Holly Smith, Beth Eaton, Caitlin Harris and Karolina Zarzyczny (University of Leeds)

The Living Lab: Campus Pollinators and beyond!

Pollination services, provided by animals such as butterflies, bees and wasps are necessary for the reproduction of almost 80% of plant species and 35% of global agricultural crop production. The recent drastic decline in pollinator numbers makes population management incredibly important. Research has shown that urban areas can play a crucial role in sustaining pollinator populations. This project evaluates the potential of University of Leeds’ campus to contribute to this, promoting collaboration between the sustainability team, academics, students and residential services to assess the overall population health and foraging opportunities across the campus. Ecological surveys are being carried out through a series of transect walks, flower-insect timed (FIT) counts and the use of bioacoustic recording across the campus. The outcomes of this study will allow the mapping of pollinator “hot-” and “cold-spots”, informing the university’s Biodiversity Action Plan on increasing habitat suitability and connectivity to support pollinator populations across the campus.

The successful development of the project methodology has provided a baseline for wider species monitoring around the campus, with the project expanding into birds, bats and small mammals, all of which can be used to understand the health of various ecosystems around the campus. Moreover, the project has opened numerous outreach opportunities for students and staff to get outdoors and participate in survey walks promoting wellbeing, as well as developing partnerships with other organisations such as the RSPB and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. This presentation will outline the project so far and highlight opportunities for student and staff involvement.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 15: Life on land

 

Molly Cole (University of Leeds)

Exploring the Cultural Value of Trees at Stately Homes using Photo-based Q-Method

Our project aims to investigate the cultural values of tree species commonly found in the grounds of Stately Homes. Stately Homes are a significant feature of British Heritage and encapsulate a unique ecosystem combining rural and urban landscapes, making data an interesting and relatively untapped subject of study. This study builds on the work of our previous study which showed that trees at Harewood House are worth £29 million in economic terms and we wished to further investigate their value to ensure their sustainability in the future.

Using Photo-based Q-Methodology, we have produced a set of 33 photographs of a select 11 species of tree, taken at Harewood house. Individuals being surveyed, arrange these photographs in order of preference; most-liked to least-liked and answer questions about their arrangement. Numerical data extracted from the arrangement, combined with qualitative data from the answers provided, will be used to establish preference demographics regarding the most-least culturally valued tree species. We expect to find differentiation in preference demographics regarding themes of aestheticism, patriotism, community-living and nostalgia.

The results of this study intend to offer insight into the cultural implications of the conservation of Stately Home estates, and influence future planning and management of these and other parks. Highlighting cultural importance of trees can help justify costs involved in planting and managing trees in the community and avoid environmentally unsustainable practices of felling old trees. This Study also aims to educate the public in tree identification, shown to lead to a greater appreciation of nature.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 15: Life on land

 

Rosanna Flett (University of Leeds)

Community Art and its Impact on Community Wellbeing

Have you seen the murals popping up across Hyde Park? This was part of an interactive project hoping to bring a sense of ownership and pride to the local residents. I have been researching how community art projects can improve community wellbeing, with a focus on Colour Hyde Park.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

 

Francis Omotola Olanrewaju (University of Leeds)

Use of ethanol from Sweet Sorghum for diesel applications and the generation of energy from the waste products

This research investigates biofuels derived from Sweet sorghum; an agricultural crop that is produced commercially in Nigeria. Ethanol can be produced from Sweet sorghum and used in diesel engines for reduced NOx and CO2 emissions. The solid residue that results from the crop can be burned to generate bioenergy for heating or electricity (in fuel-flexible diesel electricity generators).

The investigation is divided into four components (resources assessment, alcohol fuel blend stability test, diesel engine combustion test and energy recovery from Sweet sorghum stalk residue). The diesel engine combustion test is being carried out on an engine test bed to investigate the potential of alcohol blended fuels to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines while enhancing the performance of the engine. A mathematical heat release rate (HRR) model has also been developed for a more intensive investigation and comparison of engine parameters such as peak heat release and peak cylinder temperatures for pure diesel and blended fuels. The optimum equivalence ratio to produce combustible gases by the gasification of Sweet sorghum stalk residue is being investigated on the Cone calorimeter. The combustible gases can be piped into fuel-flexible gen-sets for electricity generation in the rural areas.

I hope to gain the requisite knowledge and skills from my research to harness the enormous biomass potential in Nigeria (200 million tonnes/year) to produce clean energy. This research will enhance energy security, energy equity (affordability) as well as environmental sustainability in sub-Saharan African countries and in the world at large.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 1: No poverty

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

 

Millie Brill (University of Leeds)

Refreshing Freshers’- A guide to a more sustainable freshers’ fair

Fresher’s fair is a great way to meet people, join clubs and get fantastic freebies; but why can’t it be more sustainable? The waste associated with fresher’s week is immense and does not reflect the values of the university. Countless flyers and plastic bags full of vouchers, bins full and overflowing. With a few changes, this fair can be just as enjoyable and #PlasticFree.

This research project aims to provide more sustainable ways of implementing fresher’s fair. Suggestions include:

  • One app for students to collect and store voucher codes, competitions and society details, eliminating the need for thousands of flyers.
  • One beautiful and reusable tote-bag per student, provided by the university, removing single-use plastic bags from our university.

This project hopes to gain awareness in the local community, and positively impact the aesthetics and environmental impact of the area and residents during the freshers’ events

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Goal 14: Life below water

 

Zhuoqian Yang (University of Leeds)

Real-World Greenhouse Gas and NOx Emissions from Refrigerated Van

Refrigerated vans used for home deliveries have attracted attention as online grocery shopping in the UK grows fast and contributes to the increasing greenhouse gas (CO2) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions. These vans are typically 3.5-tonne gross weight vehicle equipped with temperature-controlled units called Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs), which are usually powered off the vehicles’ engine. It is obvious that vehicles with added weight of TRUs consume more fuel and emit more NOx, let alone the vehicles’ diesel engines are also powering the refrigeration units, which further elevate the emissions.

This research uses an instantaneous vehicle emission model PHEM to simulate the real-world emissions from refrigerated vans. A validation of PHEM’s performance is included using data from laboratory (chassis dynamometer) tests over a realistic driving profile (the London Drive Cycle). The impact of the TRU weight and cargo, increased frontal area and electrical load on the engine by the TRU on van emissions is then estimated by PHEM.

Initial results have shown that the overall CO2 emissions of vans with TRUs are indeed about 23% higher than average and NOx emissions increase by 25% as well. This confirms the need to take into account the impact of additional engine load when predicting van emissions in other sectors e.g. the ambulances which are relatively heavy, high powered vehicles. Moreover, findings of the impact of TRUs on fuel consumptions can be used to optimize fuel-saving strategies for refrigerated vans and support the development of a sustainable society.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 13: Climate action

 

Ejiro Matilda Ikoko (University of Leeds)

Shared Mobility

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is digital system through which users can have access to public, shared and private transport mode using an application (usually mobile) that integrates journey planning, booking and payment system. The concept of MaaS provides commuters, business and other trip makers the opportunity to buy mobility services instead of the means of mobility. Even though MaaS aids door to door services, reduces congestion, improves air quality, increase travel opportunities and better management of transport demands; it could lead to unintended negative consequences such as social and digital exclusion. This research will focus on the challenges of creating an inclusive MaaS system in Lagos, Nigeria. It also seeks to identify policies that can facilitate an inclusive MaaS system. The city of Lagos was used because of its characteristics such as demographics and commercial activities. This research will consider a city in the Global North where MaaS has been implemented and look at the challenges of creating an Inclusive Mobility as a Service in Lagos, a city in the Global South.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

 

Fei Liu (University of Leeds)

Measuring earthquakes across the global continents from space observations

My project aims to use satellite data to detect and measure worldwide earthquakes. This is achieved by applying an advanced technique called InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar), which can measure the minor deformation of earth’s surface in a very high accuracy (1mm). Since earthquake hazard is a pressing issue facing many countries, and via completing this project, we can improve our standing of the nature of continental earthquakes, and hopefully, to better inform the earthquake hazard.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 13: Climate action

Goal 15: Life on land

 

Harriet Matthews (University of Leeds)

What part do creative practices play in constructing audience response to environmental issues in documentary film/series?

The prevalence of documentaries such as Blue Planet, Blackfish, and Before the Flood, call to attention the place of documentary television in the on-going public concern surrounding the natural world.

Growing public appetite for cinematic and ‘entertaining’ documentaries have facilitated a synthesis of factual journalism with increasingly compelling narratives and emotive ‘packaging’. Adopting the use of creative practices previously reserved only for fictional film, the often termed ‘environmental documentary’ tends to offer its audience a highly cinematic experience of a concerning reality.

At a point where environmental degradation can no longer be ignored, how do the increasingly creative practices within documentary film help, or distort, public understanding and response to such pressing global issues?

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

 

Ides Ofune (University of Leeds)

Enhancing Civil Society Engagement with Information to Improve the Quality of Education

This research aims to investigate how civil society actors can act as change agents from the bottom-up, examining their characteristics, understanding the incentives that drive them and subsequently analysing their actions to enhance a comprehensive framing of the concept “social accountability”. It proposes a framework which rests on three important observations: i) that social actions result from the interplay of particular types of CSOs engaging deeply with their own constituents; ii) that these organisations interface with critical information with particular emphasis on the data gathering process and iii) that they subsequently undertake bottom-up actions in their context targeting both state and non-state actors.  The research will use UWEZO Kenya as a case study: UWEZO Kenya is a large-scale citizen-led assessment that gathers evidence and uses data from the assessment to strengthen accountability by equipping a wide array of stakeholders of civil society actors with information to improve the quality of education.  This research will make a contribution to understanding the role of civil society organisations in improving development outcomes. It addresses a significant gap in scholarly literature by the rigorous study of perceptions and actions, drawing from documentary analysis and interviews in carefully selected case studies where civil society organisations have worked closely with citizen-led assessments in local communities. This research allows the researcher to gather a comprehensive body of stories of social actions from selected CSOs which will provide significant insights into best practices making a case for their inclusion in theories of change of development organisations.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

 

Kate Marriott (University of Leeds)

Evaluating the Role of Collective Urban Gardening Practices in Creating Healthy and Sustainable Communities: The Case Study of an Allotment in Leeds

Urban communities in the UK are facing an economic, environmental and social crisis; with poverty rising, environmental degradation increasing with climate change and loneliness and isolation leading to declining physical and mental health.

In the last decade, there has been a resurgence of popularity in all forms of urban gardening, from community gardens to allotments. Gardening together in a rare green space in an urban area is increasingly being shown to improve public health as well as offer essential environmental benefits such as habitat to improve biodiversity and green space to reduce the urban heat island effect.

But what does being part of an allotment group mean for our consumption practises? What role can community gardening have in our future health care system? And does gardening in the community really improve community cohesion? This session will explore these questions.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 2: Zero hunger

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

 

Negar Naghshinehpour (University of Leeds)

Diving into Rubbish – a look into alternative bin liners

The project will showcase the challenges and opportunities associated with reducing plastics in the cleaning services at Leeds University. To tackle the challenge of being plastic free by the year 2023, the research will take a holistic approach looking into plastic products sold around campus as well as tackling the reduction in plastic bin liners. Research around alternative bin liner materials will be presented along with challenges in adopting them in a university settings. Collaboration among the university suppliers as well as business owners on campus will also be taken into account as they contribute to the problem. Furthermore, the project will highlight the top communication strategies to effectively describe the different waste streams. The goal of the project is to clearly identify the necessary steps needed to achieve the 2023 campaign. The goal of becoming plastic-free is an ambitious goal set out by the university but is needed to combat climate change.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Goal 13: Climate action

 

Alaa Aldada (University of Leeds)

The Student Citizenship Programme – Local Waste and Litter Engagement

The Student Citizenship Programme supports students’ integration into the local community and aims to ensure that theirs, and other resident’s, experience of their time in Leeds is a hugely positive one. As a part of this programme, Local Waste and Litter Engagement focuses on waste and litter management problems, especially in Hyde Park and Woodhouse Moor. Whilst the issue of how to deal with the problem of waste presents a huge challenge to our society, this project represents a unique opportunity to achieve a radical change in students’ attitudes and habits in relation to waste. The project includes launching campaigns to increase the student’s knowledge regarding reducing, reusing and recycling of waste. Moreover, the project includes deliver some days of action focussing on waste management in Hyde Park and Woodhouse Moor. In addition, the project focuses on engaging and educating households on responsible waste management practice, labelling and wheeling bins back to their stores, litter picks and cleanliness audits.

The main activities of the project are being delivered by the sustainability team, students and community volunteers.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Karolina Zarzyczny, Katie Watson, Clare Verduyn (University of Leeds)

Quantifying herbivory pressure: The role of herbivores in shaping subtropical and tropical coral reefs in a changing climate

Herbivory is one of the fundamental biological processes underpinning coral reef ecosystem stability. A comprehensive understanding of this process is necessary for predicting how coral reefs will respond to climate change, given the ongoing tropicalisation of subtropical regions. The strength of herbivory pressure exerted by sea urchins and fishes is thought to change with latitude, however there are virtually no urchin herbivory data from the subtropics. Here, I will be quantifying the herbivory pressure exerted by sea urchins and fishes by combining fish and urchin abundances with fish bite rates and urchins grazing rates. To compare latitudinal differences in herbivory, we collected the data at seven sites across subtropical (Kochi) and tropical (Okinawa) coral communities in southern Japan. Furthermore, I will compare algal and coral cover between sites and consider reef exposure, substrate types, and anthropogenic activities in my analyses. From my initial observations I can see that in general, subtropical coral communities are largely represented by coral communities with greater algal cover than the true coral reefs of the tropics. I am aiming to find quantitative evidence that herbivorous fishes exert higher herbivory pressure than urchins in the tropics; and have the opposite effects in the subtropics. The findings of this study provide us with foundation for understanding how subtropical coral reefs may respond to tropicalisation in response to climate change in the future, given the different types of fish and invertebrate herbivores they host and how those systems may be affected by removal of herbivores by fisheries.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Goal 13: Climate action

Goal 14: Life below water

 

Ruaa Hariri (University of Leeds)

Exploring Sustainable Assessment Feedback in Second Language Education: Insights from Preparatory Year Teachers 

As a catalyst for economic growth and empowerment of women, ‘Quality Education’ is highlighted amongst the top Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG) placed by the United Nations for the 2030 agenda. In an attempt to address these global demands, Saudi Arabia’s Voluntary National Review to the 2018 UN Forum was the country’s first attempt to conduct a review of the status of the SDGs. The challenges faced in Saudi education were compiled, and educational evaluations have identified teachers’ assessment skills in need of development. It is therefore essential to reconsider academic development that encourages change in teachers’ knowledge, skills, values and attitudes. The central focus of this empirically based research is the relationship between language teacher cognition and the nature of their assessment feedback provision. The study has looked into female teachers’ feedback on learners’ second language writing tasks, within a course of English for Academic Purposes, for a Girls’ Preparatory Year Programme at a Saudi Higher Education context. Qualitative research methods were used, including interviews with teacher participants and observations of classroom writing tasks.  Stimulated recall methodology was used to discover teachers’ mental thought processes and reflections of their feedback, following classroom writing tasks and assessments. Data from fifteen sequential interviews and 10 classroom observations were obtained to track teachers’ feedback provision in writing. It explored what is needed to locate sustainable effort for achieving effective assessment feedback, in order to bridge the gap between learning and assessment.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 5: Gender equality

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

 

Suvro Saha (University of Leeds)

Could industrial sweet orange be a solution for dental caries?

Who doesn’t like to drink orange juice? The taste and nutritional value of orange juice make the demand higher every year. However, have you ever thought about the quantity of industrial orange waste produced to meet the consumers’ demand? In 2007, it was reported that around 33% of the total citrus production was industrially processed resulting in 15 million tons of waste that year and the amount is increasing every year. Although peels, pulp, and seeds are termed as ‘waste’, these could be a major source of bioactive compounds include polyphenols, carotenoids and essential oils and peels contain more polyphenol than the edible part of the fruit. This research involves exploring the antimicrobial properties of this waste against the pathogens causing dental caries. It is the most common and ignored of all chronic diseases. If the caries is untreated, it could cause dental diseases including tooth loss, gingivitis, and periodontitis. With a global prevalence of 35% for all ages combined, untreated caries was reported for the most common condition evaluated for the Global Burden of Diseases 2010 study. It is also associated with some systemic diseases such as Type 2 diabetics, premature birth babies, infective endocarditis and rheumatoid arthritis.  In the scenario of growing ineffectiveness and side-effects of conventional synthetic drugs for curing caries, the sweet orange waste could be an alternative therapeutic. The adaptation of these waste products will help the development of alternative therapies and ease industrial waste management which is a financial liability to juice processing industries.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

 

Fern Spencer (University of Leeds)

The carbon footprint of food

The production and consumption of food accounts for around 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. By making more sustainable food choices, there are great carbon footprint savings to be made through eating local produce, less meat and more plant based food. The Refectory food venue on the University of Leeds campus has already made the move towards producing more low carbon food alternatives. However, do we, as consumers, have an idea of how much carbon is produced from our food choices food?

This research, as part of the Sustainability Architect scheme, aims to calculate the carbon footprint of food sold in the Refectory, using the TUCO carbon calculator, which is designed for catering services. This information will be communicated to customers on a daily basis, with information on ‘low carbon’ alternatives available in the Refectory. Over the academic year, data on purchases from the Refectory will be analysed to identify any changes in consumer behavior resulting from the communication of carbon footprints.

The aim is to enable staff, students and other customers to make more informed decisions about their food choices. By making people aware of the carbon footprint of different food options, the hope is that more sustainable, lower carbon food choices will be made. The desired outcome is for many small behavioural changes made by individuals to result in a much larger collective carbon reduction on campus.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Mathew Fuller (University of Leeds)

 

LED by Light: A Brighter future through LED bulbs

My research centres on a simple idea, that LED bulbs are more energy efficient. Due to their much longer lifespan they also greatly reduce the amount of plastic waste & thanks to their greater efficiency they cut down on the requirement of energy (which in turn reduces carbon emissions). I found out that if every bulb in the country was changed from incandescent to LED, it would cut the energy consumption of the entirety of the UK by 21% (roughly, since exact numbers are tricky to get). So, since an LED bulbs average lifespan is 20 years, the amount of energy saved just in the UK over the lifetime of 1 LED bulb would be enough to power the world for 42 years. Another great motivator other than the incredible cut down in energy use, is that LED bulbs last 5 times longer than the closest alternative which is fluorescent. This means that using LED bulbs is a lot cheaper in the long run, so much so it would save the UK’s economy upwards of £1 180 000 000 000 over the 20-year lifespan of one LED bulb since you can buy a bulb for as cheap as £1. If all bulbs are changed to LED bulbs, it will alleviate pressure on the environment, energy grid and economy…there is literally no downside and it is possibly the easiest way to help save our planet.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Goal 13: Climate action

 

Joseph Llewellyn (University of Leeds)

Increasing footsteps, decreasing footprints. Using nudge theory to promote sustainable stair-use with pro-environmental messaging in a university library

While environmental concern continues to grow, intentions and values do not always translate into sustainable practices. Instead, by targeting behaviours, using nudge-theory (altering ways in which the environment presents information and choices), the aim here was to influence stair-use where benefits can be found at 1) the individual-level with increased physical-health, 2) the organization-level where reduced elevator-use reduces energy costs and 3) the wider societal-level whereby pro-environmental behaviours help sustainable practices for the planet.

In total, over 10,000 observations were recorded. Within Laidlaw library, stairs are presented as the default-option and findings show 65.39% of people entering the building use them. Within Edward Boyle library, elevators are presented as the default-option and here only 18.23% of people use stairs

Nudges were then used to 1) direct foot-traffic and increase visibility of the stairs (using footprints) 2) frame benefits of stair-use through pro-environmental behaviours (using point-of-choice prompts) and 3) improve aesthetics of the stairs (using an interactive map of the world). Results show significantly increased stair-use from baseline (18.23%) to intervention (47.23%). Meanwhile the average number of elevators reduced by 13.86 per-hour during this period.

Using pre-existing structures like stairs to achieve recommended physical-exercise is affordable, sustainable and can be implemented within daily-routine, coming at no extra-cost to the individual or the organization.

As found here we do not need to dramatically alter organizations, nor restrict freedom of choice to encourage positive behaviours with sustainable benefits for people, organizations and the wider environment.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Mohamed Etarhouni (University of Leeds)

Design and Implementation of Series-Parallel Differential Power Processing Converters Scheme for the Photovoltaic Maximum Power Generation under Non-Uniform Conditions

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in utilising Differential Power Processing converters (DPP) in Photovoltaic (PV) applications to efficiently achieve maximum power point (MPP) operation even when all PV generators are  under unequal solar irradiations. This work presents a novel scheme by combining existing Series and Parallel (SP) DPP converter schemes and its control strategy in order to raise the system’s generated output power under unequal light levels.

This research aims to develop new configurations and corresponding control schemes for PV power generation systems to obtain the maximum power generation under any shading conditions. To achieve this, an enhanced configuration DPP converters is devised. In addition, the motivation of this project work is to design, investigate and employ low loss DC-DC converters for the PV system. The chosen converters with its controller should give stability for the system dynamics and high performance for the steady-state output, and to study and derive an optimum control system model that leads to all interconnected PV panels to obtain the maximum power extraction.

Furthermore, this paper focuses on a PV array which considers both series and parallel (SP) DPPs. The example of 2×2 array is shown in Fig. 1(b) where there is one front-end converter, whose output voltage is kept constant at Vfe and shared with the input of both DPP converters (DPP1 and DPP2, respectively) which are essentially implemented based on a lower-switch buck converter for high efficiency and compactness.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

 

Ebtisam Alotaibi (University of Leeds)

Evaluation of two case studies of revitalization of the Bedouin weaving culture as a sustainable business practices

Research has found that craft and sustainable development are intrinsically linked, especially on a local scale, yet these links are not yet fully understood. For example, many craft practitioners consciously adopt sustainable approaches, reflecting their ethical standpoint. This can take various forms, such as adopting low impact methods of production and materials and developing durable products with a long shelf-life. Furthermore, many deliver workshops to share skills and beliefs which enable local communities to become self-sufficient. Craft practitioners are often independent which, along with their sustainable approaches and community engagement, can provide valuable models of self-sufficiency which is mindful of the environment, whilst being part of a network of practice.

This research will initially investigate the Bani Hamida project in Jordan, which created a new brand by adapting traditional weaving methods, enabling skilled weavers to create a new type of rug. Then, it will investigate Sadu House in Kuwait, a museum and artistic house dedicated to the protection of Bedouin crafts and skills.

This study’s primary aim is to evaluate the power these two organisations in promoting and sustaining social responsibility, personal meaning, financial viability and environmental concern. These principles of sustainability will be examined in order to glean in-depth knowledge about how textile design, production and sustainability are related in these two cases.

This research will analyse primary and secondary sources, review the literature relevant to this topic and build a theoretical framework to enable an in-depth understanding of the topic at hand.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

 

Ibukunoluwa Iyiola-Omisore (University of Leeds)

Directors Duties and Corporate Sustainability in Africa: Using Nigeria as a case study

The activities of many corporations, especially Multinational Companies (MNCs) operating in Nigeria have been criticised, because they are heedless of consequences such as pollution and destruction of crops. These have in turn affected the livelihoods of communities whose major occupation is fishing and farming, resulting in serious threat to sustainable development. Areas affected have constantly suffered from environmental neglect, crumbling infrastructure and services, high unemployment, abject poverty and endemic conflict.

These incidents have focused attention on the role of sustainability in corporate governance (CG) especially regarding the role of directors in considering the interests of the shareholders and non-member stakeholders such as the environment and community. Currently, no company law obligation exists on the part of directors requiring them to internalise the environmental externalities resulting from their decisions. Shareholder primacy facilitates board decision-making which excludes consideration of environmental externalities.

Recent studies focus on use of external regulations to compel companies to behave responsibly in Nigeria. Despite these efforts, environmental degradation continues to persist in parts of the country where natural resources are exploited. This project aims to investigate the potential expansion of directors’ duty ‘to act in good faith in the best interests of the company’ so that consideration of the environment is brought within the ambit of directors’ duties in Nigeria.

Although a one size fits all approach does not apply to all jurisdictions, lessons from Nigeria can serve as an example to represent many problems that is commonly shared by developing countries.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 1: No poverty

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

 

Josh Turner (University of Leeds)

Heat Pumps: The Future of Heat in the UK?

Heating accounted for 37% of the UK’s emissions in 2016. In the attempt to reach net zero, heating is a big factor that must be addressed.

Heat pumps are an efficient, semi-renewable form of heating & air conditioning that requires no burning of fossil fuels and thus no direct emissions. Instead it uses solar energy absorbed by the air/ground and converts this to a useable high temperature for space and water heating. The uptake of these systems in the UK is low, partly due to the inability to perform to claimed efficiencies. This project investigates the long term performance of Heat Pumps in the UK in an attempt to understand how the performance gap can be closed.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 13: Climate action

 

Nina Victoria Rangel Ortiz (University of Leeds)

Far Away From The Grid But One Step Closer To Clean Electricity Generation

The International Energy Agency estimate that accelerated deployment of mini-grids and off-grid systems, which heavily rely on diesel generators, is required to supply the electricity demand in rural areas across developing countries. Being so, and with the intention to contribute with the Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure Access To Affordable, Reliable And Modern Energy For All, the objective of this research is to develop a model to optimise the performance of diesel generators within hybrid micro-grids. The model will become a useful planning tool for micro-grid designers to select the appropriate set of diesel generators with wider biofuel choices. The innovation of the research relies on the detailed development of the model that will bring a more inclusive technique to estimate fuel consumption and the correspondent emissions of diesel generators. It will incorporate certain parameters that are not currently considered in the existing hybrid micro-grids design tools for gen-set sizing and selection criteria. These parameters will allow a smooth transition from fossil fuel to biofuel usage with more accurate diesel generators selection. The variety of biofuels depends on the location and availability of non-edible vegetable oil, locally produced. Implementing the model will reduce the existing gap between energy demand and the power generated from “oversized” diesel generators. As a result, it will give a better interaction among renewable energy technologies with the conventional sources that give stability in off-grid systems. A better interaction is translated into a more efficient generation system, with lower operating costs and less environmental impact.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 13: Climate action

 

Poppy Cooney (University of Leeds)

Energy from Brewery Waste

Brewing is an energy and resource intensive process, currently in the UK every hectolitre (hl) of beer is responsible for around 4hl of wastewater, 21kg spent grain and 0.5kg of surplus yeast along with spent hops or trub. Large brewing operations often choose to treat some or all waste using anaerobic digestion (AD), however small-scale operators are less likely to have the financial capital to undertake this option. The UK currently has over 2,400 active breweries, the vast majority of which (~98%) are craft breweries.

As part of this research craft brewers in Yorkshire (UK) have been surveyed. Most respondents indicated that capital costs and available land were key concerns when it came to smaller breweries installing renewable energy solutions. As such, all liquid waste and some solid wastes (yeast/hops) are frequently disposed of via municipal sewers. The high chemical oxygen demand (COD) of such wastes can be a considerable burden on water treatment facilities and brewers in some areas are restricted in how much they can dispose of by this route. This means that brewers considering up scaling their production may be forced to carry out more on-site treatment.

One possible option for improved treatment is 2-stage AD integrating immobilised cells with industry-traditional upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) digester. 2-stage systems allow conditions to be individually optimised for hydrolysis/acidogenesis and methanogenesis, resulting in higher treatment efficiency. In order to determine the ideal operational conditions for different brewery streams biochemical methane potential tests were conducted.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Ryckie G Wade (University of Leeds)

No More Meat

Meat causes climate change: The livestock sector is the leading cause of climate change, responsible for >14% of greenhouse gases (GHG)1. Compared to plant-proteins (e.g. soya), beef farming produces >25x more GHG.2

Meat causes global famine: Livestock consume 83% of all crops, contributing only 18% of calories to the human diet. If all crops were redirected, 8 billion humans could be fed and world hunger would end.3

Meat is decimating forests: An omnivorous diet requires >17x more land, 14x more water and 10x more energy than a vegetarian diet. The livestock sector uses 27% of the planet’s fresh water yet produces 50x the waste of all humans.

Meat causes cancer: The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared processed meat and red meat as carcinogenic to humans.4,5 Eating meat independently increases the risk of premature death from any cause6,7 and cancer of the bowel8, pancreas9, stomach10, prostate11 and breast12,13.

Meat causes cardiovascular diseases: Eating meat independently increases the risk of: type 2 diabetes  mellitus14–19, hyperlipidaemia20, heart disease4,21, obesity22,23, stroke24 and high blood pressure24 largely due to the consumption of cholesterol which is only found in animal products.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and United Nations states that humans must embrace a plant-based diet. The British Dietetic Association has declared a vegan/vegetarian diet suitable for all stages of life. Several other Universities have already taken this bold step forward (Cambridge, East Anglia, Goldsmiths, etc). Thus, meat should be replaced with plant-based alternatives in staff and student outlets.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 2: Zero hunger

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Shuying Wang (University of Leeds)

Red quinoa protein isolates for antioxidant peptides

Quinoa is a pseudocereal and originated in the Andean region. It is known as a superfood for its great nutritional value especially its high protein content and quality. Also, it is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols. It is classified by FAO as one of humanity’s promising crops that can contribute to food security in the 21st century and is attracting growing attention worldwide.

This research will study the red quinoa isolation for antioxidant peptides. As is known to all, the antioxidant can effectively eliminate free radicals thus delay human ageing. However, the data for its antioxidants is limited and requires a further study.

The experiments involved will use a wet procedure (isoelectric precipitation)to extract the protein and a newly sequential enzymatic system (pepsin-pancreatin) for bioactive peptides production. Finally, it will assess the antioxidant of quinoa peptides and explore the potential application to the food industry.

The result is hoping to improve food composition databases and help the better application of quinoa in the food industry. As new food products featuring ancient grains are appearing in the market worldwide, this research is likely to give new possibilities for quinoa.

With more exploration of the superfood quinoa and the emerging market, humans can enjoy more advanced food and meet their pursuit of healthy food in the contemporary era.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

 

Eleanor Smallwood (University of Leeds)

Turtles, Tourists and Seagrass: Can they live together?

As countries strive for economic growth they find opportunities everywhere to support their local population, with a key sector being tourism. Ecotourism especially has grown rapidly in the past decade necessitating the monitoring of natural habitats to ensure sustainable use is maintained. Akumal Bay in Mexico has become a tourist hotspot since 2010 due to the presence of juvenile green sea turtles living in the bay; these young turtles feed on seagrass meadows in the bay however the seagrass themselves are severely impacted by the growth in tourism. This is in addition to stressors already placed upon these meadows due to climate change as increasing sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification alter a seagrasses ability to survive.

The sensitive dynamic between turtle abundances, seagrass stability and the need for tourism for local economy makes it vital to monitor to the area to ensure continued species richness, provision of jobs, and subsequently that the ecosystem is not exploited. My work focussed on the stability of the seagrass habitat itself, discovering whether it has been declining since the introduction of tourism to the area, and also whether the green sea turtle abundances and distributions have been affected by tourist presence. This work contributes to ongoing research in the area to inform the Mexican government and impact policy changes in the region to ensure sustainable use of their natural resources.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Goal 13: Climate action

Goal 14: Life below water

 

Robert Silkstone (Leeds Arts University)

Made to Last: Product life extension through emotional durability

We are in an age of incontrovertible climate change, yet efforts to tackle this crisis have largely focussed on the adoption of renewable energy generation and energy efficiency. This research will instead focus on the vast amounts of embedded carbon emissions within the design of products by tackling the ever-growing problem of eWaste through circular design and emotionally durable design.

Consumers are continuously replacing and scrapping electronics that is growing three times faster than any other type of waste in the EU, Greenpeace (2015). In an effort to challenge this paradigm of consumption Chapman (2005) proposed Emotionally Durable Design as a theory and design strategy to encourage people to keep products for longer.

The research will be underpinned by Emotionally Durable Design and qualitative mixed methodologies to uncover the reasons why people form attachments with certain products. Forming an attachment with a product is created over time and the longer a product is owned the more likely feelings of sentimentality and nostalgia will form, Page (2014). It is this attachment that can form between a user and their product that can be meaningful enough for the user to delay or prevent product replacement.

This attachment research will then inform the design and development of new sustainable products that are designed with the whole product life cycle in mind through the consideration of sustainable materials that improve with age and can work within circular business models for long term sustainability.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Seren Oakley (Leeds Arts University)

Ecological Anxiety

I am currently exploring the research topic ‘Ecological Anxiety’ within my creative practice. My practice is currently an expression of my personal experience of ecological anxiety supported by an academic body of writing. This dissertation theoretically investigates Ecological anxiety and the implications of current agri-logistics we face as a species at this moment in history. I am interested in the structural elements of biocentrism and anthropocentrism, and how we can move towards a more ecologically aware society via pedagogy etc.

Ecological Awareness requires the thinker to be thinking on more than one scale at one moment. This is why people become anxious. Thinking on more than one existential scale brings them into a personal awareness that they are experiencing life on more than one timescale via their present experience. That’s not to suggest some sci-fi multi timeline theory. I simply mean that the way we are processing information at this point in history requires us to analyse information differently. We are being fed more information than ever before, and at a faster pace each day. So, when we consider the current state of the Earth and its health, we are analysing data we have learned about the earths previous states, the earths states, and the predictions of the world’s future states. All of which we are considering within the context of ourselves subjectively.

My practice explores this, politically, ecologically, socially and individually, for a reader or onlooker to better understand themselves in our current climate crisis.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 13: Climate action

Goal 15: Life on land

 

Mai Brightling (Leeds Arts University)

Green Guide Leeds

As a newcomer to Leeds, it has taken me some time to find out about all of the wonderful places that make it possible to shop & eat more sustainably in Leeds. I produced the film Green Guide Leeds to help to spread the word about the growing environmentally-conscious community in Leeds. Although I have since become aware of similar guides to my online directory, the film provides a visually accessible, concise introduction to those new to sustainable living and/or Leeds.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Lizzie Donegan (Leeds Arts University)

Sustainable making in community art education

I am an artist, writer and qualified teacher. As part of my MA I intend to develop a series of art lessons which promote sustainability through recycling and reuse while supporting learners’ individual creative experience and recognition of art-making as a skill for life with many holistic benefits. These sessions will be closely linked to my own practice and will give learners the confidence to experiment with the techniques taught at home since the modes of making will utilise everyday and inexpensive materials to create outcomes traditionally requiring specialist kit. An art history element will be embedded in the sessions, looking at artists who are developing a sustainable, community-focused practice. My poster will detail these ideas and I will demonstrate accessible and inclusive making techniques, for example, printmaking.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Jenny Baker (Leeds Arts University)

Cardigan Evolution

The current economic model is essentially one of “take-make-dispose” in which firms accrue profits by producing products that will later on end in the landfill’ (Pitt and Heinemeyer, 2015).

For children, play teaches how to interact socially, how to problem-solve and manage emotions. Adults live in an age where technology has advanced so much we are subject to unprecedented levels of information. In the Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz argues that humans are overwhelmed by choice, and that becomes a burden. In response to this ‘… Instead of using complex thinking, people are turning to playful release and regression in order to find comfort in simplicity’ (Franklintill.com, 2017).

My choice of withdrawal from daily stresses is to withdraw from reality and play the smartphone game Pokémon Go. The game has rules, and a structure and it is this containment and limited choice that becomes an antidote to the overwhelm of choice and information. What particularly interests me, is the acceptance of rules and structures these result in fun and also free up the mind as decisions are limited.

My research aims to examine how to evolve a series of existing 100% natural wool knitted garments to find value in the obsolete through playfulness, and speculative testing to re-frame these to create moments of tangible connection. I will re-use existing materials and work in a manner that considers the need for maintenance, disassembly, remake and recycling, wherever possible diverting waste items away from landfill.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Yaling Li (Leeds Arts University)

Reasonable Consumption

Reasonable consumption – recently, I found the increasing number of people like to follow the celebrity and fast fashion to buy different products, which including cosmetics, clothes, bags, shoes, etc, especially for the young age people, even those products not needed for them.

However, we are living in the commercial society, the plenty of advertisement and propagation will be faced by us, the different company will use various methods to stimulate their consumption, such as, discount, celebrity endorsement, and posters, meanwhile, considering the purchasing desire which owned by the human being force people to buy when they meet different beautiful item but not suitable for them, the huge of waste was created. This tendency leads the negative impact on the environment, and responsible consumption, specifically, it will cause the throw away culture and impulsive consumption.

As for the modern consumption trend, many people will change when they found something broken, while in the past people tried to think about how to repair to make it more sustainable. For this popular but not positive consumption trend, I hope our citizens try to consider whether this product is suitable and needed for ourselves before do purchasing and study how to do the reasonable consumption. I think this phenomenal is already noticed by some people, but it’s not enough, we can do something for the different commercial strategies, for example, planning in shopping, personal spending plan in each month to use your money more proper, also trying to repair and create second time, etc.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

 

Hannah Temme (Leeds Beckett University)

Climate Anxiety: Envisioning a future in a darkening world

This session will consider the mental health impacts of climate change on the world’s population, as people awaken to the reality of our future prospects, respond to the negativity of the news and attempt to find a path through the predictions of social and environmental collapse.

It will discuss the dilemma younger generations face in deciding what type of life to build under the imminent shadow of climate catastrophe and aims draw attention to the psychological issues created by the very idea that the circumstances of our futures, unlike previous generations, appear far beyond our control.

We will consider coping mechanisms, highlighting the importance of recognising our emotional reactions and seeking validation of our grief in order to channel anxious energy into positive action.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 3 – Good health

Goal 11 – Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 13 – Climate action

 

Saud Alotaibi, Muhammet Aygun, Fahad Alosaimi, Shorog Alotaiby, Jiaxu Bai (University of Leeds)

Our Journey to Sustainability

A group of five pre-sessional international students from different disciplines (Engineering, Chemistry, Geophysics and Law) will outline their individual journeys to sustainability. Prior to starting the Language in Context Sustainability Module, students’ engagement with sustainability was varied – one student was a complete novice and others had limited experience. However, they are now all travelling on the same path to reduce their negative impact on the planet.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals