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Blueprint teams awarded new levels

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Staff Sustainability Architects

Blueprint teams at the School of Food Science and Nutrition and Residential Services have progressed to the next stage of their Blueprint journeys following the latest round of annual reviews.

The School of Food Sciences & Nutrition began their plan in 2020 and have now achieved 'Change Maker' standard.  Residential Services, who were early adopters of the Blueprint model in 2018, have progressed to 'Visionary' level. This means that they are achieving success across all areas of their action plan.

Blueprint is a flexible framework designed to support both Schools and Services in developing a 5 year sustainability action plan and vision. The plans are shaped in consultation with the Sustainability Service and aligned with the University’s sustainability commitments including the Climate Plan

Residential Services 

The Residential Service Blueprint review in April evidenced the dynamic way in which they embrace sustainability across all their operations. Led by Staff Sustainability Architect Mike Leonard, some of their achievements included: 

  • Use of Student Sustainability Architects to shape their Sustainable Living Guide, coordinate charitable donations, develop student engagement opportunities and biodiversity projects. 
  • Development of the North Hill Well Wood Project in Headingley through an ongoing partnership between Residential Services, Unite Students and Groundwork Yorkshire. This includes 52 meters of sensitive planting to support local wildlife and the reuse of materials including steps made from the remains of a former tennis court.
  • Hedge planting across three sites - Montague Burton Residences, North Hill Court and St Marks Residences. The hedge planting at Montague Burton and St Marks was a collaboration with Students for Trees, as part of the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback. 
  • Working in partnership with their supply chain to influence and adopt more sustainable purchasing choices. Through their collaboration with Bishop Beds they have worked to extend the life of materials such as the fabric, stuffing, springs and steel from old mattresses, as well as using their repair and take-back scheme.

Food Sciences & Nutrition 

The School of Food Sciences & Nutrition have worked to embed a holistic approach to sustainability. A Staff Sustainability Architect nominated as Sustainability Lead in the team works in a similar way to a Health and Safety representative. This ensures that sustainability is routinely considered in school planning, procedures, policies, guidance and staff communications.    

  • The school have gained bronze level accreditation through the national LEAF (The Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) across teaching and research labs. 
  • They have embraced approaches to monitoring and reducing lab equipment energy use including adjusting Ultra Low Temperature freezer temperatures wherever they can. 
  • Instead of issuing new lab coats to staff and students these are now repaired and reused. 
  • Waste is also tackled through effective recycling and by purchasing reusable items. 

Want to learn more or set up your own Blueprint?  

We continue to expand the Blueprint community, and the School of Dentistry and the Print & Copy Bureau are the most recent additions to developing their five year sustainability plans.   

To learn how you can get started with your own Blueprint please contact Clare Jackson in the Sustainability Service by emailing  


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We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.