The theme of the 2021 Student Sustainability Research Conference was Leaving No One Behind, one of the guiding principles behind the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It took place online, on Wednesday 9 June 2021.
The SDGs include zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, and gender equality. These goals are more difficult to reach for low- and middle-income countries, which are predominantly situated in the Global South and often have the least resources. Within the generally more affluent Global North, there is a great disparity in the impact of these issues within and across populations. The SDGs can only be reached if we reduce inequality and so all presenters have been asked to demonstrate how their project or research can be applied to reduce inequalities.
All topics presented at the 2021 conference were linked to sustainability and reflect and contribute to promoting elements of social equity and their intersections with climate and with each other (gender equity, LGBTQ+ equity, disability justice, Indigenous rights, migrant rights, worker rights, intergenerational equity, neurodiversity etc).
Click on the drop-down arrows below to view the thought-provoking content submitted by our students.
Gucci Cultural Appropriation Case Study - Aerielle Rojas (BA Fashion Technology)
Currently, the fashion industry is at a time where sustainability is finally getting the attention it deserves in the sense that people are realizing its more than preserving the environment-it’s about how we interact with others, are we being fair and responsible across the supply chain and who our operations affect, and are we representing a level of diversity that reflects equal opportunity. This past year I worked on a case study for a Fashion Branding class along with my group on Gucci’s 2018-19 cultural appropriation. The incident revolved around Gucci’s 2018 Autumn/Winter show, where they displayed a turtleneck sweater that resembled blackface, as well as a turban named the “Indy Turban”. Now these sparked enormous outrage among various cultural communities, including the black and Sikh religious community. This in combination formed to create Gucci Consumer boycotts and trending social media backlash. The blackface incident took precedence in Gucci’s response, as they quickly issued a formal apology and CEO Marco Bizzari went to meet with Dapper Dan and other black community representatives in Harlem. As a result of their meeting, Gucci announced a four-step plan to take this mistake as a “learning curve”. They in turn fulfilled their plan, and have adopted a successful brand turnaround, as my group’s case study supported. However, despite Gucci’s intent to make up for this significant mistake, this brings up questions as to why diversity and inclusion aren’t already a apart of company sustainability initiatives, and looks to the further, difficult future that we have to face in order to realize its significance. Optimistically though, we won’t have to. For the Sustainable Development Goal Number 10, to reduce inequalities, I plan, and encourage, others who are willing to dedicate effort, to continue these conversations of social sustainability in our sectors. In the future I hope to conduct more detailed research on furthering sustainability not just within supply chains or for environmental incentives, but for the improved social sustainability of the fashion industry and to leave no one behind.
Aerielle's research is linked to the following SDG:
#OnlineEnvironmentalism: A Characterization of the Intersectional Environmental Justice Discourse as seen on Instagram - Amelia Rose (BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
Amelia’s research explores and characterizes the new generation of environmental justice discourse and its convergence with intersectionality, an analytical framework which seeks to highlight how the overlap of an individual’s socio-political identities influences experiences of privilege and oppression. The study focuses on how this contemporary intersectional environmental justice discourse manifests on Instagram and how it has evolved from earlier, ‘offline’ conceptions of environmental justice. The research was conducted through the means of collecting a range of social and environmental justice-related Instagram content from eighteen diverse environmentalist profiles. The data was analyzed using thematic analysis and where relevant, a loose application of Bacchi’s (2009) ‘What is the problem represented to be?’ framework to gain a deeper insight into the underlying assumptions and beliefs underpinning the ideas presented within the discourse. The results demonstrate that many of the social and environmental justice issues foregrounded within the discourse relate to the core theme of intersectionality and illuminates the inherently complex nature of social and environmental issues which must be carefully explored in order for them to be achieved. This core theme of intersectionality also has inextricable ties to themes of racism, intersectional feminism and climate change. The results also reveal that the intersectional environmental justice discourse makes recommendations for the principles and practices of online activism, spotlighting the importance of elevating the core Black, Indigenous and People of Colour figures within the movement, advocating for inclusivity and the amplification of marginalized voices. Ultimately, I conclude that this emerging intersectional environmental justice discourse strives to shape our understanding of social and environmental issues into one that is more holistic, inclusive and can potentially transform the experience of injustices for many marginalised communities. This piece of research aligns with multiple Sustainable Development Goals as set out by the United Nations. Goals 10 and 16 in particular, which advocate for reduced inequalities, peace, justice and strong institutions reflect the true essence of this project, encapsulating a vision whereby every member of society is considered, included and protected from any form of social or environmental harm. The results of this research also encompass many other interconnected goals, namely 3, 5, 11, 13 and 15 which respectively promote health and wellbeing for everyone, gender equality and female empowerment, sustainable communities, climate action and protection of life on land. The intersectional framework which underpins this research is essential for understanding the matrixes of domination which perpetuate social and environmental oppression, and fundamentally hinder any progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Amelia's research is linked to the following SDGs:
All-cellulose composites: Fast Fashion to Smart Materials - Ashley Victoria (PhD - Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecules to Product)
Ashley’s PhD project looks at the development of all-cellulose composites using end-of-life textiles. Ashley’s project aligns with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 13 which relate to responsible consumption and production and tackling climate change. Although our efforts in recycling have made considerable improvements to the way we manage waste, there is still a large amount of un-recycled waste, destined for landfill or incineration. With the growth of fast fashion, more clothing is being discarded each year. Although it is possible to recycle end-of-life clothing, the process of breaking down fabrics into fibers can be energy intensive and disruptive, leading to recycled fibers with a loss in strength and quality. This means that they are often ‘down-cycled’ to lower grade products. For products to be recycled, they have to be broken down into their constituent materials. Composites are materials produced from two or more dissimilar components which remain distinct within its structure as matrix, and reinforcement. This allows characteristics of different materials to be combined into one material such as high strength and ductility, making them suitable for many applications. Because of the mixed components, separation is needed in order to recycle them, and this can make the process complex and costly. A large number of fabrics used to make clothing are made from cellulosic fibers such as viscose, hemp, and one of the most prevalent fibers used for clothing, cotton. Cellulose is a biopolymer originating from plants and has been found to have tensile properties that can match that of steel. It has been used in the formation of all-cellulose composites (ACCs), where both matrix and reinforcement phases are formed from cellulosic material, resulting in a composite made from components that are chemically identical, making them easier to recycle than traditional composites. There is an opportunity to create ACCs using cellulosic materials within textile waste to produce added value materials, and potential to develop this for industry scale. For my project I will be investigating the properties that can be achieved with ACCs made using different types of cellulosic fabrics present in clothing waste. I will be investigating how different weaves can influence the structure and mechanical performance of these materials, as well as understand how different forms of cellulose respond to dissolution, and how they differ from each other. The key themes underpinning my research focus on recyclability and industrial feasibility, in addition to composite function and properties. By understanding the full life cycle of a product and designing for circularity, materials can be made to remain in a circular economy. This will help to reduce waste and reduce the amount of virgin material required to make new products. I will also assess the whole process in terms of environmental impacts and economic feasibility. By doing so, it is possible that we can move forward in the development of a sustainable, circular economy, and design processes with reduced carbon emissions to protect our Earth from global warming.
Ashley's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Natural Peace of Mind - Caitlin Pallett (BSc Zoology)
Caitlin aims to teach others about the wellbeing benefits of nature to build a more personal and more sustainable relationship between people and the planet. Outdoor space of some sort is accessible to almost everyone globally and everyone’s mental health matters, so combining well-being with conservation is inclusive and effective.
Caitlin's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Gender and Reduced-Meat Diets - Cayla Payne (BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
Increased levels of meat consumption remain a key contributor to a host of environmental and social problems, including the exacerbation of climate change impacts. As a result, diets which reduce or avoid meat altogether are gaining greater recognition, with trends showing increasing popularity amongst these alternatives. Yet, there remains an apparent gender disparity between the adoption of such diets, with men much less likely to reduce their meat consumption than women. Cayla, through her research aims to understand the reasons for this significant variability in reduced meat consumption between men and women, by investigating differences in motivations and external influences. As such, her research relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 5, 12 and 13. The Theory of Relational Sociology has been applied throughout her research for a broadened understanding of the impacts of social interactions and relations on reducing meat consumption. The study focused on Gen Z individuals, utilising a qualitative approach of in-depth interviews, which were then analysed using both thematic and narrative analyse. The results indicate that women possess prosocial motivations to reduce their meat consumption regarding the environment, animal welfare and health. Moreover, men are influenced to reduce their meat consumption through their close social relationships with women. The impacts of external influences such as social media, friends and family are highlighted too. Ultimately, it is concluded that there are wide social expectations of men which remain a barrier to their uptake of a reduced-meat diet. Physical strength was found to be a key expectation and was reinforced through social media and disapproval from friends. However, men with close female influences who are also reducing their meat consumption are more likely to be empowered to overcome such barriers.
Cayla's research is linked to the following SDGs:
HIV Self-testing in Female Sex workers - Chinelo Ofomata (MPH Public Health (International))
Globally, Female Sex Workers (FSWs) are disproportionately affected by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection because of the infection risk associated with sex work. In sub-Saharan Africa, they have 12.4 times the odds of HIV infection compared with other women of reproductive age (Chanda et al., 2017; Okafor et al., 2017). In addition, FSWs face barriers in assessing facility-based HIV services due to the stigma and discrimination,(Shannon et al., 2015), inconvenient location, and opening hours of the healthcare facility. WHO recommends quarterly HIV self-testing (HIVST) by FSWs, but many FSWs in sub-Saharan Africa have not met that standard (Ortblad et al., 2017). HIVST, therefore, surmounts these barriers by allowing testing at home, and at any time. Interestingly, there is growing evidence of the effectiveness of peer-network-based approaches in increasing uptake of HIV-testing among key populations (Lillie et al., 2019). Recruitment of FSWs by the peer mobilizers (PMs) has also shown to be higher when assisted with incentives (Lillie et al., 2019) This delivery strategy, therefore, has the potential to encourage frequent self-testing of FSWs where stigma prevents them from doing so under a clinic-based setting. In addition to improving case-finding for linkage to antiretroviral care, this would also contribute to achieving the ambitious 95-95-95 target set by the Joint Committee on AIDS (UNAIDS) for HIV detection, treatment and prevention (Lillie et al., 2019).
Chinelo's research is linked to the following SDGs:
The Pandemic Podcast - Ella Matthews (BA Liberal Arts)
Ella explains how The Pandemic Podcast was established, what was learnt and what, I believe, others can take away. The session will align with multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. Firstly, Goal 4: Ella will explain how we wanted to ensure quality education was given during the time of the pandemic. Secondly, Goal 3: one of our main priorities was supporting student well being during this time. We offered social media platforms which linked well being resources and gave our own advice. This will all be referenced during the pre-recorded session. Lastly, Goal 11: Ells will explain how we managed to form a close knit community, despite many of us not meeting in person. Ella will explain how this was achieved and how others can achieve it too.
Link to The Pandemic Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4lATLn8AuXV1tzQ8WdQaTF
Facebook: The Pandemic Podcast
Ella's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Are sustainable lifestyles disability inclusive? - Eleanor Burke ( BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
Reducing individual or household environmental impacts is a crucial concept of sustainability debates interested in encouraging pro-environmental behaviours and sustainable lifestyles. However, there is little research regarding the implications of this for disability equality and the accessibility of sustainable lifestyles. This research examines the experiences of people with disabilities when interacting with pro-environmental behaviours. It relates these findings with sustainability and disability literature to identify the compatibility of both sustainable development goals (disability equality and sustainability). Sustainability- focused policy discourses in the UK are also explored, and their implications on disability equality examined. An in-depth qualitative survey analysis with people with disabilities who identified ecological concern was conducted, and the results were analysed against current findings in this area. This research was led through a qualitative approach, and the results showed a thorough understanding and interaction of environmental concern from the cohort. The study identified four key barriers which excluded people with disabilities from interacting with pro-environmental behaviours, and an environmental policy review highlighted these obstructions further. I conclude that physical barriers, such as transport, is the most considerable obstruction to sustainable lifestyles followed by organisational and eco-ableism, with financial barriers having the least significance. The study acknowledges the issues within environmental policies that further these barriers and inequalities and suggests frameworks that may reduce these obstructions to sustainable development and disability equality. If we are to address sustainability issues, it is vital that everyone is included, which means concentrating on the needs and wants of people with disabilities to ensure disability equality and sustainable development. This research aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal of reduced inequalities as it explores whether environmental sustainability and sustainable lifestyles can be more disability-inclusive, encouraging a more interdisciplinary approach to sustainability within society, government and environmental goals. In addition, my findings showed that through reducing inequalities, sustainable development goals are more likely to be successful in reducing environmental impacts as there is wider participation of sustainability initiatives. Thus, these findings align with the Un Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 13 through promoting environmental behaviour, more sustainable cities and encouraging further action to make these goals more accessible.
Eleanor's research is linked to the following SDGs:
EU Environmental Regulation of Pharmaceuticals - Erin Chew (LLB Law)
Erin's research is concerned with the environmental regulation of pharmaceuticals in the EU. Pharmaceuticals pose a very serious risk to the environment and many are not aware of this due to the lack of discussion surrounding this problem. As a major global pharmaceutical consumer, the EU acknowledges this issue and therefore requires a new pharmaceutical to undergo an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) in order to assess any potential impact it could pose to the environment. ERAs are very important for the protection and preservation of the environment. My research analyses the regulatory framework of ERA of pharmaceuticals for both human and veterinary consumption. It was found that the law in this area is inadequate, with lack of priority and care for the environment. Ella argues that the EU is more concerned with the availability of medicine for the protection of human health and has struggled to find a balance by which the environment can also be protected. Moreover, Ella's research also undertakes a comparative analysis of the EU regulatory framework for the ERA of pharmaceuticals with the US regulatory framework for the Environmental Assessment (EA) of pharmaceuticals. This was done for the purpose of understanding how two major global pharmaceutical consumers combat this problem and whether there is any potential areas the EU could take inspiration from the US to improve. This helped to highlight the extent to which EU law is limited in this area. Ella's research also goes into further detail as to how this area of the law needs to be reformed in order to ensure maximum environmental protection from pharmaceuticals. It explores recommendations and reform proposals endorsed by academics and scientists.
Erin's research is linked to the following SDG:
Intersectional Environmentalism: Investigating London’s Eco-Apartheid - Geeta Wedderburn (BA Joint Hons Environmental Studies and English Literature)
Geeta’s transdisciplinary research consciously and strategically draws down vocabulary from Postcolonial Theory - ‘Diaspora’ and ‘Subalternity’ - and exports these terms to the context of Environmental Justice (EJ). This vocabulary is then used as a critical tool to analyse the spatial distributions of air pollution, green space access and asthmatic burdens against the ethnic demography of London’s boroughs, to examine the city’s environmental health injustices. Though EJ is the goal, Intersectional Environmentalism (IE) offers an important lens through which the linkages between diaspora, subalternity and environmentalism are viewed. IE identifies that there are systems of oppression within infrastructural and environmental policies which need dismantling and that environmental injustices happening to ethnic ‘minorities’ and the planet are often interconnected. Its framework is thus applied by my research to compare environmental health risk results to the delivery of London’s future infrastructural /environmental proposals, as this global city sets out to reach Net Zero by 2040 and become a world leader in the fight for mitigating Climate Chaos (GLA, 2018). The subsequent intersections brought to the fore by my research have revealed that ethnicity as a social metric may determine who wins -and who loses - from infrastructural/environmental policy in London, which may work to ‘subalternize’ the city’s Black and Brown diaspora into a position of unjust environmental risk. Indeed, as we strive to mitigate the socio-environmental impacts of our climate emergency, it is vital that climate justice and racial justice go hand in hand, in order to ‘responsibilitize’ (Cullen-Wetere & Cadogan, 2020, p. 2) the legacies of colonialism whilst securing an equitable, sustainable and intersectional future for all. Geeta was previously shortlisted for the Amnesty International Youth Literature Awards for my ‘Humanism’ protest/spoken word poem.
Geeta's research is linked to the following SDGs:
New Society focus: 17 UN SDGs - Indumini Ranatunga (BEng Electronics and Computer Engineering)
Indumini’s research aims to introduce a new student-led society at the University of Leeds that focuses purely on taking action towards achieving 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as spreading awareness and creating content on related topics such as sustainability and climate change. The session will also include a more detailed context as to why and how the project came to be as well as the progress achieved so far. While there are already many SDGs related initiatives underway at the University of Leeds, it was clear that a common space would be ideal for students of all disciplines who are interested in working together and brainstorming solutions for the SDGs and that a student-led society could help with this. With the help of Professor Ian Robertson and Teaching Fellow Roger Berry, an application to the University of Leeds Student Ideas fund led to being awarded £5000 pounds for the project of setting up the society.
Indumini's research is linked to the following SDGs:
The Bin Bag Dispenser - Jack Colmer (BA Hons Sports Business Management - Leeds Beckett University)
Jack talks about how he designed and built a bin bag dispenser and placed it in Hyde Park to help tackle the litter problem Hyde Park faces, especially on a sunny day. Jack will also talk about the impact it has had since being built and what the plans are for the future in terms of trying to get it across more parks in Leeds and the UK. Jack will provide pictures of the building process and pictures of the litter left at Hyde Park. Jack will talk about the future for designs as he would want a more sustainable product.
Jack's research is linked to the following SDG:
Face Mask Project - Luc MacMahon (BA Graphic Arts and Design - Leeds Beckett University)
Luc outlines the Face Mask Project, a response to ensuring the correct disposal of face masks through a piece of creative design.
Luc's research is linked to the following SDGs:
LUU Student Sustainability Advisory Board - LUU Student Exec
An overview of the work done by LUU's Student Sustainability Advisory Board in its first year, including the project of LUU Climate Week. Our work this year has also included establishing the LUU Sustainability Grant Fund, drafting a new Sustainability Strategy and providing feedback on the University's Climate Plan. The Board have been instrumental in providing feedback and ideas for strategy and projects across LUU, the University and the local community.
LUU Student Exec's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Integrating the UN SDGs in the LUBS curriculum - Mariam Zaqout (PhD of Civil Engineering) and Ariane Far (MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations)
Mariam and Ariane describe their current project as Student Sustainability Architects with the Leeds University Business School to integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals as part of their curriculum. Mariam and Ariane present the current knowledge and engagement of the current students with the SDGs.
Mariam and Ariane's research is linked to all of the SDGs.
Bridging the gender gap - Mathilde Rainard (MSc Climate Change and Environmental Policy)
Mathilde’s research looks at Bridging the gender gap in 10 years: effects on global mean temperatures, it is intrinsically linked to SDG 5 but also has implications for SDG 10 and SDG 13. It is my research project for my MSc. Therefore, at this stage the project is still in development, the dissertation being due end of August. However, it completely aligns with the topic of the conference "Leaving no one behind" as the project results will have implications regarding gender inequalities and social justice in the fight against climate change. Goal: The goal of the project is to operationalise the gender-climate nexus in a way that would give global mean temperatures for different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios built upon experts' elicitations. The gender-climate nexus is the object of a growing body of literature but operationalisation of the topic remains poor, either only considering the role of women in politics regarding climate change policies in the global north or only looking into gendered vulnerabilities to climate change in the global south. Researchers are often focused on one small aspect of the gender-climate nexus, such as women meat consumption in the global north, and a lot of them disregard potential inequalitarian underlying gendered assumptions in their field. However, correctly integrating the gender-climate nexus in policies would be positively impacting many SDGs (1, 5, 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16), as this would have impacts on development, poverty, inequalities, climate, health... Research questions, aims and objectives: My research questions are: What would happen to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and temperatures trajectories if the gender gap was globally bridged over the next 10 years? What are the climate adaptation and mitigation policies’ implications of bridging the gender gap? My aims are: To construct a GHG emissions scenario using experts’ elicitation to model temperatures trajectories. To operationalise the impact on climate change of achieving gender equity. My objectives are: 1/ To operationalise the links between gender equity and climate adaptation and mitigation. 2/ To construct an emission scenario that would reflect the GHG emissions induced by bridging the gender gap over 10 years. 3/ To understand the gendered drivers of greenhouse gas emissions, in the global north and the global south. 4/ To make policy recommendations regarding gender equity, development, climate adaptation and mitigation to integrate the gender-climate nexus efficiently. Operationalisation The full details of the operationalisation are still being looked upon as my research proposal is not due until June 1st. Methodology: Mixed-methods with experts' elicitation through an interview or focus group of pre-identified experts in the field to produce intervals of projected evolution for some preselected variables impacting greenhouse gas emissions such as: GDP, HDI, land-use, international consumption, energy use...Then construction of emissions' scenarios (coding) inputted into a climate model (FaIR). Implications: Despite the results provided by scenarios, social justice implications of bridging the gender gap will be thoroughly discussed in the research as well as implications of correctly implementing the gender-climate nexus in policies, overcoming gendered underlying assumptions ("women are more nurturing therefore policies should focus on..." would be an example of such assumptions).
Mathilde's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Embracing circular living in University of Leeds residences - Milan Sebastian Thottathil (MSc Environmental Engineering and Project Management)
Milan's research gives an overview of the student sustainability architect project "embracing circular living in university residences" that is being implemented in University of Leeds residences. The presentation begins by explaining the background and rationale for the project along with various factors and challenges that the project aims to overcome. This is followed by a brief introduction of the various sub-projects that have been designed to achieve the goals. The project aims to raise awareness regarding challenges posed by single-use plastics, help students become conscious about their resource consumption and develop a sense of responsibility about the waste they generate in their day-to-day life. The project aims to highlight how a circular lifestyle can contribute towards a sustainable future through a variety of activities and events. The focus of the project is resource consumption and waste management closely following the University's pledge to reduce single-use plastics by 2023, SDG 11 and SDG 12. The project aims to contribute towards SDG 12 by reducing the dependence on single-use plastic (linear model of resource consumption) and promoting a circular model of consumption with more emphasis on reuse and recycle through proper segregation of waste at source. The strength of this project is the sustainability volunteering community (comprising of student residents) that will promote sustainable lifestyle among the residences, thus contributing to SDG 11. The project also aims to work closely with sustainable organisations to give opportunities for the students to practice sustainable lifestyle and learn more about sustainability, thus contributing to SDG 17.
Milan's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Intervention mapping for the workers in using designated crossing facilities: Bangladesh context - Mohammad Sarker (PhD)
Mohammad’s research is a part of ongoing research work where survey (self-report behaviour and observation) and focus group discussion takes place for intervention mapping. Around 93% of the world's fatalities on the roads occur in low and middle-income countries. According to the statistics of the World Bank (2020), the road traffic fatality rate of Bangladesh is 102.1 (per 10,000 vehicles). In Bangladesh, workers work in a risky environment due to the presence of substantial number of industries and marketplaces near the moderate and high-speed road network. iRAP(2013) finds that the pedestrians crossing flow is the highest in such pedestrian concentrated industrial or commercial places. That study also finds that the uses of existing crossing facilities such as footbridges is also low (iRAP, 2013). This study focuses on the workers random crossing behaviour on the road, away from the designated crossing facilities, aiming to understand the behaviour, and analysis for searching intervention options to motivate workers in using crossing facilities.
This research or study is directly related to major SDG targets 3.6, 9.1 and 11.2.
Mohammad's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Engineered Q-dot Structures in Glass Media for Solar Radiation Harvesting to Heat Water - Mohanad Al-Murish (Integrated PhD and MSc in Complex Particulate Products and Processes)
Hygienic water scarcity is a growing global challenge. Although 70% of the earth is water, the available freshwater in the world is around 2%, with most of it (around 66%), being trapped in ice and glaciers and it is forecasted that 66% of the world’s population will be water-stressed by 2025. The world’s population is projected to reach around 9.8 billion by 2050, and this will lead to a further increase in demand for potable water. The lack of hygienic water in certain areas of the world - particularly mid to low-income countries - has created several health concerns such as the cholera outbreak in disaster zones, and poor health in general. The consumption of contaminated water can be deadly especially for those with a low immunity system. It was reported that around 3.4 million, mostly children, die annually due to the consumption of contaminated water. Around two-thirds of the world population are living in third world countries and countries in between and around the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. These people are considered as the worst sufferers in terms of getting access to hygienic water. Interestingly, the worst sufferers seem to have abundant solar radiation and most of these countries do have some amounts of non-potable water. Although there are lots of solar energy harvesting related technologies, two problems still exist, producing boiling water economically at a low cost that destroys pathogens and then cooling such water for potability. This makes many of the current technologies unaffordable. For instance, there are around 18000 operating desalination plants in 150 countries. The reported energy consumption for these plants is around 75 TWh/year and this was reported to account for 50% of the operational cost. This consumed energy is around 0.4% of the electric power in the whole world. The water produced by these desalination plants is assumed to be enough for only 300 million people and with the increasing global demand for potable water this is considered insufficient. Thus, the current systems may not be affordable by the worst sufferers. This project focuses on the methodology of capturing solar radiation for heating water to the boiling point so that in combination with a filtration system, pathogen and toxic-free water can be made available for drinking and household purposes. The scientific approach for this project explores the engineering of semiconductor quantum dots in a glass matrix for efficient solar radiation harvesting medium and converting the trapped radiation into thermal energy. The quantum dots of rare earth and transition metals will be used to engineer blackbody-like hotspots that will enhance the absorption of solar radiation through the glass. The captured radiation will be transferred as thermal energy through the glass wall into the water. Engineering quantum dots to capture the majority of solar radiation will enable efficient heat transfer for thermal gain in the aqueous media for boiling and evaporation. The technology intended to be developed in this project falls under the United Nation’s sustainable development goals 3 and 6.
Mohanad's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Sustainable Travel - Ngenda Kamayoyo (MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations)
Ngenda’s work focuses on his role as a Student Sustainability Architect, and how sustainable travel can contribute to the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.
Ngenda's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Cycling and UrbanSD in Post-COVID19 Leeds - Reuben Puddephatt (MEnv, BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
Reuben’s research investigates how COVID19 has fundamentally reshaped transport decision-making; and seeks to understand how the novel social, political and economic conditions imposed by the pandemic have impacted cycling policy in Leeds, UK. Some of the temporary social and environmental benefits experienced from forced localism, many of which relate to increased bicycle uptake, have caused many to consider the scope for a green recovery to facilitate sustainable urban lifestyles. Equitable cycle uptake could help to address SDGs related to health (SDG3), Reduced Inequalities (SDG10), Sustainable Cities (SDG11) and Climate Action (SGD13). Methods: Research was split into three questions to understand cycle policies and their barriers/enablers, likely impacts of increased uptake and measures to increase accessibility. Data for this qualitative research was obtained through detailed semi-structured interviews with Leeds-based experts. Results: Hard infrastructure, such as cycle lanes, will only attract confident cyclists with the resources and skills to purchase, maintain and utilise a bicycle. Modal shift therefore requires supplementary economic, cultural and social ‘soft’ provisions like events, social groups and education at a range of scales to both incentivise cycling and disincentivise driving. COVID19 has elevated the status of cycling on the policy agenda, endowing local authorities with additional confidence and funding to enact bold and experimental policies, however social restrictions have distanced communities from transport decision-making, resulting in some feeling new policies are undemocratic. Forced localisation has also reinstated the importance of community, which is central to post-pandemic cycle policy. Cycling conditions in Leeds are not user-friendly, excluding the majority from the benefits of active travel, but most notably ethnic minorities, the elderly, children, women, lower income groups and disabled people. If infrastructure becomes higher quality and more pervasive, facilitated by engagement with historically excluded groups, cycling will appeal to a more diverse demographic, transforming Leeds into a healthy, sociable, sustainable and resilient city. Discussion: The evidence suggests there is significant demand for a green, locally-based recovery with bicycle- scale neighbourhoods at the centre of a new model for urban lifestyles. However the pandemic was a time of widespread grief and loneliness, causing many to crave ‘normality’ and forget the benefits of low-impact localism, therefore thoughtful policies must be implemented to avert a return to car-dependency.
Reuben's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Gen Z: Environmentalism and Fast Fashion - Samantha Schofield (BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
The fashion industry contributes more to climate change than the aviation and shipping industry combined, causing extremely detrimental environmental pollution effects on the planet. These environmental consequences have been amplified drastically by the phenomenon of fast fashion, which promotes an extremely high turn over of trends and subsequently the production and consumption of clothing. Generation Z (Gen Z), those born between 1998-2010, are known as some of the key consumers of this industry, with fast fashion companies targeting them through social media. In contrast to this, Gen Z are known as some of the leading forces behind the global climate change movement. The aim of this study is to understand the attitude-behaviour gap that exists in Gen Z women’s fast fashion consumption and their pro-environmental values. This disparity in attitude and behaviour must be addressed to reduce environmental damage and the fashion industry’s contribution to climate change. This research consequently can provide greater understanding into how Gen Z can become more responsible consumers. This is one of the key elements in Sustainable Development Goal 12 which calls for responsible consumption and production. Research was conducted through 10 in-depth interviews, followed by a narrative and thematic analysis. The findings of this study indicate that participants were aware of the contradiction between their fast fashion consumption and pro-environmental values, and this resulted in feelings of guilt. The factors that were found to contribute to the gap included price, lack of knowledge, external pressures, inertia, marketing and consumerist culture. Price was identified as the most important factor due to the rapidly changing fashion trends in our society, that result primarily from social media. In order to close the gap, it was found that environmentally friendly alternatives to fast fashion must gain the same price point and level of convenience, in order to make consumers consider switching. Accordingly, this study’s findings are useful for those interested in translating Gen Z women’s pro-environmental values into their fashion consumption. Within the fashion industry this could be fast fashion alternatives, such as sustainable and ethical clothing brands or secondhand alternatives. Charities and organisations fighting against fast fashion may also benefit. This study contributes to the overall understanding of Gen Z women’s attitude-behaviour gap regarding fast fashion and takes an in-depth look into the reason for its existence.
Samantha's research is linked to the following SDG:
Avoiding Maladaptation in Climate Change Adaptation - Stanislaus Apresian (PhD in Politics and International Studies)
Stanislaus is researching the political economy of climate change adaptation. This research aligns to the UN SDGs for goals number 13 on climate action. For this seminar Stanislaus focuses on discussing about the possibility of maladaptation caused by climate change adaptation program rendered by the government or non governmental actors such as development agencies. The programs are being critiqued because they are merely technical and apolitical which result on unintended impacts towards vulnerable communities. Stanislaus presents the case study of climate change adaptation action in agricultural sector in Indonesia.
Stanislaus' research is linked to the following SDGs:
Local Experiences of Climate Change Adaptation - The Climate Press Podcast by Bianca van Bavel (PhD in Health and Climate Change), Paloma Trascasa Castro (PhD in Climate Science) and Tom Wood (PhD in Climate Science)
The Climate Press presents ‘Local experiences of climate change adaptation’, featuring an interview with Professor Petra Tschakert, Centenary Professor in Rural Development at the University of Western Australia, and Professor James Ford, Professor in Climate Adaptation at the University of Leeds. In this episode, we learn about some of the ways that climate change is being experienced by people locally and across different contexts. Drawing on their work with communities from Senegal, Ghana, the Himalayas, the Arctic, and Australia, Petra and James introduce us to some of the key concepts behind climate change adaptation. We learn that vulnerabilities don’t just ‘fall from the sky’, they are ‘baked into society’ and predispose certain people and groups to be more susceptible to the same level of exposure from the same climate hazard. For example, while everyone in the same region will be exposed to a heatwave, people who live in cities, older persons, or homeless people will be more vulnerable to the impacts of that same heatwave. This episode transports us to different parts of the world where communities are using their place-based ways of knowing to adapt to the different ways in which climate change is manifesting in their daily lives. Our guests share insights from anticipatory and collective forms of learning—how communities and researchers learn from each other—as well complexities of adaptive decision making, climate-related migration and displacement, and what happens to social cohesion in the context of climate change. We also hear examples of how local experiences of place-based and value-based adaptation are informing local and national policy agendas. Critically, this episode highlights the need to consider the ‘baked-in’ vulnerabilities and entrenched inequalities—that are independent of a changing climate—when transitioning towards a future where no one is left behind. We hope you enjoy listening to this vibrant episode and learning about the human dimensions of climate change adaptation across different local contexts. This episode was produced by The Climate Press, presented by Bianca van Bavel and Paloma Trascasa Castro, with music by Futurepast Zine (@futurepastzine), Marcos Arribas, and Paloma Trascasa Castro. This show was originally released in September, 2019. The Climate Press is an independent climate science and information platform. We produce and share jargon-free, evidence based podcasts and blogs to make the science and information about climate change inclusive and accessible. We believe that everyone has a role to play in tackling the climate crisis and that accessible and inclusive information is the key to taking action together.
Resources mentioned in the show:
• Ribot, J. C. (2013). Vulnerability does not just fall from the sky: Toward multi-scale pro-poor climate policy. In Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security (pp. 164-172). Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd: https://doi.org/10.4337/9780857939111.00016
• In addition to Jesse Ribot’s work (Chapter 2), here’s a link to the whole book: Social Dimensions of Climate Change.
This podcast episode is linked to the following SDG:
Covid-19: a sustainable food consumption intervention? - Victoria Parrott (BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
The Covid-19 phenomena was a catalyst for dramatic change that shaped UK household lifestyles in the way consumers shopped, cooked and disposed of food items. The initial impact of the first UK national lockdown and other restrictive rules saw a profound move to e-commerce in supermarkets, as well as panic buying food due to fear and uncertainty. This research used the Social Practice Theory (SPT) to explore how the Covid-19 pandemic acted as an intervention in changing food consumption habits and the impacts the continuation of these have had on household waste. It also applied the SPT to empirical findings to suggest what food consumption and waste outcomes as well as new adopted sustainable practices will look like in the future. The use of these findings can benefit the understanding of how the Covid-19 pandemic might have encouraged more responsible consumption trends and promote future sustainable practices in line with UN development goal 12 for 'Responsible production and consumption'. The research used a quantitative survey-based design that yielded 181 usable responses. The research found that due to national restrictive rules and fear for safety, consumers were taking larger and less frequent shopping trips, shopping online and using more alternative retailers such as local farm shops, butchers, and meal box deliveries. Household food waste levels were found to decrease, largely due to better food planning and management skills. Conversely, food packaging waste levels were found to increase, however the findings suggested positive efforts to decrease these and the level of non-recyclable packaging in the future. The adoption of other sustainable practices such as food sharing and donating to food banks were also identified, prompting future deliberations of how UN development goal 2 for 'Zero Hunger' could be promoted from changes to food consumption during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The research concludes that Covid-19 has provided some beneficial waste outcomes and that future consumption habits will not wholly return to their pre-pandemic states.
Victoria's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Sustainability and mental health - Zoe Gilbank (BA Geography (Level 3 - Placement Year)
Zoe work explores how mental health relates to sustainability.
Zoe's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Session 1 Recording - Phoebe Jarvis (BA Politics with Quantitative Research Methods) and Nicholas Davison (PhD Bioenergy CDT)
Centred around my dissertation which was an analysis of UK public attitudes to climate change, aiming to understand what drives denial (of existence, human responsibility, extent of the problem). I won't focus on this too much though as my understanding of the topic has gone some way since then - I will focus on overcoming inertia (both personally e.g. working towards resilience from being very anxious about the issue, and when communicating to others) and highlight how doomsayers are just as detrimental to progress as denialists.
Phoebe's research is linked to the following SDGs:
A food waste initiative was conducted in a UK and an Indian University canteen looking at food waste attitudes and opportunities for food waste reduction. Interventions were carried out to reduce food waste in both canteens. In the Indian canteen post-intervention data also included Covid-19 related changes such as a change from self-service to table service, as well as reduced menu choice and improved estimation of students requiring meals. Pre and post-intervention surveys and focus groups were conducted on students to better understand their food waste related attitudes, while interviews were carried out on university staff to better understand food waste management. This session will give an overview of the problems associated with food waste, the aims and methods of the research, alongside the findings and implications of the findings, including recommendations for similar institutes to reduce food waste. The research is related to several sustainability goals. It is related to goal 2: Zero Hunger, as a reduction in food waste means that there is more food available to feed those in need. The research also involves goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, as it raises awareness of the problems of irresponsible consumption of food and the resultant avoidable waste. The topic also concerns goal 13: Climate action, as food waste contributes to a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions due to the land use change, chemical use and energy use associated with producing, processing and transporting the food that is wasted.
Nicholas's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Session 2 Recording - Aniket Ingole (MSc in Environmental Engineering and Planning Management) and Holly Smith
The project name is Superbin, and the patent application is filed in India. Organic waste is the main constituent of the overall waste collected by the City's municipal corporations. The improper disposal of organic waste creates environmental issues like soil and air pollution. The decaying organic substance spreads infectious diseases and uncleanliness. Therefore proper disposal of organic waste is necessary to keep the environment clean and pollution-free. The biggest advantage of the disposal of organic waste is that it is degradable. It is degraded into manure or compost, which is a fertilizer for plants and commercial crops. Nowadays various methods and machines are used to convert organic waste into compost. Organic waste management is a very slow process it takes around 20-30 days. Organic waste management plants cover large areas and it takes lots of effort and costs on organic waste collection and management. Therefore there is the necessity of a cost-effective, fast, and small-sized system that can be used at the household level. The given invention proposed the design and development of a cost-effective, fast, and small-sized system which produces compost at the household level. It consists of two processing sections Superbin and storage unit. The Superbin section consists of a motor, mixing blades, dehumidifier, and exhaust which produces raw compost. This raw compost can be used as compost for household purposes. To increase the quality and durability of the compost, it is processed in the storage unit. The outlet of the storage unit provides fine quality compost in 24 hours of duration. So this compact Superbin system provides the fastest organic waste management with a low operational cost at the household level.
Aniket's research is linked to the following SDGs:
The Barents Sea is a key region in the Arctic, where a vital role is played in the global climate system and carbon cycle, it is also a key area of primary production. However, with increased Arctic Amplification under anthropogenic climate change, sea-ice loss can have extreme and lasting impacts on the ocean properties as well as the local and global climate and marine ecosystems. With biogeochemical shifts occurring in response to key climate changes, the study of the past changes in chemical signals from cores situated throughout different sites across the Barents Sea can give some insight into how NPP and ocean properties evolved over periods of deglaciation in the past and therefore how the same properties may react to a changing climate. By way of XRF scanning, energy output as a signifier of relevant elements can be observed, rather than giving a quantitative value of these constituents an overall ratio between chemical components can be observed in order to reconstruct biogenic carbonate content, as a proxy for carbonate productivity. The key findings from this study indicate that carbonate productivity has always had a significant shift between localities north or south of the polar front and that the response to sea-ice reduction and Arctic Atlantification will increase carbonate productivity as has been seen throughout the geological record. In addition, the study of other key element components from these sediment cores can give additional insight into the changes in other key processes, including redox conditions, diagenetic profiles, and particle grain size, with the final variable, also being a proxy for primary productivity of diatoms and other similar phytoplankton and algae. This work has a key focus on climate response in Polar regions and could tie in with the urgency and need for institutional and governmental climate action. SDG 13.
Holly's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Session 3 Recording - Mathilde Rainard (MSc Climate Change and Environmental Policy), Ibukun Iyiola-Omisore (PhD Law), Nicole Jimenez Mogrovejo (BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management) and Cayla Payne (BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
The goal of the project is to operationalise the gender-climate nexus in a way that would give global mean temperatures for different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios built upon experts' elicitations. The gender-climate nexus is the object of a growing body of literature but operationalisation of the topic remains poor, either only considering the role of women in politics regarding climate change policies in the global north or only looking into gendered vulnerabilities to climate change in the global south. Researches are often focused on one small aspect of the gender-climate nexus, such as women meat consumption in the global north, and a lot of them disregard potential inequalitarian underlying gendered assumptions in their field. However, correctly integrating the gender-climate nexus in policies would be positively impacting many SDGs (1, 5, 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16), as this would have impacts on development, poverty, inequalities, climate, health... Research questions, aims and objectives: My research questions are: What would happen to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and temperatures trajectories if the gender gap was globally bridged over the next 10 years? What are the climate adaptation and mitigation policies’ implications of bridging the gender gap? My aims are: To construct a GHG emissions scenario using experts’ elicitation to model temperatures trajectories. To operationalise the impact on climate change of achieving gender equity. My objectives are: 1/ To operationalise the links between gender equity and climate adaptation and mitigation. 2/ To construct an emission scenario that would reflect the GHG emissions induced by bridging the gender gap over 10 years. 3/ To understand the gendered drivers of greenhouse gas emissions, in the global north and the global south. 4/ To make policy recommendations regarding gender equity, development, climate adaptation and mitigation to integrate the gender-climate nexus efficiently. Operationalisation The full details of the operationalisation are still being looked upon as my research proposal is not due until June 1st. Methodology: Mixed-methods with experts' elicitation through an interview or focus group of pre-indentified experts in the field to produce intervals of projected evolution for some preselected variables impacting greenhouse gas emissions such as: GDP, HDI, land-use, international consumption, energy use...Then construction of emissions' scenarios (coding) inputted into a climate model (FaIR). Implications: Despite the results provided by scenarios, social justice implications of bridging the gender gap will be thoroughly discussed in the research as well as implications of correctly implementing the gender-climate nexus in policies, overcoming gendered underlying assumptions ("women are more nurturing therefore policies should focus on..." would be an example of such assumptions).
Mathilde's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Cost externalization in corporate governance discourse affords the shifting of business risks and negative socio-economic and environmental impacts to non-shareholder stakeholders. Such unsustainable activities of many corporations operating across the African continent have been largely insulated by the shareholder primacy model (or its variants) of corporate law which dominates corporate legislations on the continent. Consequentially, many corporate stakeholders continue to suffer environmental neglect, crumbling infrastructure and services, high unemployment, abject poverty and endemic conflicts. The attainment of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains threatened in African societies. Within a corporate governance context, this research interrogates attempts to facilitate internalization of socio-economic and environmental externalities through corporate regulation across Africa. It examines corporate purpose within the corporate law system of selected African countries (Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya), appraising the extent to which directors and corporate managers may legitimately promote sustainable business activities for all corporate stakeholders. The paper argues that, whilst some welcome progress has been made, the corporate law reforms on the continent lack both the requisite philosophical focus and operationalizing mechanisms to deliver the scale of corporate behavioural change required to tackle the sustainability crises they aim to address. The paper confirms that most stakeholder concerns have been loosely conceptualized and with very limited chance for a genuine cost internalization by directors while promoting the success of the company. The paper redefines corporate purpose in Africa especially towards the attainment of goal 10(reduced inequality) and 11(sustainable cities and communities) of the UN sustainable development goals on the continent. It describes the ambit of certain proposed resocialized corporate law rules within corporate legislation which are targeted at shaping corporate directors’ decisions to enhance stakeholder value genuinely and sustainably.
Ibukun's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Nicole Jimenez Mogrovejo
A diet with low-meat consumption is a recommended strategy for a global transition towards a sustainable society, and sustainable consumption as the norm through improving: human health, environment, global food security, and animal welfare (Salonen & Helne, 2012). Global agriculture is responsible for one-third of all GHG emissions worldwide. Heavy meat-consumption and its role in the production of such GHG is crucial to climate change. Yet, students and the population in general don’t seem to acknowledge just how detrimental meat-consumption is to the environment. Hence, the aim of this research is to understand why University undergraduate students consume meat the way they do, how media-marketing may influence this, and if emotions have a role to play in such. The study focuses on UG students at the University of Leeds. The research was conducted through in-depth focus group sessions investigating the respondent’s emotional reactions to different media-marketing interventions, and targeted at reducing their viewers' meat-consumption. The data was analysed using thematic and narrative analysis. The results highlight that each respondent group had differing reactions to the same interventions, and that emotions, ease, and experience had a role to play in such reactions. The selection of focus groups was: Vegetarians/Vegans, Heavy-Meat Eaters, Environmental Students, and Food Science & Nutrition Students. Each group received a survey with 4 media-marketing interventions and a series of questions before the focus group sessions were carried out. The most popular intervention was Meatless Monday. Overall, the study found the interventions successfully instigated the 4 basic emotions in each respondent, at least once. It also found that every group had a differing reaction to each intervention, at a varying degree of similarity. Such reaction was connoted by their emotional reaction towards each intervention (e.g. Heavy Meat-Eaters enjoy eating meat, this brings them pleasure and happiness, hence they were offended by interventions which tried to guilt trip them into not eating meat). These emotions were linked to past and present experiences in the respondents, as well as to how easily their diet choices fit in with their lifestyle; and which choices made them feel the happiest. Such findings suggest that if the attitude-behaviour gap between students and a reduction in their meat-consumption is to be bridged; every student group needs to be targeted differently by media-marketing campaigns. This usually through a blended model utilizing real-life experience, virtual experience, and targeting select emotions, depending on the groups characteristics. Nudging University students to reduce their meat-consumption should be done through media-marketing interventions suited to each group. In addition, the benefits of a reduced consumption being cheaper, more accessible, and healthier goods; must be explicitly shown to such students if they are to make a change.
Nicole's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Increased levels of meat consumption remain a key contributor to a host of environmental and social problems, including the exacerbation of climate change impacts. As a result, diets which reduce or avoid meat altogether are gaining greater recognition, with trends showing increasing popularity amongst these alternatives. Yet, there remains an apparent gender disparity between the adoption of such diets, with men much less likely to reduce their meat consumption than women. The aim of this research is to understand reasons for this significant variability in reduced meat consumption between men and women, by investigating differences in motivations and external influences. As such, my research relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 5, 12 and 13. The Theory of Relational Sociology has been applied throughout my research for a broadened understanding of the impacts of social interactions and relations on reducing meat consumption. The study focussed on Gen Z individuals, utilising a qualitative approach of in-depth interviews, which were then analysed using both thematic and narrative analyses. The results indicate that women possess prosocial motivations to reduce their meat consumption regarding the environment, animal welfare and health. Moreover, men are influenced to reduce their meat consumption through their close social relationships with women. The impacts of external influences such as social media, friends and family are highlighted too. Ultimately, it is concluded that there are wide social expectations of men which remain a barrier to their uptake of a reduced-meat diet. Physical strength was found to be a key expectation and was reinforced through social media and disapproval from friends. However, men with close female influences who are also reducing their meat consumption are more likely to be empowered to overcome such barriers.
Cayla's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Session 4 Recording - Thelma Namonje (PGR Economics Division) and Amelia Rose (BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management)
Agriculture remains the main economic activity for more than 70% of the rural population in developing countries and therefore it has the potential in reducing rural poverty among rural households. Women in developing countries play a very significant role in agricultural production, particularly in their labour contribution. In most developing countries, women contribute between 40%-60% to agriculture labour and are responsible for nearly half of the world’s food production (FAO, 2005; Palacios-Lopez, Christiaensen and Kilic, 2015). In Zambia for instance, 78% of the women are engaged in agriculture compared to 69% of men (Sitko et al., 2011). However, despite their significant contribution to agriculture, women have less access to agricultural resources such as land, labour, and credit than men (Meinzen-Dick et al., 1997; FAO, 2010). Further, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), argue that though female farmers are primary contributors to the world’s food production, they are frequently underestimated and overlooked in development strategies (IFAD 2010). The literature on agricultural productivity has attributed the low yields experienced by smallholder farmers to low- and non-adoption of improved agricultural technologies. Generally, low adoption of improved technologies is widespread among smallholder farmers, however, it is more severe on fields controlled (owned) by women. Agriculture production in rural areas is often undermined by gender-related constraints and unequal access to productive resources. To achieve substantial growth and poverty reduction through agriculture, there is a need to adequately address the constraints that women face both in production and market participation. Women’s productivity in the agricultural sector is therefore highly dependent on their opportunity to having access to productive resources such as land, credit, extension, and other agricultural technologies. This research aligns with the UN Sustainable development goals in the following ways: 1) Low agriculture productivity has a direct effect on development goal number two of zero hunger and goal number one of no poverty. By addressing the challenge of agriculture productivity among smallholder farmers it will contribute to achieving zero hunger in developing countries where agriculture is the main economic activity. 2) Addressing unequal access to productive resources among farmers will contribute to achieving development goal number five of ensuring gender equality as well as development goal number ten of reducing inequalities. FAO (2005) Gender and Food Security.
Thelma's research is linked to the following SDGs:
The aim of this research is to explore and characterise the new generation of environmental justice discourse and its convergence with intersectionality, an analytical framework which seeks to highlight how the overlap of an individual’s socio-political identities influences experiences of privilege and oppression. The study focuses on how this contemporary intersectional environmental justice discourse manifests on Instagram and how it has evolved from earlier, ‘offline’ conceptions of environmental justice. The research was conducted through the means of collecting a range of social and environmental justice-related Instagram content from eighteen diverse environmentalist profiles. The data was analysed using thematic analysis and where relevant, a loose application of Bacchi’s (2009) ‘What is the problem represented to be?’ framework to gain a deeper insight into the underlying assumptions and beliefs underpinning the ideas presented within the discourse. The results demonstrate that many of the social and environmental justice issues foregrounded within the discourse relate to the core theme of intersectionality and illuminates the inherently complex nature of social and environmental issues which must be carefully explored in order for them to be achieved. This core theme of intersectionality also has inextricable ties to themes of racism, intersectional feminism and climate change. The results also reveal that the intersectional environmental justice discourse makes recommendations for the principles and practices of online activism, spotlighting the importance of elevating the core Black, Indigenous and People of Colour figures within the movement, advocating for inclusivity and the amplification of marginalised voices. Ultimately, I conclude that this emerging intersectional environmental justice discourse strives to shape our understanding of social and environmental issues into one that is more holistic, inclusive and can potentially transform the experience of injustices for many marginalised communities. This piece of research aligns with multiple Sustainable Development Goals as set out by the United Nations. Goals 10 and 16 in particular, which advocate for reduced inequalities, peace, justice and strong institutions reflect the true essence of this project, encapsulating a vision whereby every member of society is considered, included and protected from any form of social or environmental harm. The results of this research also encompass many other interconnected goals, namely 3, 5, 11, 13 and 15 which respectively promote health and wellbeing for everyone, gender equality and female empowerment, sustainable communities, climate action and protection of life on land. The intersectional framework which underpins this research is essential for understanding the matrixes of domination which perpetuate social and environmental oppression, and fundamentally hinder any progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Amelia's research is linked to the following SDGs:
Keynote Speech: Dr Amrita Mukherjee - No One Will Be Left Behind
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The University of Leeds are finalists in the 2023 UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards, after being shortlisted for four awards. The shortlisted projects are Gair Wood, Student Engagement through Residential Services and the Student Sustainability Research Conference, as well as PhD student Hazel Mooney being shortlisted for the student impact award. The Green Gown...
Climate Week 2023 is taking place between Monday 27 – Friday 31 March and there’s lots of ways for you to get involved. Led by LUU, Climate Week aims to inspire students to take action and make changes to become more sustainable. Whether it’s learning more about climate change, attending different events or making small...
Applications to present at the University of Leeds 2023 Student Sustainability Research Conference are NOW OPEN! The 2023 Student Sustainability Research Conference (SSRC) provides students from any discipline and level (undergraduate through to PhD) the opportunity to share their research and learn from others in a professional conference environment. The conference is back in person...
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. The Student Sustainability Research Conference is linked to all of the SDGs.
Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.