University of Hertfordshire wins award for sustainability excellence

7 November 2011: The University of Hertfordshire has won a prestigious Green Gown Award 2011 for its pioneering data centre refurbishment project. This outstanding achievement was announced on 3 November at the national awards ceremony held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

Run by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), the Green Gown Awards (GGA) recognise exceptional environmental initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sector across the UK. With 240 applications this year, a rise of 25% from 2010, GGA are firmly established as prestigious recognition of sustainability excellence in the further and higher education sectors.

The GGA covers 13 awards categories and the University has won the coveted Green ICT category. This recognises the growing environmental importance of ICT within the sector; it encompasses a variety of actions that help minimise energy consumption, carbon emissions, waste generation and other environmental impacts associated with ICT use.

After months of scrutiny the judges said the UH entry gave “Impressive examples of best-practice features which could easily be adapted by others.” At the Awards Ceremony a delighted Steve Bowes-Phipps, UH Data Centre Manager, was presented with the impressive GGA trophy which will be proudly displayed in the College Lane Learning Resources Centre.

Steve said: “Once again, the Data Centre Refurbishment project has been recognised as a beacon of good practice both in the industry and in the HE/FE sector.” He praised his project team colleagues from across the University saying the award was fully deserved: “This has been an important 3-year development for the University which has delivered not only a world-class green data centre but also an operationally efficient one.”

Visit the Green Gown Awards website

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About Steve Bowes-Phipps

Over 20 years of operational systems management experience, specifically managing data centres since 1996. After a stint managing data centres and IT operations in the UK and Ireland, joined ambitious web hosting company GlobalCenter who were expanding from the US into Europe. Sitting on the senior management team, oversaw the building of five data centres in London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris until Exodus Internet bought the company in 2001. There, moved into a more strategic role, dealing with blue chip customer issues and relationship management, process improvement and building a culture of continuous improvement. Spent four years in Visa Europe managing strategically important projects and processes. In 2007, joined his Alma Mater, Hertfordshire University, to become their head of Data Centres and has been working with the UK’s Higher and Further Education IT funding arm, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) ever since, to assist in embedding Green ICT in UK HE and FE institutions, and more recently across the EU as well. In 2010, the University of Hertfordshire became the first European university to comply with the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres, and was recognised in the European Datacentre Leaders Awards 2010 Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Awards (GEIT) 2011 and the EAUC Green Gown Awards 2011. In addition, Steve has lead the University to win three internationally-acclaimed awards.