Living Lab

Our vision is a University where ideas and collaboration thrive, where integration of sustainability enhances the value of the campus, student education, research and innovation, and where everyone is given the knowledge and skills to be more sustainable.

The Living Lab is open to everyone. It brings together colleagues and partners from research, teaching and operational teams to co-produce innovative and transformational solutions to real-world sustainability challenges, using the campus as a test-bed. It is transdisciplinary and drives continual, sustainable improvement by tackling global challenges at the local scale.

Get involved!

Whether it is a research-led campus design addressing the challenges of climate change, trialling new sustainability initiatives with staff or students, or integrating biodiversity and wellbeing, the Living Lab programme is open to all staff and students across the University. It’s about people, processes and infrastructure and focusses on the cultural and social sciences as well as the STEM subjects.

The Living Lab is able to offer funding to projects that meet the core principles of the programme (more on those below). We are particularly looking for projects that require seed funding to get off the ground, or match funding as part of a collaborative partnership. This might be between Schools, Faculties, Services or even external stakeholders.

  • Are you developing research into sustainability challenges? Are you looking for an opportunity to trial or test a research idea or an innovative solution? Bids of up to £1000 are invited for interdisciplinary projects that address sustainability through scalable and transferable research here at the University.
  • Are you a student considering a sustainability dissertation or other assessed project as part of your studies? You could use the campus as your test bed, gather or analyse data that supports delivery of the University’s Sustainability Strategy, or work directly with operational staff to help identify sustainable improvement. Bids of up to £500 are invited for applicants seeking to deliver a Living Lab project as part of their curricular activity.
  • Are you a member of staff seeking an innovative, sustainable option or solution? Have you considered seeking expert advice from an academic colleague? Could student research help to solve a problem or address a challenge? The Living Lab can help you to collaborate with the right people across the University.

You can apply to the Living Lab at any time by completing the application form below (available as a pdf or Word version) and sending it to Thom Cooper in the Sustainability Service.

Living Lab Application (Word version)     Living Lab Application (pdf version)

Projects

We’re already well underway with a variety of Living Lab projects and you can find out more about them here.

Mailing List

To keep up to date with the latest Living Lab opportunities and activities, and to join the conversation, join our mailing list here.

Principles

Projects within the Living Lab Programme should meet the following principles.

  • Be delivered in alignment with the key aims and themes of the University’s Strategic Plan and underpin delivery of the Sustainability Strategy
  • Formally support the University’s Global Challenges; be about people, processes and infrastructure, drawing on the cultural and social sciences as well as the STEM subjects
  • Integrate sustainability-related research, student education and University operations to drive continual and sustainable improvement
  • Identify, test and embed transformational solutions to ‘real world’ sustainability challenges whilst being scalable, replicable and transferable to our cities and regions
  • Drive experimental learning, enhanced participation and opportunities for outreach and engagement through co-creation and co-implemented campus-based solutions
  • Be interdisciplinary and delivered in partnership with internal and external stakeholders for mutual benefit, to increase impact and to enhance shared knowledge and action
  • Build knowledge and capacity by playing a leading role in the global debate and development of sustainable living labs

Questions?

We’ve pulled together a list of FAQs here, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for just contact Thom Cooper in the Sustainability Service who’ll be happy to help.

The Emperor’s New Clothes Conference: A Sustainable Future for Fashion & Textiles

The Emperor’s New Clothes is an annual event which brings together the fashion and textiles community to discuss the multifaceted challenge of sustainability. It provides a space to discover forward-thinking ideas and initiatives, forge new connections, and have a frank debate about the scale and pace of change in the industry.

This 2016 conference will take place on Thursday 8 September at the University of Leeds. We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker is Kate Fletcher, Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion at London College of Fashion.

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Leverage Points’, which builds on the insights of influential systems thinker Donella Meadows. We are inviting speakers and delegates to consider the ambition, scale and impact of their work: where are the opportunities for maximum leverage in transforming the fashion system?

Scott’s Teach First Experience with Sustainability and Educational Engagement

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“Hi, my name is Scott and I’ve just finished a summer project for the Sustainability and Educational Engagement teams at the University of Leeds. (I’ve also never done a blog post before, so this could be “interesting”!) I was – until 3 weeks ago – a full-time teacher, and I was asked to look at the provision of University resources aimed at schoolchildren with the aim being to have students engage more with sustainability and improve sustainability literacy. I was keen to help improve outreach at Leeds, and to get to do so with sustainability being at the forefront (a topic that I’m very passionate about) seemed too perfect an opportunity to not apply for.

I spent my first couple of days really trying to nail down what it was that people expected of me, meeting with seemingly half the university staff on campus, and gathering data to use at a later date! It was agreed that I’d design “two or three” lessons for teachers to download, or to be delivered by University staff in workshops, as well as looking at where Educational Engagement and Sustainability overlapped, suggesting how best to market the new resources, and writing a report that brought all of that together. In just three weeks! I hope that the 29(!) lessons I’ve created, with associated resources (including a board game), will be enjoyed by students across the UK and beyond and help to spread the word of what sustainability is and how it’s interwoven into society.

My time here has been brief but very enjoyable. The team here were all very welcoming (and 25p coffee helped!) and were very happy to chat about the project (and other things), and now I’ve reached the end, I’m sad that I won’t get to engage with people who clearly have a love for the vision of Sustainability, and won’t get to learn about how sustainability isn’t just about the colour green, saving the trees, or the birds and the bees!

To conclude, I’d like to thank Louise and Claire for the opportunity, Josh and Amanda for always being friendly faces, Mike for showing me the work on biodiversity on campus, Kelly for sorting it all out and telling me about her work on food on campus, Dom and Eric for trialling lessons and giving me feedback, Pre and John for discussing outreach, Jenny and Steven for telling me about their work with transport, James for telling me about water conservation, Tilly for educating me about Snapchat(!), and Gina for telling me about the work already done aimed at disadvantaged students (who are close to my heart).

Enjoy what’s left of summer!”

Are we really green? Evidence using big data

The Leeds Institute for Data Analytics is pleased to announce the second installment of our new seminar series showcasing data analytics.

This event is being held in association with Sustainability Seminars at the Sustainability Research Institute.

For this event we welcome Professor William Young from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds with an update on the CDRC Ethical and Sustainable Consumption driver project. We also welcome PhD student Miss Rachel Hollis who will discuss the role of data in encouraging individuals to make more environmentally friendly product choices.

Our main speaker will be Dr Anne Owens from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds who will be discussing consumption-based approaches to measuring environmental impacts.

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

15:15: Registration, LIDA reception, Level 11 Worsley Building

15:30: Prof. William Young – Update on the CDRC Ethical and Sustainable consumption driver project

15:45: Miss Rachel Hollis – Encouraging individuals to choose more environmentally friendly products – the role of data

16:00: Dr Anne Owen – Environmental Footprints: Consumption-based approaches to measuring environmental impacts

17:00: Refreshments and networking with drinks and nibbles.

18:00: Close

 

Sustainability Architects 2015/16

Amy

Hello – I’m Amy, one of the four new Sustainability Architects here at the University of Leeds. My role as part of the Sustainability team is to encourage and promote student and community engagement with all things sustainable!

As part of this I hope to continue to develop the role of a “Sustainability Representative” within each school.  Their role would be to put sustainability on the agenda by integrating knowledge of it into teaching and assessments, promoting sustainable practice within their school and departmental society encouraging other students to get involved, share their ideas and help to develop new initiatives for both environmental and social sustainability.

Being from Leeds, I understand how important it is to integrate students with the local community. There is no better way of doing this than through sustainability! I aim to do this by promoting  volunteering and community engagement projects within the University and Union setting – bringing to the attention of students what is available for them to get involved in around Leeds.

I hope to create an environment where students feel they are able to get involved with sustainability and make a difference!

 

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Hey I’m Will, a second year Environmental Science student at the University of Leeds. I am planning to take a year out of University during my third year, hoping to gain more valuable experience in sustainable roles. As well as representing the sustainability service at events, I hope to increase student engagement in sustainable practices, particularly focusing my efforts on halls of residences and sport societies.

 

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Hi I’m Shara, I am currently studying my masters in Sustainability and Consultancy here at the University of Leeds. My undergraduate degree was in International Relations and my dissertation looked at environmental change and energy security in the European Union. After taking a break from University to work and travel, I started to look into sustainability in a wider context, which lead me back to higher education.

This year I hope to increase the range of individuals engaged in sustainability; moving it out of traditional circles and into mainstream discussions so it’s accessible for everyone.

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My name is Ileyas Mogeh and I am a student sustainability architect. I am currently on my second year of BA Politics. Being a sustainability architect is an exciting way to make a positive impact in your community. As an architect, you are able to do this through your area of interest, for example in my case this is democracy. This ensures that the role is enjoyable, whilst also challenging and developing your knowledge of sustainability within higher education . By August, I hope to have helped embedded sustainability in the student community through increased participation in democratic activities.

Staff Benefits

The University is supporting staff to make alternative choices with a variety of discounts and offers available for staff using public transport, car share and bike to work schemes.

Staff Bike Hire Scheme new and improve to launch soon! We are currently finalising our plans for the Try Cycling Scheme, so stay tuned for more information!

Cycle to Work Scheme: Interested in buying a brand new bike to travel to work? We operate a cycle to work scheme which enables you to save money, keep fit and avoid parking problems by hiring a brand new bicycle and safety equipment which you will own at the end of the payment term.
This is a salary sacrifice arrangement, you save tax and national insurance contributions on the cost of the bike and equipment. You can choose your bike and kit from the shop yourself and own it after the hire period. For more information about this scheme please contact: staffbenefits@leeds.ac.uk or 0113 343 3966.
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Cycling on University business: Did you know that 20p per mile can be claimed by staff for using your bike on University business? For further information please take a look at the following link. You can also find useful guidance about business travel here. When completing the University e-expense claim for bike mileage, there’s a drop down list at the bottom of the first page under the “Mileage” heading.
MCard: Interested in getting the train or bus to work? The University is part of the West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network and as part of that we can offer staffdiscounted travel passes. Get 15% off the cost of travelling on buses and trains in the West Yorkshire area. You can purchase the new annual smart enabled MCard and pay in equal monthly installments direct from your salary. For more information about costs, how and when to apply for a discounted MCard please visit the staff benefits pages.
Cityzap bus: Regularly travel from York to Leeds? Get a return ticket for £6! As part of the University travel planning work, we are looking at ways in which we can extend and improve transport offers and discounts for staff who live outside of the West Yorkshire region which is something that has been a theme in annual travel survey results feedback. We are excited to announce that all staff and students from the University and the NHS can now get a discounted return day ticket for £6 (normally £8.50) from York to Leeds on a new fast intercity bus service called Cityzap which uses GPS to avoid traffic to ensure the fastest route for each journey.
You just need to show your staff ID on the bus in order to get this offer and please visit their website more details on the locations of bus stops http://www.cityzap.co.uk. We are hopeful that this will lead to further more permanent discounts on bus services for staff that travel from Ripon, Harrogate and York areas.
Firstbus: Interested in getting a discounted bus pass? The University of Leeds is part of the Firstbus corporate travel group which means staff can get access to a 5% discount on monthly travel passes throughout either West Yorkshire or Leeds. All you need to do is ring up Firstbus quoting your payroll number to get your pass.  For more information about this including costs click here.
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Rail Loan Scheme: Looking to purchase a train season ticket? Look no further! As part of our commitment to lower car usage and to encourage the use of public transport the University offers interest free loans up to £3,000 for annual train season tickets. With an annual season ticket, you only pay for 40 weeks travel and get 12 weeks free between two chosen stations, any time, seven days a week. For information about terms and conditions and how to apply click here.
**If the cost of your ticket is more than £3,000 you can contact the Staff Benefits team to discuss this on either staffbenefits@leeds.ac.uk or 0113 343 3966**
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We are currently working on improving our staff travel benefits offer. If you have any suggestions on how we can develop it please get in touch with us to share your thoughts via transport@leeds.ac.uk. We are always looking for new ways to do things!

 

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Travel Guide

Every year the Sustainability Service create a University Travel Guide aimed at students to provide information about the best ways to travel around Leeds as well as the many different travel discounts that are available on train and bus passes.

You can take a look at the 2016-17 guide here . You will find a hard copy of this guide in your welcome pack if you are in University Residencies however, this year we are mainly hosting this guide online as a pilot to see where we can reduce our impact with less printed resources.

For more information about this guide or any wider travel related queries please contact: James Dixon-Gough

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Cycle

Travelling on two wheels is another healthy, fast and cheap way to get around Leeds and on campus we have lots of facilities on hand for people cycling to the university including secure parking, showers, bike hire and maintenance facilities.

Please click here to find out where your closest cycle facilities are on campus (this map is due to be updated shortly).

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Want to cycle but not got access to your own bike? No problem! You can hire a bike at a really low cost from  the campus Bike Hub which at the end of the EC Stoner and Roger Stevens building.

Along with bike hire, the hub run self-help maintenance drop-in sessions with a comprehensive range of tools available to use, along with cycle training with safety and route advice for students and staff.

To find out more about the Bike Hub and the range of great services on offer please click here and for information about the loan bikes that are available click here.  If you have any questions, you can also give the team a call on 0113 343 9179 they are always happy to help!

 

Interested in getting involved? Whether you are completely new to cycling or are a seasoned bike mechanic, the Hub team are always looking for new volunteer recruits to help them out. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn some new skills!

Please contact transport@leeds.ac.uk/ or 0113 343 9179 to find out more about the opportunities available.

 

University staff: Cycling offer 

Staff Bike Hire Scheme will resume on the 4th of September 2017. Please stay tuned for more information.

Staff cycle to work scheme Interested in buying a brand new bike to travel to work? We operate a cycle to work scheme which enables you to save money, keep fit and avoid parking problems by hiring a brand new bicycle and safety equipment which you will own at the end of the payment term. For more information about this scheme contact: staffbenefits@leeds.ac.uk or visit the staff benefits website.
For more information about this please contact the Bike Hub to speak to one of the team on 0113 343 9179 or email transport@leeds.ac.uk.
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The University of Leeds is now a Bike Friendly Business!  The University of Leeds are now officially a City Connect Silver Accredited Bike Friendly Business! We were the highest scoring bike friendly business in the West Yorkshire region due to things like our campus Bike Hub, excellent bike parking facilities, cycle to work scheme, staff access to hire bikes and dedicated contacts for cycling in Sustainability Service.  We were only 8 marks from being the first gold accredited regional business so we are now going to look at the areas which were highlighted for improvement such as availability of cycle training and more lockable bike parking to aim for Gold next year in 2017!  If you are interested in hearing more about the scheme, please click here.

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