Green Impact submissions

Take a look at the projects and creative challenges this year’s Green Impact teams did. Well done to all the teams involved!


Submitted by Howard Collier, Leeds Institute of Clinical Trial Research:

“At the Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research we hold a Fuddle at Easter and Christmas where staff bring in a food item to share with their colleagues. This year we attempted to make our Easter Fuddle ‘environmentally-friendly’. Rather than bringing in the usual sweet or savoury item we requested that staff only bring in food items that were either home grown, from a local supplier, or Fair Trade. In addition we had two competitions – a cake made out of UK ingredients and a left over meal challenge with prizes supplied by Groundwork charity in Leeds. The winner of each event was decided by our two Green Impact Project Assistants who enjoyed playing the roles of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry on the day! During the event we also ran a PowerPoint presentation that provided information about local organic shops, cafes, farmers markets and charities that have a sustainability focus.

At the event staff were treated to a wide selection of tasty food ranging from Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef made entirely from left-overs to Wensleydale Cheese and Homemade Pickle sandwiches. The winners of the two competitions were; Cake out of UK ingredients – Rhubarb and Elderflower Shortcake and Left over meal – Pork and Rice Balls with a Garlic dip.

The event was well attended and generated a lot of discussion about sourcing local produce. In particular many staff highlighted how difficult it was to identify where a food item had been produced when looking at supermarket packaging.

To thank Groundwork for the prizes they donated we have nominated them as the recipient of the money raised during our monthly dress down day. We are also thinking of holding a similar event in the autumn where there will be even more seasonal produce available.”

Submitted by Alison Usher, The Secretariat:

“We held a ‘bake a book’ challenge which took place in the two weeks leading up to world book day. The purpose was to introduce and engage staff with the book corner which we have established as part of our Green Impact project. (The book corner aims to encourage sustainability by reusing books as well as addressing staff well-being by creating space to relax at lunch time). Our baking challenge also introduced the theme of ethical purchasing by encouraging the bakes to be made from fair trade produce. The winners were presented with a prize and asked to officially open the book corner on world book day.”

Submitted by Clare Cook, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine:

In-between the booking of trains and dealing with obstinate diaries, organising the Fairtrade Bake-Off was a pleasant change to my work-based scenery. The idea had sprung from a brainstorming session which started with the simple (but not unwelcomed) idea of a bake sale, which morphed into a breakfast event, and finally landed onto competitive cooking. The thought was to help raise engagement by creating friendly competition which, when combined with food, would be conducive to creating a buzz and atmosphere, to get people emotionally involved about more than the sweet sugar goodness, but also the origins of it.

To enhance this, we obtained a supply of Fairtrade goodies from local volunteer-run shop The Beehive, which we set up and sold in the building during the weeks leading up the event. Needless to say we did not have nearly enough Fairtrade chocolate to meet demand, but having raised over £60 from this small sale, it was still a keen success.

When the day of the Bake-Off itself came the eager-eyed bakers, clutching their creations, trickled to my desk one by one to present their offerings, some more shyly than others. By 11.30am – as Faridah and I set the cakes up ready with numbers, descriptions and origin stories – there was already a gaggle of sheepish staff with plate in one hand and coins in the other, trying to appear both lofty and enthusiastic at the same time, as they eyed the baked goods. By 11.35am the sheepishness had turned into a great wolfing down of cake and mutterings over score sheets which were then handed (slightly-stickily) to us one after the other. By the end we were surrounded by crumbs and a lot of numbers ready for counting.

For the next two hours I was hounded for information about who had won and when we could do another event.

The victor, to no one’s surprise, was a beautiful cake made from not only Fairtrade products but also with squash grown in the baker’s own garden. Well-deserved indeed.

All that was left then was the washing up and a great sense of achievement – not only in the event, but in the realisation that sometimes the battle is simply in unconscious choice. That is, by having a Fairtrade sale on-hand and easy, it makes the right choice also the easiest one.

The bake sale raised (pun intended) just over £55 and that, along with the £60 raised from the goods sale, has been donated to the Fairtrade Foundation.