Thursday, 17 June 2010

Green Gowns

Last night I had the honour of attending the Green Gown Awards at the Globe Theatre. UCISA had sponsored one of the awards so we were there to present it.

The awards recognise excellence in sustainability within the higher and further education sector and were founded by the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI) project, and are now administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC). The compere for the night was Mark Watson, comedian and environmental campaigner, and I felt for him as he coped with many, many acronyms.

UCISA sponsored the Green ICT award in recognition of the growing environmental importance of ICT within the sector. Each category had a Highly Commended and a Winner - but in this case they'd printed them the wrong way round on the card in the gold envelope which I had to open and read out! I therefore announced who was Highly Commended, to much muttering and shaking of heads from behind me - everyone of course assuming I'd read it wrong! Much embarrasment when their mistake was realised, and another nominee read out. Didn't take a lot for the audience to then work out who'd won!

Warrington College were Highly Commended for a variety of initiatives following the redevelopment of their campus. For example they reduced the flow of power to their building from 230 to 220 volts and saved a small fortune. They've also carried out a programme of server virtualisation, greener printing, ICT recycling and powersave.

The winners of the award were the University of Liverpool for their development of a system to power-off idle student computers when no-one is logged on. Called Powerdown, it has resulted in a reduction of more than million hours of needless uptime per month. Liverpool have made it freely available to other organisations to help them reduce their carbon footprint. The picture is of John Cartwright, IT Director from Liverpool University, Mark Watson and some glamorous presenter.

An excellent evening and some great initiatives rewarded in the sector. Mark Watson was lovely, and the venue was amazing. It was as sustainable as possible with ethically and locally sourced food, only organic candles as decoration and as much as possible recycled afterwards.

I suppose the only question for me is, why didn't we enter? Maybe next year.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Interesting to note that we have already have a process for powering off student PCs and that one of our main buildings had it's voltage dropped to 220 recently.