The University takes pride in gaining external recognition for its environmental behaviour. Below are a few examples of where initiatves and practices at the University have been externally recognised and/or rewarded.
- Carbon Trust Standard - March 2013
- North England Tourism Awards 2013 - 2 Silver Awards, one in the Business Tourism category and one in the Sustainable Tourism category. The Botanic Garden received a Highly Commended Award in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category
- Altogether Greener 2012 - 2 Built Environment Awards and commendations in the Climate Change and Greener Business categories.
- Altogether Greener - October 2011 - Green Move Out Scheme received an Award
- Spring 2011 - Durham University including the Colleges was awarded Green Check status from Groundwork
- Fairtrade accredited University
- Green Gown Award 2010 - Sustainable Procurement category
- EcoCampus - Silver 2010
- 21st Durham County Environment Awards 2010 - Green Move Out scheme received a Commendation
- Green Tourism Business Scheme: Gold Award: Collingwood College (2012), Hatfield College (2012), John Snow College (2012), Josephine Butler College (2010), Oriental Museum (2012), University College (2012), Ustinov College (2012); Silver Award: Botanic Garden (2012), St. Chad's College (2012), St. Mary's College (2012), Trevelyan College (2010), Yum Catering (2010), St Aidan's College (2010), St Hild and Bede College (2012), Van Mildert College (2010), Business School (2010); Bronze Award: Grey College (2010)
- Times Higher Education 2009 - Shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development: Energy Champion Scheme
- Chronicle Go Green Awards 2008 - Environmental Business of the Year
- Green Gown Award 2008 - Best Student Initiative: Sustainable Living Action Group