A CHELMSFORD university has made the shortlist as one of the most sustainable institutions in Britain.

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a finalist in the 2021 Green Gown Awards, which celebrate the best sustainability initiatives taking place at universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland.

The uni is shortlisted in both the Sustainability Institution of the Year category and the Next Generation Learning and Skills category.

The first nomination recognises the university's focus on sustainability across the facility with ARU’s Sustainability Strategy including a number of challenging key performance indicators.

The university has committed to becoming net zero, without offsetting, by 2045.

The Global Sustainability Institute was launched by ARU in 2011 to lead on sustainability research across the university and it runs a Msc in sustainability in conjunction with the Eden Project.

A new cross-university research theme on Sustainable Futures has started this year, while the Education for Sustainability team help academics embed sustainability into every course.

ARU's nomination in the Next Generation Learning and Skills category focuses specifically on the exciting Ruskin Modules initiative, which will see students from different degree courses work together - outside their own discipline – to find solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing society today.

Over 50 Ruskin Modules have been developed and the first 20 will be launched this September.

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James Rolfe, chief operating officer of ARU, said: “With environmental concerns and climate change now arguably the most important issue facing society today, we have worked tirelessly over recent years to ensure ARU rises to this challenge and have implemented a number of key initiatives.

“These range from making immediate reductions in ARU’s carbon footprint, such as our agreement to purchase electricity directly from onshore wind farms, to ensuring our students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to help them shape a more sustainable society when they graduate.

"We are pleased this work has been recognised as being amongst the best in the Higher Education sector.”

The Green Gown Awards are organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

Iain Patton, CEO of the EAUC, said: "It is clear from the number and quality of applications, that sustainability and the now irreversible sustainability movement is not only resilient but profoundly energised, opportunistic and dynamic.

"UK and Irish universities and colleges have turned Covid-19 challenges into opportunities and ensured that every change is a change for sustainability.

"A reset of our economic and social foundations is happening and the Green Gown Awards are all the more important to inspire and scale change for sustainability. Congratulations to all our finalists.”

Winner of the awards will be announced at the ceremony in November.

Anglia Ruskin has campuses in Chelmsford and in Cambridge.