Bournemouth University won the THE DataPoints Merit Award trophy at the 17th annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2021, and a received a commendation for research.
The THE DataPoints Merit Award was judged based on performance in the THE’s Impact Rankings to assess which UK universities were scoring highest for their own actions to help achieve net zero carbon, and universities performance against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).
BU was ranked 74th in the THE Impact Rankings 2021, placing BU 19th in the UK among the ranked universities. BU was also ranked 8th for SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 15th for SDG 13 (climate action).
Speaking about the THE DataPoints Merit Award, the THE said, ‘We concentrated on the four Sustainable Development Goals with Impact metrics that can be linked to institutional efforts on climate change and the environment: SDG 7 (access to affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and, most relevantly, SDG 13 (climate action).
‘By assessing universities’ own actions on areas such as energy efficiency and sustainability, environmental education and net zero carbon commitments, we were able to single out some of those going the extra mile on the issue, especially beyond their research capabilities, which are arguably well established as the sector’s key contribution.’
‘Bournemouth University emerged with the highest mark on the criteria used. The south-coast institution, which achieved an Impact Ranking of 15th in the world for SDG 13, performed strongly across the metrics, but particularly in relation to environmental education, net zero commitments and low-carbon energy use.’
Jim Andrews, Chief Operating Officer at Bournemouth University, said, “This award win is a testament to all the hard work across the university in embedding and helping to achieve our sustainability goals, and for it to be a constant drive through all activity. My special thanks go to BU’s Sustainability Team for leading this work, this is an award the whole university should be proud of.”
Lois Betts, Sustainability Manager at BU, was there on the night to collect the award. She said, "We are so pleased that BU was judged as scoring the highest in our environmental education, net zero commitments and low carbon energy use. It was brilliant to be recognised among a very strong shortlist. As a university sector it’s vital that we address our own impacts as well as contributing research to address the climate and ecological crisis."
In addition to the THE DataPoints Merit Award, another BU project was highly commended on the night. The Suicide Reporting Toolkit, a collaborative project between BU and the University of Strathclyde and co-created by BU’s Dr Ann Luce, was nominated for the Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences category, and received commendation from the judges for its impact.
Dr Luce said, "We're absolutely thrilled our Suicide Reporting Toolkit was 'Highly Commended' in the Research Project of the Year for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the Times Higher Education Awards. We know that irresponsible media reporting of suicide can cause harm to those that have been bereaved by suicide and those who are at risk of suicide. We built our toolkit to help journalists, journalism students and journalism educators, the world over, to cover suicide more responsibly and ethically. It's so wonderful to see that the importance of our work has been recognised by the THE judges. We'd like to thank our universities for supporting us, and would also like to thank those with lived experience who were so brave in sharing their stories with us."
Jim Andrews continued, “We are also incredibly proud of Ann Luce on her hard work and knowledge in creating a tool on such an important issue, her knowledge has been key in creating a suicide prevention strategy for universities in Dorset too. I am proud to be working with such a committed and inspiring colleague.”
THE editor, John Gill, said, “The Times Higher Education Awards have been recognising outstanding achievements in UK higher education for the best part of two decades, but never before have they shone a light on the level of effort and creativity that was demanded of universities throughout the 2019-20 academic year.
“2019-20 was not just a year of pandemic disruption, it was also a year in which incredible achievements were made in all the areas you would hope and expect: world-changing research, brilliant learning and teaching, international and industrial engagement, and the full gamut of activities that run through universities like words through a stick of rock.”
The full list of this year’s winners and profiles of all the winning entries can be viewed on the THE website. For more information about BU’s commitment to sustainability, visit the sustainability pages of the BU website.