The Environmental Sustainability Award
Launched in Autumn 2015, the University’s new ‘Environmental Sustainability Award’ aims to promote sustainability in the curriculum by embedding it into the working practice and dissertation projects of students at the University of Brighton.
The Award is supported by the University of Brighton Environment Team in cooperation with the School of Environment and Technology, the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, the School of Art Design and Media and the Green Growth Platform. It is awarded twice in the academic year, at the Summer and Winter Graduation Ceremonies.
The criteria for the Environmental Sustainability Award are not strictly related to academic excellence. The Award seeks to recognise bright and innovative ideas that aim to increase environmental sustainability in a range of fields. There is a £200 cash prize for the winner, who is also presented with a certificate at their Graduation ceremony.
At the Winter Graduation ceremony in February 2016, a campaign to combat elephant poaching and the ivory trade won the university’s first ever Environmental Sustainability Award. Holly Budge, MA Sustainable Design, School of Art Design and Media, collected the award at Winter Graduation at the Brighton Dome (11 February).
Her ’96 Elephants A Day’ campaign – 96 being the current daily poaching rate in Africa – calls on people to sign a petition to end the ivory trade and highlights the devastating impact of the trade. Holly uses vegetable ivory, a sustainable palm nut from the Amazon Rainforest, to make alternative jewellery and to raise awareness of this crisis. The campaign will be showcased in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong later this year.
She said: “I am delighted to win the Environmental Sustainability Award. Part of the originality of my campaign is in avoiding gruesome and shocking imagery to portray the facts. It is not about scaring people, it’s about sharing the enormity of the elephant poaching crisis. It’s about presenting the facts to raise awareness and make a positive change. This award plays an important role in helping my campaign to reach out to a bigger audience. The African elephant is facing the greatest crisis in decades. Now is the time to take action!”
The winner of the Summer 2016 Award will be announced following the Summer graduation ceremony.