Single Out #2023PlasticFree

The University of Leeds and Leeds University Union have together pledged to become single-use plastic-free by 2023.

The campaign, Single Out: 2023PlasticFree commits the University and Union to phase out single-use plastic across the board, not just in catering and office spaces.

The five-year campaign will involve mapping plastic use across the University and Union, and then identifying action plans for more challenging areas. It will also include working with partners and supply chains to phase out the amount of plastic products and packaging coming onto campus. Explore more about our pledge on the tabs below.

Support the #2023plasticfree pledge on Twitter @UoL_Sus, Instagram @uol_sus or email ideas to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk

 

“We are proud to be at the forefront of efforts to reduce plastic waste and our pledge sends a very clear message about our ambition to be single-use plastic free within the next five years. This new drive will also have a series of targets to reduce the use of all kinds of plastic, improve recycling capabilities and build on our ground-breaking research to tackle this important global challenge.” Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor

“This is a huge commitment and a big challenge for us, but we are determined to play our part by acting together to reduce our plastic footprint. We’ve already made so much progress, with strong recycling rates and catering initiatives such as our reusable cups becoming an integral part of our operations. We hope this pledge inspires all staff and students to take up the challenge of collectively reducing our use of throwaway plastics, across campus and beyond.” Dr Louise Ellis, Director of Sustainability at the University

“As a Union, we are delighted to announce this joint pledge to be single-use plastic-free by 2023. Students have often been ahead of the national agenda, with freshers’ week plastic bag free and ensuring we have biodegradable alternatives in the Union – this pledge is another step where the University community can lead the way. We are looking forward to working in partnership with the University to make sure we all have a positive impact on this future-defining issue for the planet.” Chris Morris, Union Affairs Officer at Leeds University Union

“The shift in public opinion about the use of plastics has been phenomenal, but organisations of all shapes and sizes need to champion change. I think this commitment will inspire lots of people to think about how the University – as an institution that leads the way on sustainability – can make a difference. As a leading research university, we also have an important role in developing expertise. From working on alternatives to plastics and helping improve waste management, we’ll be supporting the difficult challenges ahead to ensure plastics don’t end up in the natural environment.” Professor Dame Jane Francis, University Chancellor and Director of the British Antarctic Survey 

Roger Stevens Pond Development

Over the last few weeks, you may have noticed changes to the Roger Stevens Pond. The development was part of a multidisciplinary, collaborative project supported by the University’s Living Lab. The University’s Sustainability Services Team worked with Estates Services, School of Biological Sciences, School of Geography and the School of Civil Engineering to transform the cooling pond into a promoter for biodiversity and scientific research. We are also installing water quality monitoring equipment at the pond at the Brownlee Centre to extend the scope and potential for the project. There is a hope that once the neutrality of the water is in balance we will introduce fish to the pond. Don’t worry about the ducks – they have flown south for the winter and we await their return to their new home!

This project came about due to the operational need to improve the pond, to reduce operational costs and to increase biodiversity value. There are further benefits to come from this development scheme; enhancing biodiversity and research opportunities. The pond will be monitored throughout the year by PhD student, Dan Warren, from the School of Biology. The sensors installed by Sustainability Services and the School of Geography will provide data for research across a number of Schools and Faculties. By working in collaboration with Estates and Sustainability, anybody can use the pond as a living lab for their research. This might be dissertations, assessed projects or even fieldwork modules.

The Leeds Living Lab is a programme coordinated by the Sustainability Services and drives the University’s commitment to embedding sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation. The Living Lab has already brought together over 140 operational and academic staff and students to identify and deliver sustainable solutions through research and innovation, using the University campus as a test bed. This allows us to create real world solutions on a campus or city-wide scale. In the last year interdisciplinary teams from across the University have developed nine collaborative projects and created ten individual student project and dissertation partnerships. We encourage staff and students to make the most of our campus and consider how their research or studies might benefit from using the campus as a test bed.

 

Go Higher West Yorkshire – St Agnes Parents Group

Sometimes it is as simple as a conversation, with the right person, that sparks an idea and starts to build a strong relationship. In June 2017 the Outreach Officer for Leeds College of Building and the Area Manager for Leeds Go Higher West Yorkshire met with the Reverend of St Agnes church, Burmantofts, Leeds.

Since that date, and with the additional support of the Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) officers from Leeds City College, Kirklees College and the University of Leeds, a parents group has formed. Workshops are delivered to around 30 parents and carers each time (and sometimes young people too)! The workshops are tailored to the groups’ needs and vary in topics including apprenticeships, futures in health, what are the different routes and options in Higher Education. All workshops involve the opportunity to meet current students, and students that reflect the young people from Burmantofts.

Go Higher West Yorkshire are led by the University of Leeds and host to the GHWY central team. GHWY are formally recognised by Office for Students as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for all 11-18 schools in West Yorkshire, as well as primary schools and businesses.

Find out more about projects that the University of Leeds is involved in by signing up to our bi-monthly community newsletter at sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/sign-up-to-our-e-newsletter  

Are your noisy neighbours keeping you awake at night?

If you home life or studies are being affected by a noisy neighbour, help is at hand to get you a good night’s sleep.  The University is working with Leeds City Council’s Antisocial Behaviour Team and the other universities and colleges in the City to minimise noise nuisance in local communities. Whether the noise is a one-off, a regular occurrence, during the day or an evening, you can receive help by reporting the nuisance to the services detailed below. For practical tips on parties to avoid causing any problems for your neighbours and enforcement action, take a look at our Students in Communities webpages. 

Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team

Statutory noise nuisance is investigated by Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team.  They can be contacted through the following.

Noise that happens during the day:
Complete the online form or call the team on 0113 222 4402, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Noise that happens at night or at weekends/bank holidays:
The Council operates a night-time response service in partnership with West Yorkshire Police. If the problem is noise outside of office hours, please ring 0113 376 0337. This is available from 6pm to 3:30am. Noise at night-time should only be reported when the noise is occurring. The service availability is subject to demand and although they may not be able to stop the noise for you, they may provide further evidence to back up your allegations.

Universities and Colleges Neighbourhood Helpline

The Helpline is a 24-hour dedicated voicemail and email service operated by the University of Leeds in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University College, Leeds City College and Leeds College of Music.   The Helpline is a service for all members of the local community to help resolve any neighbourhood problems involving our students and to build better relationships between neighbours.

Get in touch with us if your are experiencing any problem with your student neighbours. We can work with you and prevent this from becoming a recurring issueContact Us: by telephone (24hr voicemail service): 0113 343 1064, by Email:  neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk , or complete our online form.

 

Living Lab Project Call: Single-use plastics at the University of Leeds

Following the University’s recent pledge to become single-use plastic free and the launch of the #2023PlasticFree campaign, Leeds Living Lab has funding available to support research and innovation projects that seek solutions and alternatives to single-use plastics across the University of Leeds (UoL) and Leeds University Union (LUU). Applications are open until Friday 1st February 2019.

UoL and LUU have together pledged to become single-use plastic free by 2023, with catering and office spaces achieving the target by 2020 and additional years to address more challenging areas such as laboratory equipment.

Collaboration and the use of the University as a test-bed are at the heart of the Leeds Living Lab and these funds will be used to provide match funding and seedcorn funding in support of projects which seek solutions to single-use plastics across the University through academic and non-academic partnerships.

Applications will be assessed by members of the Sustainability Steering Group based on the following criteria:

  1. Fit to the principles of the Leeds Living Lab
  2. Alignment with the University’s Sustainability Strategy
  3. Potential to support the University’s single-use plastic pledge
  4. Quality of potential outputs and impacts

We welcome applications led by University of Leeds academics, students (including UG, PG and PhD), research staff (including postdoctoral researchers), and professional and managerial staff across all Schools and Services of the University, and particularly those that develop new interdisciplinary collaborations. Students must have the permission of their supervisor to make the application.

Funding is split into the following two categories:

 

  1. Collaborative research project seedcorn or match funding

Funding is available for research and/or trials of innovative solutions and alternatives to single-use plastics across the University of Leeds. This might include but is not limited to development of new materials, assessment and analysis of current practices, behavioral studies, and tests or trials of innovative solutions.

Funding requested must not exceed £2000 and cannot be used to pay overheads.

Please complete the application form at http://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/the-living-lab/ and return by email to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk before midnight on Friday 1st February 2019.

 

  1. Student curricular project grants (i.e. a dissertation or assessed project as part of an UG/PG module)

Funding is available to support student projects focused on solutions and alternatives to single-use plastics across the University of Leeds. This might include but is not limited dissertations or assessed work on the development of new materials, assessment and analysis of current practices, behavioral studies, and tests or trials of innovative solutions.

Funding requested must not exceed £500 and students must ensure that they have the permission of their supervisor before applying.

Please complete the application form at http://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/the-living-lab/ and return by email to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk before midnight on Friday 1st February 2019.

All enquiries should be directed to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk

 

 

School Governor Programme

At the University of Leeds, we recognise the value of staff and alumni becoming school governors and the positive impact this on children, communities and the University. We also have a clear strategic commitment to widening participation and to positively contribute to making Leeds the great City it is. 

As part of our commitments, we are working in collaboration with the charity Governors for Schools to increase the number of staff and alumni serving as School Governors in schools across Leeds and West Yorkshire.  Our programme has been developed to provide support to both existing and prospective school governors. As well as helping staff and alumni interested in school governance to find vacancies, we offer support and networking opportunities to everyone involved in our programme.

If you…

  • Have an interest in influencing and making a difference to children’s education and give children the best possible opportunities in life.
  • Have the ability to work collaboratively to meet a school’s aims and objectives.
  • Want to put your skills and experience to good use and offer schools on outsider’s perspective.
  • Have an interest in gaining new insights into the education system.
  • Would like to develop new skills and experience to enhance your own professional development.
  • Would like to act as an ambassador for the University’s work with local schools.

School governance is a great opportunity for you! 

Read our blog to find out what governance means to each volunteer and why we are calling on more staff and alumni to become a school Governor.

Download our School Governors Briefing for information on the School Governor role, the benefits and what you can expect from the role.  (PDF)

Local Schools Need Your Skills

Become a School Governor

Staff and Alumni interested in becoming School Governors can register with our charity partner Governors for Schools here. [1] Someone from the charity will be in touch about next steps with being matched with a school. [1] Please note, that Governors for Schools is a registered charity and operates independently from the University of Leeds. Your progress and any school placement details will be collected and monitored by the University. 

The University of Leeds School Governors Network

Any staff and alumni interested in becoming a school governor or are already working with schools can register to be involved with our School Governor Network.  Members benefit from our programme of support. Networking opportunities include a Jiscmail group and networking events through the year to facilitate the exchange of experiences, share best practice and provide support to staff and alumni in their roles.  Register your involvement by completing a short questionnaire, here http://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/university-of-leeds-school-governors-network-registration/

Past Events

How to get involved with School Governance- Free Webinar

December 18 @ 11.30-12.30pm

We believe the key to improving school performance is effective governance. By finding, nurturing and supporting a committed network of governors we help to drive systematic change in how schools operate.

Find out how you can get involved and what the benefits are to you and the community in a free webinar hosted by Governors for Schools. Governors for Schools exists to improve educational standards so that children and young people have the chance to realise their full potential.

Register your place at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1239198378170933003

Effective School Governance- Free Networking Event

December 19 @ 12-1pm

Led by the Leeds Governor Support Service, this lunchtime session will explore what it takes to become an effective school governor and run an effective school board. This is also a great opportunity to meet and network with other school governors over a mince pie.

Book a place for the event here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/effective-school-governance-tickets-53295423045

Advertise Your School Governor Vacancy

If you are a School Head or Chair of Governors looking to fill a current vacancy, you can register your vacancies with our partner Governors for Schools.  They offer a bespoke matching service focused on finding the best school governors to support schools across England.  Register your vacancies through this link.

 

This initiative complements the existing staff opportunities offered through the Sustainability Strategy. See the other staff opportunities available through the Sustainability Service here. 

 

A Sustainable Leeds Curriculum

Building knowledge and capacity through our student education programme is fundamental to our teaching strategy at Leeds.  Supporting this, sustainable futures and responsibility are core to our Leeds Curriculum, which is overseen by our Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tom Ward, who also supports the University’s Annual Student Sustainability Research Conference.

In addition to the variety of sustainability degree programmes which are run here at the University of Leeds, sustainability is integrated into the wider curriculum.

The Leeds Curriculum elective programme, Creating Sustainable Futures, allows students from a wide range of disciplines to complete sustainability modules, throughout their time at Leeds.  For more information visit leedsforlife.leeds.ac.uk/Broadening/Theme/3.

Sustainability is also integrated into existing School modules, two examples of this are, Leeds University Business School Commercial and Professional Skills module and the School of Medicine RESS Special Studies Project Module.

Facilitating critical thought and creating new innovation is key to creating social societies, therefore supporting student dissertations and research projects is vital to our approach.  Each year we directly support dissertation projects in Sustainability Services, Estates Services and Commercial and Campus Support Services as well as actively encourage student dissertation ideas through our Living Lab Programme.

We work with colleagues across the University to develop teaching material and share experience of integrating sustainability into the curriculum, if you would like support in this area please contact Kelly Forster.

We celebrate and showcase the amazing work our students have completed through modules and their research at our Student Sustainability Research Conference. This conference promotes the sharing of ideas between students and staff and helps promote best practice in research and teaching.

We report our progress throughout the year to the University Executive Group via the Sustainability Steering Group, Student Education Board, and in our Annual Sustainability Report. Through this process, we assess our achievements and agree on future plans to ensure that we stay on track on our commitment to embed sustainability across the curriculum.

We support academic staff to integrate Sustainability into the curriculum. Please contact Kelly Forster for further details.

The University is pleased to offer scholarships for forced migrants to the UK. For details of the Sanctuary Scholarship visit: www.leeds.ac.uk/info/123000/international_students/598/sanctuary_scholarship.

 

 

Goodbye from this year’s Student Architects – Emma

I have been lucky enough to be one of the University’s Sustainability Architects this year. This opportunity has allowed me to gain a greater insight into the sustainability initiatives at the University, supporting projects with like-minded people, all from different backgrounds but with the same passion and desire to find sustainable solutions to the many challenges we face.

This experience has allowed me to further my knowledge within sustainability and develop valuable professional skills and experience. I found working as a close team and developing ideas together very successful. Team meetings were one of my favorite elements of the role which were always engaging and motivating (a refreshing break from studying!). One of the key things I learnt was that sustainability is a massive challenge within Universities, but I was overwhelmed to see and be involved in the efforts and the progress here at the University of Leeds.

One of my core projects throughout the year, was promoting and encouraging sustainable dissertations to students. This is an area in which I feel there is great scope within the University, and I am excited to see this develop further with some of the ideas we have been working on. One of the suggestions is to create a sustainable dissertation archive on our website. The archive would have a bank of past student’s sustainable dissertations which others could use to gain inspiration and ideas, and contacts for any further support.

The Student Conference on Sustainable Futures is also something I would promote to anyone looking for dissertation inspiration. Sustainable dissertations are something I have become very interested in over the past two years. I believe it is a great opportunity to invest a long period of time into exploring something that can significantly benefit society in some form. I chose to produce a sustainability themed dissertation based on a personal interest and a desire to contribute to sustainability regarding the future of textiles. My research has benefited me as an individual and significantly changed my process as a designer which has opened up a realm of new opportunities for me. By seeking sustainable alternatives, I have found more advanced solutions and more environmentally friendly ways of working. My passion is finding sustainable alternatives to pigments or dyes in coloring textiles, through bio-mimicry (the imitation of nature). I plan to keep researching within this area with the desire of making this a more commercial coloration process. One of the best things I have learnt and been inspired by during my role and my research is that you don’t have to study a directly sustainable degree, everyone can be sustainable and find more sustainable (and more exciting) ways of working within their discipline.

My role as an architect and working with the sustainability team really helped me develop my ideas and gain confidence in presenting my research. I had the opportunity to present my research at the Sustainable Futures Conference which was extremely successful and really built my confidence with public speaking. The conference is a great networking opportunity which I encourage everyone to get involved with.

I am privileged to have been a part of the team for the past year and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The sustainability service has an exciting future ahead and I believe it is one of the most valuable services within the University. Many thanks to everyone in the team who has encouraged, supported and inspired my sustainable journey. The experience has been a pivotal step in preparation for my career as a designer, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity.

To end on the most valuable thing I have learnt throughout the year; sustainability brings benefit not sacrifice.

– Emma

Goodbye from this year’s Student Architects – Matt

My time as a Student Sustainability Architect is coming to an end and it seems odd to be reflecting on this year as it’s flown by so quickly!

My primary responsibility for the year was to increase the integration of sustainability in dissertations – in line with the University’s concept of a ‘living lab’ and the Sustainability Strategy theme of Building Knowledge and Capacity. This materialised in the form of the ‘Building Knowledge and Capacity Student Award‘, which rewards students for their brilliant and innovative dissertations in the field of sustainability. I’m thrilled to have been a part of setting this up and hope that, as it grows and develops, students from disciplines that are on the peripheries of the sustainability agenda are encouraged to contribute.

The inaugural Student Conference on Sustainable Futures in February has to be my highlight from this year. It was such a vibrant and engaging day that I am confident will continue to be hugely successful in the coming years – especially if the amazing catering carries on!

The last things to do are to thank the team at the University’s Sustainability Service – particularly Josh and Claire, whose enthusiasm and tireless work has made it a joy to work with – and to say good luck to next year’s Architects who I’m sure will continue to do great work and be agents for change.

– Matt

Sustainability Role of the Manager Course

This course is suitable for all academic, professional and support staff
with management and/or leadership roles across the University. This
course will be essential for managers who are involved in delivering the
University vision and strategic aims, and therefore need to know how to
implement elements of the University’s Sustainability Strategy as
relevant to their own roles.

Main topics covered will be:
• Sustainability: what do we mean and why is it important
• The Sustainability Strategy: Overview; Sustainability initiatives
and outcomes; Progress against the action plan; Implications for
managers
• Setting sustainability aims and objectives: personal objective
setting for sustainable outcomes in your teams

Learning and teaching methods:
The session will be very ‘hands
on’ with only short, information giving, presentations including
examples of real world scenarios. Individual and group work will be
included in the session.

By the end of the session delegates will:
• Understand what sustainability is and why it is important for the
University.
• Be equipped with the skills to identify sustainability issues in
work and wider contexts.
• Know about the University’s Sustainability Strategy and approach
to embedding sustainability.
• Understand the implications of the strategy for their roles and
develop an individual action plan relevant to their school/service/role.
• Know who to speak to about any ongoing issues they might have and
started to develop an action plan to achieve their own sustainability
goals.

Please register your place here