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!

We’ve created a launch fund of £5000 as part of the launch of the University’s Living Lab for sustainability. The fund is open to all staff and students and is available until Friday 2nd June.

  • 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 research projects that meet
  • 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 solve their challenges. 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 solution to a challenge at the University? Have you considered seeking expert advice from an academic colleague? Could student research help to solve your problem? 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.

[Application_Living_Lab (Word)]     [Application_Living_Lab (pdf)]

Projects

We’re already well underway with a variety of Living Lab projects? We’re pulling together some information on these and you’ll find it here soon!

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 (available as a PDF or Word version) 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.

Living Lab_FAQ (Word)  Living Lab_FAQ (pdf)

 

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

IMG_1385

“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

 

Big Welcome To Our New Sustainability Architects!

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!

 

IMG_0884

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.

 

IMG_0886

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.

IMG_0888

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.

NEW TEAM MEMBER!

Josh

Hi

I’m Josh and I recently joined the Sustainability Department at the University as a Project Assistant! I will be supporting the Education for Sustainable Development Network (which encompasses the Creating Sustainable Futures Discovery Theme), Sustainable Lab Groups and numerous other activities and events in line with the University’s spectacular Sustainability Strategy.

I graduated from Plymouth University in 2014 with a degree in Conservation Biology, during which I learnt about the negative impacts on the environment through our actions and developed a natural affinity for sustainable development. I spent a year volunteering for charities large and small, such as The Carbon Literacy Project, Manchester: a Certain Future and the RSPB, which broadened my knowledge of sustainability initiatives and how urban societies can adopt positive environmental, economic and cultural changes, reflecting goals of a better world for everyone!

I hope to make a real difference at the university and add to what is already a growing sustainable movement among students and staff.

Aside from work, I love to run, travel, meet new people and experience new foods and cultures. I’m a newbie to the city and can’t wait to see what is has to offer! #BigUpLS6

First blog entry

ginacrop

Hi everyone,

I’m Gina, the new Positive Partner in Society intern. I’m really glad I joined the Sustainability Service – it’s only been a month since I started but I feel like I’ve already learned a lot and really enjoyed working with the team.

I’ve completed two years of International Relations at the university and I’m currently undertaking my placement year at the Sustainability Service. I’m really interested in global development and improving the community in general so it’s great to get first-hand insight into sustainability and its various aspects and see how the university manages its responsibility towards society – which was the main reason I applied for the position.

My main objectives are increasing and supporting student and staff engagement with sustainability in the university and I’m also involved with managing the Service’s communications channels. I produce our monthly newsletter which you can sign up for here: http://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/sign-up-to-our-e-newsletter/.

So far, I’ve worked on Freshers’ Week which included going to Freshers’ fairs and the Discovery Themes Fair where I got to talk to students about the discovery modules from the ‘Creating Sustainable Futures’ theme – these modules are a great way to learn more about sustainability from various angles, whether it’s social, economic  or scientific. You can enrol to these modules regardless of your degree to broaden your knowledge and skills – find out more about them via this link: https://leedsforlife.leeds.ac.uk/Broadening/Theme/3.

I’m really looking forward to this year and can’t wait to get more people involved with sustainability and support initiatives already taking place!

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 has now launched! Until now the Sustainability Service have run the ‘try cycling’ bike hire for 5 weeks for staff but will now be offering staff bike hires through the campus bike hub at cost of just £10 per month + £100 deposit in a similar scheme to student bike hires running for longer periods of time. The bike hub have a mixed fleet of brand new hire bikes available for hire including 4 Bromptons (folding commuter bikes), 2 electric bikes and 10 hybrid bikes. This scheme may be of particular interest if you aren’t eligible for the cycle to work scheme and would still like access to a bike to get to and from work. If you are a member of University of Leeds staff and would like to register your interest for this new scheme please contact Steven Welch, Sustainability Service at transport@leeds.ac.uk or 0113 34 39179.

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.
cycle buildings image no background
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.
bus_v2
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**
train image no background

 

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!

 

header-people