Last night the University hosted the Annual Sustainability Awards 2019 to celebrate the incredible work our staff and students do to create positive change across campus and further afield. Our staff and students have helped us create a university that embeds sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation.
There are eight awards categories; each covering a different aspect of the broad spectrum of Sustainability at the University of Leeds. The first four awards are based on the themes from our Sustainability Strategy . We then have the Sustainable Purchasing Award and, new this year, the Single Out Award given to those going above and beyond to support the #2023PlasticFree Pledge. The final two awards are our student-only awards. Below we have congratulated our winners alongside their award.
Embedding Sustainability through Collaboration
Winner: James Hamilton
Runner up: The Public Engagement with Research Team for Be Curious
Runner up: Jonathan Busch for his work with the Climate Workshops and establishing the Discovering Sustainability journal.
This award recognises staff or students who have shared skills, ideas or resources across the campus to ensure sustainable practices and values are embedded into the culture of university. James won due to his hard work educating his colleagues in engaging lunchtime sessions, making sure sustainability training is on all job descriptions and introducing glass milk bottles to the office.
The Building Knowledge and Capacity
Winner: The Priestley Centre
Runner up: Kashmir Kaur for her Language in Context – Sustainability Module
Runner up: James McKay for his dedication to teaching colleagues and school children about sustainability
This is awarded when a project or initiative is focussed on educating staff or students on sustainability, using campus as a Living Lab and sharing expertise across campus or the local area. The Priestley Centre stood out, by teaming up with 3 other northern universities to take Climate Chats out into public spaces in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and York during Green Great Britain Week. They translated science into art, music and poetry to engage with the public and their rising concern about climate change. Furthermore, climate researchers were rapidly mobilised to attend the Youth Strikes for Climate Action to answer the striking school children’s questions – Ask a climate researcher.
Being a Positive Partner in Society
Winner: Sustainability Into Schools
Runner up: Save a Life Team for their working teaching staff and students basic lifesaving skills
Runner up: Alex Bamji, Viktor Doychinov and Alistair Hay from Health for their volunteering work giving academic support for young people from disadvantaged children.
This award recognises people who have made Leeds a happier and better place to work and live. The winner was the Sustainability into Schools programme which increases awareness of sustainability issues in primary schools across Leeds and gives pupils the tools and knowledge to live more sustainable lifestyles.
Making the Most of Resources
Winner: Roger Stevens Living Lab Team
Runner up: Residential Services for their work recycling and donating mattresses.
Runner up: Daniel Preston for his work teaching colleagues about low-waste lifestyles and hosting lunchtime litterpicks
The final award from the Sustainability Strategy’s themes is Making the Most of Resources. This celebrates staff and students that have implemented policies, ideas or encouraged behaviour changes to ensure efficient and effective resources management. A campus favourite, the Roger Stevens Pond, won. An exemplary living lab example, this has brought together academics and grounds staff to build a biodiversity haven on a concrete Grade II listed building in the city. Already used by ducks and fish, we look forward to seeing what will be attracted there in the future.
Sustainable Purchasing Award
Winner: Charles Morris Hall
Runner up: Antony Wilkinson for his research into replacing washing machines with more sustainable alternatives
The Sustainable Purchasing Award congratulates someone who has encouraged best practice and innovation in University purchasing. Charles Morris Hall installed a Purex system, which cleans water without chemicals, removing 86% of chemical previously used on site.
Single Out Award
Winner: Alumni Team
Runner up: stage@leeds for making their bar completely single-use plastic free
Runner up: Richard Jones from Devonshire Hall Kitchen for his work removing single-use plastics
The Alumni Team claimed this award for their intuitive efforts, getting involved with the Sustainability Services to replace the plastic envelope with paper, saving over 900kg of single use plastic per quarter.
The Student Co-curricular Award
Winner: Ruth Trainor
Runner-up: Ryan Higlett, for his extensive involvement with Sustainability into Schools.
This award highlights stand out student-led non-curricular work which has had a positive impact across the campus or Leeds community. Ruth Trainor won due to her organisation of Sustainability Week, hosting talks, events and presentations involving stakeholders from the University and beyond.
The Student Curricular Award
Winner: Hazel Mooney
Runner up: Jonathan Teasdale for his impressive presentation about sustainable fashion at the Student Sustainability Research Conference
This award can include any original work at the University of Leeds that has taken place this year. Hazel Mooney took this award for her dissertation, researching the intrinsic value of trees in urban areas. Jonathan Teasdale was awarded runner up for his presentation at the Student Sustainability Research Conference, highlighting the waste created in fashion and designing a waste-free clothes pattern.
Furthermore, this academic year has been the first for the new staff engagement scheme Blueprint. We were excited to award 16 teams with either ‘Working Towards’ or ‘Explorer’ for their work. The Sustainability Service works with teams to scope out their potential impacts and opportunities in order to produce an action-plan bespoke to their team. To get your School or Service signed up please contact Sustainability@leeds.ac.uk
We would like to thank Bright Beginnings for their exquisite table decorations, made from reused materials. We’re incredibly grateful for the time staff voluntarily take to create these awe inspiring sculptures, to meet our demanding brief. We would also like to thank Catering Services for the delicious vegan food they provided.