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    Harper in the running for more national awards

    Posted 27 May 2009

    Harper Adams University College is in line for two more national awards, thanks to its environmentally friendly efforts.

    The Shropshire Higher Education institution, specialising in rural and land-based subjects, is through to the finals of the Green Gown Awards, which recognise exceptional initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK to become more sustainable.

    And the Harper Adams Catering Department will join big names at the 2009 Catey Awards, which cast a spotlight on the hospitality industry’s high flyers, strongest performers and hottest brands. If Harper wins, it will join the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, Raymond Blanc, Jamie Oliver and Gary Rhodes, who have all previously received Catey honours.

    The Green Gown nomination, in the Colleges and Smaller Institutions Category, is for a project entitled “What makes students switch off? Understanding and influencing attitudes, behaviour and practice in campus energy use”.

    Explaining the nomination, Dr David Llewellyn, Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “The project was undertaken by our Estates Manager, Paul Moran, for his MBA thesis, for which he was awarded a distinction. Far from simply raising awareness, he undertook research, yielding evidence to support the University College’s energy strategy, shedding light on student attitudes and providing ideas to educate the students, which can be replicated within other institutions, with a view to reducing power consumption across the entire sector.”

    Mr Moran said: “I am honoured that the college nominated my project for this award, and delighted to have made it through to the second stage. Harper Adams has put a great deal of effort into carbon footprint reduction, and is now working on projects that should allow us to go far beyond off-setting our emissions.

    “Awards schemes such as Green Gown give us a most welcome opportunity to not only show gratitude to everyone who has supported us in our efforts, but also to share what we have learned with other businesses and organisations.”

    Now in their fifth year, the Green Gown Awards are administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), the sector champion for environment and sustainability and governed by a cross agency steering group of sector support agencies.
    The Awards are managed via a two stage process and the winners are announced at a prestigious gala banquet at Imperial College London on June 23. For more information please view the Green Gown Awards website

    For the Cateys, Harper Adams is a finalist in the Sustainable Business Award category, which will recognise the hospitality operation that has taken the most innovative steps to neutralise its impact on the environment in the past 12 months.

    Dr Llewellyn added: “Harper Adams as a whole takes a pro-active approach to carbon reduction, and the Catering Department is no exception, taking a back-to-basics approach when developing sustainable initiatives.”

    These include: reduction in food miles to metres, by sourcing more produce from the college farm and local suppliers; recycling more than 70 per cent of kitchen waste – with materials for recycling collected by electric vehicles, switching to Fairtrade for all products than cannot be produced in the UK, and serving water from freshwater boreholes on campus.

    General Catering Manager David Nuttall added: “It is an exceptional honour to have been nominated for a Catey. Just to be at the awards ceremony, alongside many of the industry’s A-listers, will be a great privilege, although it would be a fitting tribute to my hard-working team if we were to win!

    “Staff and customers alike have shown how serious they are about supporting the University College’s commitment to sustainable development.”

    Catey Award recipients are nominated, selected and rewarded by their industry peers. The winners will be announced the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on July 7. For more information visit

    Related honours for Harper Adams:
    2009: Finalist in the Cost Sector Catering Awards (University/College Award)
    2008: Winner, Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development
    2007: Winner: Big Tick (Man Group International Climate Change Award 2007)
    2006: Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme/Carbon Trust Award)

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