Overview

The “Green Your University” award recognizes creative and innovative student projects that contribute to improving sustainable development on university campuses.

Through this award, we seek to:

  • Engage students and encourage them to become actors of sustainability in their universities;

  • Inspire students by showing them what can be achieved and how successful projects can be developed;

  • Share best practices and knowledge between students and other university members.

The best project will be rewarded: the members of the winning team will all receive an interrail pass, a train ticket that makes it possible to visit any of 30 European countries for 10 days within one month! Each year, they will also be invited to present their project during the UNICA GREEN Workshop. The next Workshop will be held in Lausanne in March 2019. Finally, they will get the opportunity to visit one of the universities of the UNICA GREEN core group to discover what the university has achieved in terms of sustainability.

The submitted projects will be used to create a database of best practices of green students’ projects around Europe.

Application opens on October 1, 2018. Deadline to apply is December 15, 2018.

Application guidelines

1. Scope

  • Projects must contribute to improving sustainable development on university campuses.
  • In the context of this award, sustainable development must be understood as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet.” (Source: United Nations)
  • Potential projects include but are not limited to: improving campus operations (e.g. waste reduction), encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle on campus, raising community awareness, etc.

2. Eligibility

Projects

  • By the deadline of the call, projects can be: (1) already completed, (2) running or (3) in their launching phase, under the following condition: students must have at least completed the initial stages of project implementation. Students can prove the completion of said primary stages by validation from a representative of the university or faculty (such as the rector, vice-president, dean, head of faculty, etc.)
  • Projects must be feasible by the students with the support of the university. We highly encourage partnerships with staff, faculty members and Green Offices. Any help from external partners is also welcome.
  • Project must coincide with the laws and regulations of the students’ university and country in which the project is carried out. Any project that fails to follow these requirements will not be eligible for the competition.

Participants

  • Only students validly enrolled in a member university of UNICA (Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe) are eligible to apply.
  • Individuals or teams can apply. Teams may have up to 5 members. Teams must designate one main contact.
  • A single university can submit multiple projects if said projects are submitted by different participants.

3. Timeline and application form

Launch of the application process

The application process opens on October 1, 2018.

Before applying, we encourage students to seek advice and submit their project ideas to their local Green Office or professors.

Application

All projects must be submitted online by December 15, 2019.

To be submitted :

  • The online application form. The template to prepare your application can be found at the bottom of this page.

  • If the project has not been implemented yet : the letter of support signed by a local a representative of the university or faculty (such as the rector, vice-president, dean, head of faculty, etc.). The template can be found at the bottom of this page.

  • Visual references such as graphs, photographs and videos are not compulsory but highly recommended.

Evaluation process

  • All applications will be reviewed for completeness, eligibility and adherence to the application guidelines.

  • A jury will then assess the projects according to the selection criteria (please see below).

  • The jury may ask participants to provide additional information.

  • After jury deliberation, the three best projects and a grand winner will be selected.

Announcement of the winner

The three best projects and the grand winner will be announced on this webpage and other “Green Your University” award media platforms. Notifications will also be sent to all participants.

4. Jury

The jury will consist of sustainability officers belonging to the UNICA GREEN core group, and of representative of the students. Members of the jury will not assess applications from their own universities.

The jury for 2018-2019 includes:

Sustainability officers:

  • Alexandra Demoustiez, Université libre de Bruxelles

  • Delphine Douçot, Université de Lausanne

  • Rebecca Lefevere, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Students:

  • Stella Balikci, University of Amsterdam

  • Leonardo Cangelmi, Sapiensa University

  • Maxime Lambert, Université libre de Bruxelles

  • Julia Wildi, Université de Lausanne

5. Selection criteria

  • Impact: contribution to sustainable development and relevance
  • Creativity and innovation: originality and novelty of the approach
  • Institutional anchoring : collaboration with university staff and faculty members
  • Long term vision: ability to last in the long term
  • Efficiency: relationship between resources needed and achieved/expected results
  • Bonus - Collaboration: collaboration with external stakeholders (schools, higher education institutions, civil society, the private and/or public sector, etc.)

6. Award

The first prize is an interrail pass (value: 305€) for each member of the winning team.

They will also be invited to present their project (in person or virtually) during the next UNICA GREEN Workshop, which will be held at UNIL, in Lausanne from 6-8 March 2019. The costs of the trip and the stay will be covered.

During their trip around Europe, they will also be invited to visit one of the universities of the UNICA GREEN core group to discover what the university has achieved in terms of sustainability.

Other projects will be featured in a database to serve as inspiration for other students.

7. Requirements

Participants accept that their project will be featured on “Green Your University” award linked-media platforms to serve as source of inspiration for future editions.

At least one member of the winning team must be available to present the project during the UNICA GREEN Workshop.

8. Questions

Feel free to contact us at green-award@unica-network.eu if you have any questions.

Organizers

The four organizers, Maxime Lambert (ULB), Stella Balikci (University of Amsterdam), Julia Wildi (UNIL) and Leonardo Cangelmi (Sapienza University of Rome) are all students and met at the 2017 UNICA Student Conference held in Rome.

We were part of the “Greener Universities” Forum, who was given the task to come up with student centred solutions around sustainability on campuses. During our discussions, the general consensus was that while an interest concerning the environment and a will to act in an environmentally friendly way exist, many students are unaware of how to actually take action. It was also rapidly apparent that each university had different problems to tackle, and coming up with one project that would fit all was a challenge.

In order to respond to the students’ willingness to help in a way that is adapted to each university’s specific problems, our idea was to provide an informational platform where students could display initiatives and projects that they had undertaken. It would give other students that are looking for inspiration the structure and know-how needed to implement similar projects on their own campuses. To motivate the students to take action, we proposed a competition to set up the projects that would be included in this database.

Thanks to the support of UNICA, UNIL and ULB, who provided us with the funding necessary to create this competition, we hope that we will motivate other students like us to come up with their own projects that will contribute to life on campuses all over Europe becoming more sustainable.

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