The University of Leeds Climate Plan

The University of Leeds is calling for staff and students to contribute towards the University Climate Plan. Fill in our online survey now.

Leeds cityscape

What’s the University doing about the Climate Crisis?

In September, the University of Leeds confirmed its role as an international leader in climate research and innovation by releasing its 7 bold principles to address the climate crisis. This includes divestment from traditional use of fossil fuels, a commitment to a 2030 net-zero carbon footprint target, and a drive to achieve no direct carbon emissions by 2050.

What is the Climate Plan?

The Climate Plan is being created to set out bold commitments and actions that will deliver our response to the climate crisis. As well as net-zero by 2030, we’ll encourage net-zero where we have influence, use research to find solutions and ensure our students can learn about the climate crisis.

We need you!

We have organised a Climate Plan Roadshow, presenting our draft plan, and invite all staff and students to come and provide feedback on the emerging Climate Plan themes. We’ll use this feedback to finalise the Climate Plan which we aim to publish in the New Year. There will also be an opportunity to find out how our research is contributing to net-zero emissions targets locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Climate Plan Roadshow will take place at the following locations:

Comment on the Climate Plan online

Alternatively, fill in our online survey to have your say in shaping the Climate Plan.

Click here for the Facebook event page.

The Draft Plan

Explore the tabs below presenting the draft plan.



Sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

Which UN Sustainable Development Goals does this opportunity align with?

This opportunity aligns with all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Climate Action) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). For more information on the goals visit sustainabledevelopment.un.org.

Leeds Baby Bank Collection Week – THANK YOU!

 

UPDATE 19/11/19

Thank you to everyone that donated so generously for the Leeds Baby Bank between 4-8 November. We had such a positive response, that we had to arrange an extra drop off – that’s two van-fulls of donations! This is really going to help the babies and new mothers of Leeds that are in a tight spot, especially as we approach Christmas.

Thank you!

 

University of Leeds Baby Bank Collection 4-8 November 2019

Please donate postnatal and baby items at the following locations:

  • Refectory Foyer – for larger items
  • Parkinson Information Desk
  • Business School Café
  • Affine – Nexus
  • FD Building
  • Café 7 – Worsley Building
  • The Edge

ITEMS NEEDED:

Sealed nappies, wipes, dried / liquid baby milk, dried / tinned baby food up to age 5, sealed bottles and dummies, home safety equipment, educational toys, sanitary and maternity pads, breast pads, Moses baskets, cots, prams, safety gates, baby monitors and high chairs.

ITEMS NOT NEEDED:

Clothes, soft toys, used mattresses, bottles, dummies, potties, opened toiletries

FAQs: https://leedsbabybank.org/faq

For queries, please contact Maria Quantock: m.quantock@leeds.ac.uk

NUS Skills Survey

We want to hear from you!
Have your chance to win £500 cash!

All University of Leeds students can be in with a chance of winning £500 by completing our online confidential survey about your time at university and the skills you develop for getting a job.
The short survey, which is being run in conjunction with the National Union of Students, will take about 15 minutes to complete. The closing date is 10th November 2019 and students will be entered into a draw to win £500 or one of 10 £50 runner-up prizes.

To take part in the survey log on to www.nus.org.uk/uni-skills

National Union of Students logo

Climate Crisis: Our Principles for Action

Today the University has committed to bold climate crisis action.

 

We have developed seven principles which will guide our action towards a low carbon future, including a target of net-zero by 2030 and investment withdrawal from fossil fuel extractors.

Read the whole article on the main University page:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/4471/university_commits_to_bold_climate_crisis_action

Sustainability Awards 2019 – Results!

Last night the University hosted the Annual Sustainability Awards 2019 to celebrate the incredible work our staff and students do to create positive change across campus and further afield. Our staff and students have helped us create a university that embeds sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation.

There are eight awards categories; each covering a different aspect of the broad spectrum of Sustainability at the University of Leeds. The first four awards are based on the themes from our Sustainability Strategy . We then have the Sustainable Purchasing Award and, new this year, the Single Out Award given to those going above and beyond to support the #2023PlasticFree Pledge. The final two awards are our student-only awards. Below we have congratulated our winners alongside their award.

Embedding Sustainability through Collaboration

Winner: James Hamilton

Runner up: The Public Engagement with Research Team for Be Curious

Runner up: Jonathan Busch for his work with the Climate Workshops and establishing the Discovering Sustainability journal.

This award recognises staff or students who have shared skills, ideas or resources across the campus to ensure sustainable practices and values are embedded into the culture of university. James  won due to his hard work educating his colleagues in engaging lunchtime sessions, making sure sustainability training is on all job descriptions and introducing glass milk bottles to the office.

The Building Knowledge and Capacity

Winner: The Priestley Centre

Runner up: Kashmir Kaur for her Language in Context – Sustainability Module

Runner up: James McKay for his dedication to teaching colleagues and school children about sustainability

This is awarded when a project or initiative is focussed on educating staff or students on sustainability, using campus as a Living Lab and sharing expertise across campus or the local area. The Priestley Centre stood out, by teaming up with 3 other northern universities to take Climate Chats out into public spaces in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and York during Green Great Britain Week. They translated science into art, music and poetry to engage with the public and their rising concern about climate change. Furthermore, climate researchers were rapidly mobilised to attend the Youth Strikes for Climate Action to answer the striking school children’s questions – Ask a climate researcher.

Being a Positive Partner in Society

Winner: Sustainability Into Schools

Runner up: Save a Life Team for their working teaching staff and students basic lifesaving skills

Runner up: Alex Bamji, Viktor Doychinov and Alistair Hay from Health for their volunteering work giving academic support for young people from disadvantaged children.

This award recognises people who have made Leeds a happier and better place to work and live. The winner was the Sustainability into Schools programme which increases awareness of sustainability issues in primary schools across Leeds and gives pupils the tools and knowledge to live more sustainable lifestyles.

Making the Most of Resources

Winner: Roger Stevens Living Lab Team

Runner up: Residential Services for their work recycling and donating mattresses.

Runner up: Daniel Preston for his work teaching colleagues about low-waste lifestyles and hosting lunchtime litterpicks

The final award from the Sustainability Strategy’s themes is Making the Most of Resources. This celebrates staff and students that have implemented policies, ideas or encouraged behaviour changes to ensure efficient and effective resources management. A campus favourite, the Roger Stevens Pond, won. An exemplary living lab example, this has brought together academics and grounds staff to build a biodiversity haven on a concrete Grade II listed building in the city. Already used by ducks and fish, we look forward to seeing what will be attracted there in the future.

Sustainable Purchasing Award

Winner: Charles Morris Hall

Runner up: Antony Wilkinson for his research into replacing washing machines with more sustainable alternatives

The Sustainable Purchasing Award congratulates someone who has encouraged best practice and innovation in University purchasing. Charles Morris Hall installed a Purex system, which cleans water without chemicals, removing 86% of chemical previously used on site.

Single Out Award

Winner: Alumni Team

Runner up: stage@leeds for making their bar completely single-use plastic free

Runner up: Richard Jones from Devonshire Hall Kitchen for his work removing single-use plastics

The Alumni Team claimed this award for their intuitive efforts, getting involved with the Sustainability Services to replace the plastic envelope with paper, saving over 900kg of single use plastic per quarter.

The Student Co-curricular Award

Winner: Ruth Trainor

Runner-up: Ryan Higlett, for his extensive involvement with Sustainability into Schools.

This award highlights stand out student-led non-curricular work which has had a positive impact across the campus or Leeds community. Ruth Trainor won due to her organisation of Sustainability Week, hosting talks, events and presentations involving stakeholders from the University and beyond.

The Student Curricular Award

Winner: Hazel Mooney

Runner up: Jonathan Teasdale for his impressive presentation about sustainable fashion at the Student Sustainability Research Conference

This award can include any original work at the University of Leeds that has taken place this year. Hazel Mooney took this award for her dissertation, researching the intrinsic value of trees in urban areas. Jonathan Teasdale was awarded runner up for his presentation at the Student Sustainability Research Conference, highlighting the waste created in fashion and designing a waste-free clothes pattern.

Blueprint Awards

Furthermore, this academic year has been the first for the new staff engagement scheme Blueprint. We were excited to award 16 teams with either ‘Working Towards’ or ‘Explorer’ for their work. The Sustainability Service works with teams to scope out their potential impacts and opportunities in order to produce an action-plan bespoke to their team. To get your School or Service signed up please contact Sustainability@leeds.ac.uk

 

We would like to thank Bright Beginnings for their exquisite table decorations, made from reused materials. We’re incredibly grateful for the time staff voluntarily take to create these awe inspiring sculptures, to meet our demanding brief. We would also like to thank Catering Services for the delicious vegan food they provided.

 

 

Colour Hyde Park – Photography Competition

Colour Hyde Park is our brand-new, collaborative mural project!

We are working with Leeds Inspired, Leeds City Council, Leeds Beckett University and local artists to create six community murals celebrating the natural beauty and diversity of Hyde Park and our community. Our mural artists have come from many different backgrounds across Hyde Park and their incredible work strongly reflects the spirit of our community.

We are looking for a keen photographer to help us document this great project. You will be photographing the murals through mid-late June and our launch party on July 25th. The material produced will be used on our website and social media communications as well as a Mural Map we are creating.

To enter for the chance to photograph the project, and to win £200 worth of kit or a voucher of your choice, please send up to 6 photos of your own previous work to r.l.flett@leeds.ac.uk.

The deadline for all submissions is midnight 16th June . For any further questions please email r.l.flett@leeds.ac.uk.

The Parkinson Peregrines

Have you seen the peregrine news on our social media? Want to know more about the history of our Parkinson Peregrines? Below is a blog post from Paul Wheatley (@leedsbirder). Paul is a local birder, University of Leeds graduate and volunteer Ranger for the RSPB.

In 2018 a pair of Peregrines successfully nested and raised 3 young falcons from their lofty nesting ledge near the top of the Parkinson Tower. These incredible apex predators raised a family and delighted keen birders and those new to the world of ornithology alike.

What made the difference in this first time breeding success? A simple wooden tray filled with gravel, installed by the University of Leeds Sustainability Services. If eggs are laid on bare stone they can roll around making them difficult to keep together to incubate properly. On a gravel surface, breeding success for urban Peregrines is dramatically improved. Once the Peregrines found the tray, it was game on!

Two males and a female hatched from the eggs and were reared by the adults. In July, they fledged the nest and learned to hunt and survive for themselves. So what happened next? Life can be hard for juvenile Peregrines and only one in three typically survive their first year.

The juveniles began to wander from the University quite soon after fledging, and sightings from further afield became more frequent. All three were ringed in the nest, and with a good view it’s possible to identify them from the code on their colour rings. Most notable was an amazing view of one of the young birds who was filmed on a window ledge high up on the Pinnacle tower block in Leeds city centre (https://twitter.com/MattBigface/status/1030549797365796871)

Over the winter, we received good news from Peregrine watchers in Morley who sighted our juvenile male, ringed as TAC, on the Town Hall. Our friends at Wakefield Peregrines have already identified the building as an ideal Peregrine nesting site and have placed a nesting tray there. So with luck TAC might just find a mate and start a family only a few miles from where he was born! A juvenile male Peregrine (identified by his small size compared to a female) was seen on the Parkinson tower on a few occasions over the winter, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible to make out the code on the colour ring – this could have been TAC or possibly his brother TBC.

Taking flight from LeedsBirder on Vimeo. The three youngsters (TAC, T7B and TBC) during the 48 hours after they fledged the nest.

As is usual our two adults were seen less frequently through the winter months, and were sometimes sighted hanging out in the city centre. As the breeding season got closer however, the birds became much more active around the Parkinson building. They were seen performing acrobatic display flights and began visiting the nesting tray to make a “scrape” where their eggs would ultimately be laid. Another indication of the pair bonding was the Tiercel (male) offering up a small plucked bird to the Falcon as a gift.

3rd egg laid from LeedsBirder on Vimeo. Footage from the nest camera, showing the female laying the third egg at 07:46:51 (42 seconds in to the video).

This year the Leeds Uni birds were ahead of their fellow Yorkshire urban Peregrines, after laying eggs nearly a month behind most other Peregrines last year. In 2019 laid their first egg on the 18th March, beating Wakefield, Sheffield and York Peregrines to it! Three more eggs followed, each spaced out by a couple of days. The birds started to incubate from the third and penultimate egg – typical behaviour for Peregrines.

Leeds Peregrines during egg laying week from LeedsBirder on Vimeo.

Both birds usually remained close to the nesting ledge during the week the eggs were laid, departing only briefly to hunt for food. This was a great time to watch the Peregrines, and see them interacting with other raptors in the area. Passing Sparrowhawks were carefully observed by the Peregrines, but were otherwise left alone. A buzzard was ignored. A wandering Red Kite was quickly intercepted by the Tiercel and mercilessly mobbed, or dive bombed, before beating a hasty retreat.

Other Peregrines were also frequently seen around this time, sometimes drawing the Leeds birds into the air. The interlopers may well have been looking for a mate. Our Leeds adults appear to be the same birds that have been in residence of a few years now, but neither are ringed so it’s difficult to tell for sure.

All four eggs have now hatched, as of April 28th. The parents take turns on the nest while the other hunts for food. On May 14th the University of Leeds Sustainability Services worked with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to weigh and ring the four chicks.  All are healthy weights between 550g and 725g. The whole process was completed quickly and all four chicks were safely returned to the nest. We are expecting to see them fledge between the 29th May and 3rd June so keep your eyes peeled!

If you’re interested in Peregrine data, a brilliant Dutch project has collected information from hundreds of Peregrines nests around the world (https://sites.google.com/site/nestkalenders/home/slechtvalken).

 

Last year, myself and keen University birder Les (@uolperegrine), organised some guided walks to help locals see the fledged Peregrines and raise money for raptor conservation charities. We’re hoping to do the same this year, so watch out for news on this in early June. The walks will be advertised at short notice when the birds fledge.

Keep watching the NestCam, check out @uolperegrine (https://twitter.com/UoLperegrine) for the latest news, and please let us know your sightings around campus (and further afield) by including @leedsbirder, @uolperegrine and @uol_sus in your tweets.

 

Paul Wheatley @leedsbirder (https://twitter.com/leedsbirder) Paul is a local birder, University of Leeds graduate and volunteer Ranger for the RSPB.

Living in a plastic World: Do We Need a Revolution?

This event was created and geared towards starting a conversation about the problems created by plastic. The University of Leeds in conjunction with Leeds University Union have pledged to become single use plastic free by 2023. Therefore, this event was set to be a conversation starter that could gather students’ views on the matter of plastic especially in their daily live and on campus.

The event kicked of with an award-winning documentary film: A Plastic Ocean. This film delved into the consequences of our over-use and overproduction of plastic. It covered the environmental impact as well as the health and social implications of our consumption of plastic.

Key Points:

  • The relevancy of plastic in our lives and whether it would be possible to cut it out completely
  • We discussed various alternatives to single use plastic and how you as an individual can make a change.
  • The issues of microfibres and using science to tackle the issues of plastics were also discussed in this segment.
  • Simple and actionable steps to help you on your way reduce your plastic consumption.
  • Ways to gain more information about the plastic waste issues.
  • Ways to make a difference in your local community and university campus.

The panel

The wonderful panel consisted of 6 students all from different backgrounds. They were all chosen due to their diverse interests in the realm of environmental issues to further diversify the responses and feedback through our discussion.

Giulia – A postgraduate student in the School of Earth and Environment studying Sustainability & Business and a Student Rep.

Mary – A Biology Postgraduate Student interested in reducing plastic waste in the Laboratories on Campus

Maddie – Postgraduate Student in School of Earth and Environment studying Sustainability and Business. Member of People & Planet Society.

Charlie – Postgraduate Student in the School of Earth and Environment studying Environment & Development. Runs a Plastic Free online supermarket called Life Before Plastik.

David – A Postgraduate Student studying Climate Change & Environmental Policy in the school of Earth and Environment. He is also a Student Sustainability Architect for Plastics, helping the university work towards the #2023 plastic free pledge.

The panel was hosted by Lulu Kariba the Student Sustainability Architect for Student Citizenship.  

You can find the podcast and show notes of this event below.

Transcript PDF

Sustainability Internships 2019/20 Open Now!

Are you excited about trying out new ideas and making a positive difference? Would you like to join a dynamic and committed team and gain valuable experience, by supporting projects which drive sustainability within the University and the wider community?

We are looking for two student interns to join our team in September 2019, supporting our work in delivering key projects to embed sustainability across the University. This is a unique opportunity to work within a large institution at an exciting time of change, where sustainability plays a key strategic role. For example, we have recently launched major Institutional projects such as #2023PlasticFree which will require collaboration across the University and beyond. You will gain insights into how to implement and embed sustainability into a complex institution, develop contacts throughout the University and have an opportunity to influence change on many levels.

Want to know more about our internship opportunity? Below is more info from our current interns; Rosie and Caitlin.

Rosie – Sustainability Engagement Intern

I’ve spent the last 8 months getting involved with many different aspects of Sustainability across the University; from the #2023PlasticFree pledge to student citizenship programmes. One of my focuses this year was on the Sustainability and Community Newsletters, I helped the team move to a new system and worked to improve the readership of the newsletters. I was also given the chance to develop my own project and created “Colour Hyde Park” – Community Mural Project. This was the perfect chance for me to develop my project management skills and creativity whilst giving back to the community and supporting local artists. I’ve also had opportunities to work with other stakeholders like local councillors and other Universities, including UCL. This internship is flexible and there are always opportunities to jump into. Recently I’ve been given the responsibility of creating a slide deck about the SDGs that will be shown at a global campus security network meeting!

Caitlin – Sustainability Intern

This internship has taught me a lot for future jobs; having never worked in an office before this was a great stepping stone from University to work life. My main focus this year has been the staff engagement scheme, Blueprint, giving me a “behind the scenes” view of how the University is run. Blueprint has also helped me see real, measurable change on campus and as an intern it’s great to make an impact! Another responsibility of mine is organising the Sustainability Awards. Having ownership of such a big project provides a huge learning curve for my organisation skills and creativity! Within the team there’s a strong attitude towards constant learning and improvement, giving me many chances to do extra training such as Equality courses and Excel workbooks. The whole team is friendly and happy to help with any queries, however small and silly (how does the printer work..?).

This year we are recruiting two Sustainability Interns from our undergraduate community to join the team for 11 months and support projects that deliver the University’s ambitious Sustainability Strategy. Our Interns will be proactive and creative in supporting key areas of focus such as staff and student engagement, plastic-free initiatives, event coordination, and embedding sustainability into the University curriculum. It’s a great opportunity to be working on sustainability in a large, complex organisation at an exciting time for significant change and influence.

Apply now! https://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=FDSUS1017  

Deadline: 28th May 2019

Sustainability Awards Photography Competition!

On Wednesday 12th June the University of Leeds will be holding our Sustainability Awards. This is a very exciting and prestigious event where the University showcases all of the great work being done to support our sustainability journey. The event is attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Deans and Heads of School and Services as well as countless other staff, students and external partners.

The event itself is well presented, with beautiful awards, table decorations (made by the children of the campus nursery, Bright Beginnings) and first-class vegan catering. With all of this effort going into the event, we want to ensure the photography properly captures the prestige and importance we place on it whilst also harnessing the talent we already have on campus in our student body.

To do this, we are looking for someone who can capture the evening through photography, including posed photos of award winners and natural shots of the evening itself. The material produced will be used as a keepsake for award winners as well as a wonderful reminder of the event on our website and social media communications.

To enter for the chance to photograph the event, and to win £100 worth of kit or a voucher of your choice, please send up to 6 photos of your own previous work at similar events to sustainability@leeds.ac.uk.

The deadline for all submissions is midnight 19th May. For any further questions please email c.m.fox@leeds.ac.uk.