Ewert House. Seeds for food were sown in planters at Ewert House, such as lettuce, kale and parsley.  

As part of the University’s drive to reduce energy costs, posters to remind staff to switch off lights and unused equipment were put up around the building. Recycling and food waste bins were also made available in staff offices. 

Mark Bedford, Conference and Facilities Manager and leader of the initiative commented, ‘Achieving this award so soon is highly motivating to both the Green Impact team and our staff. We are committed to our focus on environmental sustainability and will continue with the various projects we have started to take our contribution further.’ 

The Department will continue to increase biodiversity in Rewley House and Ewert House gardens through planned planting, wildlife habitat development and leaving some areas ‘wild’ but beautiful. Energy and waste management remain a priority across the University and the Department plans to progress long-established and new initiatives in these areas to become an exemplar to other departments. 

About Green Impact 

Green Impact is a United Nations award-winning programme that provides simple and effective ways for staff and students to improve the sustainable practices of their building, department or college. Read more about Green Impact. 

Published 5 July 2023