AUDE Award Win for the Net Zero Carbon Supplier Tool

We celebrated an award win for one of our projects last week, taking the Gold AUDE Award for Sustainability Impact.

We celebrated an award win for one of our projects last week, taking the Gold AUDE Award for Sustainability Impact. Obviously, it is always nice to win an award (nobody is cynical about awards when they take one home!) but this one felt important for a few reasons.

Firstly, because it is such a collaborative project. We have been working with a brilliant team at Nottingham Trent University who have taken a strong and effective lead. In a matter of weeks, they had persuaded 31 other universities to get deeply involved in testing an approach to improving the measurement of carbon through their supply chains.

Working collaboratively is hard. It is often critical when we are tackling complex challenges, but it is also tricky, with different approaches and priorities coming into play. We like working collaboratively, it is worth the effort if there is opportunity to avoid replication and to scale an approach. Our project is trying to make it easier for university procurement teams to support their suppliers to understand and reduce their carbon emissions, many suppliers provide goods and services for several universities, so consistency is important.

Secondly, because it recognised the importance of innovation in sustainability. The AUDE judges commented that the challenges we are tackling are all too often placed in the ‘too difficult’ box. We like working on things others place in the ‘too difficult,’ we have probably always worked there (it is the place where meaningful change happens) but it is nice to get some recognition for it.

Innovation sounds like something that happens in a laboratory or needs to involve some kind of widget, but it is often just making it easy for people to do things a little differently. In our case, we have been trying help both procurement teams and their suppliers do something that currently feels hard, to understand their carbon impacts.

And lastly, that word Impact in the award heading, feels important. As so often with innovative projects, we are not there yet, there is no simple solution, no silver bullet, but we are in that ‘too difficult’ space trying to work it out, trying to improve things. The word impact tells us we are making a difference, and it is great to get some recognition for that.

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