Winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Environmental Sustainability Awards 2022 announced

The Vice-Chancellor's Environmental Sustainability Awards ceremony took place on 13 July 2022 at The Sheldonian Theatre, recognising and honouring the outstanding achievements of those who are contributing toward the University’s strategic environmental goals. 

Now in its seventh year, the awards ceremony has built a reputation for showcasing the diverse and innovative ways staff and students are promoting environmental responsibility. With nominations from across the colligate University, the awards highlighted initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, enhance biodiversity, promote sustainable food, reduce waste and consume resources responsibly. 

Around 150 people attended the awards to celebrate the achievements of all those nominated. As well as recognising individual and project winners, many local teams in colleges and departments were awarded for improving their sustainability in the Engagement Awards. They also saw their accreditation levels rise in the national Green Impact Awards and the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) Awards. 

The event comes at a time when the University is committed to achieving net zero carbon and biodiversity net gain by 2035. Working towards these goals, in the past year the University has adopted targets for waste reduction, recycling and international travel reduction. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said: I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and that of my colleagues for the talent and commitment of all those involved in our work to promote environmental sustainability. With each passing year the evidence of the negative effects of environmental crisis mounts inexorably. Across the University many individuals are leading the way. The Environmental Sustainability Awards give us an opportunity to recognize and to celebrate some of the work of our colleagues and students to minimise our negative impact on the environment and promote positive change. We hope that they will also inspire others to become involved in working together to address the greatest challenge of our time. 

Harriet Waters, Head of Environmental Sustainability, said: “Nearly one hundred LEAF and Green Impact teams worked this year, with hundreds of students and staff members from all across the University and colleges. These colleagues are part of the growing movement in the University, dedicated to doing the right thing and, in many ways, leading the way for environmental sustainability.” 

Dr Saroj Saurya, from the Dunn School of Pathology who won the LEAF Champion Award, said: “Thank you so much for the various awards (for the Dunn School labs and Green group). We are all chuffed and energized. The recognition at the VC award ceremony has given us more encouragement to work and live in an environmentally sustainable way. I very much appreciate the hard work of everyone (however small they may think) in making the world a better place for our future generations to come. You are playing an important part as the University of Oxford is a leading university and the entire world looks upon us. We can make a great difference if we all work together as a team.”

You can find out more about all of the winners and nominations in the Vice-Chancellor’s Environmental Sustainability Awards 2022 brochure.

The Environmental Sustainability team runs a diverse range of engagement and training activities throughout the year, as well as campaigns and events designed to educate and inspire staff and students on all aspects of sustainability. The Sustainability website offers a lot of information about engagement opportunities, campaigns, interesting initiatives and more. You can also sign up to the monthly newsletter. For further information, email the Environmental Sustainability team: