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In this second blog post in our series previewing some of the lucky recipients of the Guardian University Awards, we’re looking at the impressive Eat Your Campus project, put together by Loughborough University.

Although winning first place in the sustainability category, we think that this campaign is also a great example of a project that is both student focused, but taps into Corporate Responsibility and uses a range of marketing and PR tactics to boot – it must be a campaign team after our own hearts here at Elephant HQ! Oh, and it’s all about food (free food) we love food at Elephant Creative, shame cakes don’t grow on trees.

The Eat Your Campus project, which began in May 2012 as an extension of the university’s existing Fruit Routes initiative, had the aim of making more productive use of the campus’s green spaces as a food resource. They realised that the Fruit Routes project, which encouraged the planning of fruiting trees along footpaths at the campus, has resulted in an abundance of produce, which needed to be harvested.

And so Eat Your Campus was born – a collaboration between the university, Loughborough Students’ Union landscaping and gardening society and the local community.

In just over 18 months, Eat Your Campus had transformed parts of the campus into an edible landscape from which food was harvested and where students, lecturers, local families, food projects and regional artists both organise and participate in activities that reinforce our relationship with the land.

The team used events as their main marketing tool; including tree planting sessions, harvesting events, apple pressings, seed exchanges and skill-sharing workshops. It is supplemented by periodic arts events that reinforce the sustainability and food foraging themes.

On top of this the group runs an online blog Fruit Routes Loughborough keeping everyone up to date with harvests, events and workshops.

This is all about students helping other students to live and eat sustainably. But for the university itself this is a great exercise in Corporate Responsibility in many way, being truly environmentally friendly. Plus in terms of ‘branding’ and the perceived ethos of the university, this project just screams ‘we care about our students; we care about their environment; we are a part of the local community’. What a wonderful and inspiring project from Loughborough University.