Leeds Living Lab

The Leeds Living Lab drives the University’s commitment to embed sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation. By bringing together students, staff and our city partners, the Leeds Living Lab can research and test sustainable solutions, enhance our curriculum and tackle global challenges using the University and our communities as a test-bed.

It’s a great example of collaborative working that provides a test-bed for research with impact, delivers innovative operational solutions, and offers students projects that make a real-world difference. It also enhances our community, bringing together people who wouldn’t usually work directly with each other to create amazing new ideas.

Living Lab for Air Quality

The Air Quality Living Lab was driven by the desire to better understand air quality on our campus so that we can use that information to help shape the way we use and move around the space, and so that we can trial solutions that are replicable and scaleable in our City and beyond. Since then it has grown beyond our campus and expanded into commuter exposure as well as indoor air quality. Read more and find out how to get involved here.
Living Lab for Air Quality

Food Waste Living Lab

Food waste is a global challenge and the University of Leeds aims to lead the way in innovative approaches to reducing waste from our catering, cafes and restaurants. The Living Lab for Food Waste has brought together staff and students to explore, research and trial innovative solutions to food waste, packaging waste and behaviour change. Read about some of these exciting projects here and here.

Food Waste Living Lab

Get involved

The Leeds Living Lab is open to all staff and students across the University. We facilitate interdisciplinary projects on any element of the Sustainability Strategy, and across all social science and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The Sustainability Service can support you to set up and deliver projects, as well as helping to identify and engage partners. It may also be able to offer seedcorn or match funding and small grants for student projects.

Students looking for inspiration from past and present Living Lab projects can read more about ideas for research projects.

Want to find out more? Download the Leeds Living Lab Toolkit.

If you would like to discuss your proposal for a Living Lab project, please email us at sustainability@leeds.ac.uk.

Case studies

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PhD student Nicholas Davison has been exploring the impacts of Covid-19 on food waste management at the University. Nicholas has been...


Kashmir Kaur, one of our Staff Sustainability Architects, has successfully embedded the #2023plasticfree pledge into the sustainability module she delivers...


Carys Doyle (BA Geography) tells us about her research placement with the Sustainability Service exploring the Impacts of COVID-19 on...


From cycle rides to climbing routes, we’ve got you covered for outdoor activities during the colder months. You can be...


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our Leeds Living Lab work is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.