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Thom Cooper

Head of Sustainability


Areas of sustainability I work in

  • Leading the Sustainability Service
  • Co-creation of sustainability strategy and plans
  • Developing our approach and programme to embed sustainability in all aspects of University life
  • Supporting and championing all aspects of the Climate Plan
  • Professional services lead for Sustainable Curriculum
  • Professional services lead for Net Zero City
  • Internal and external sustainability engagement, partnership and collaboration
  • Ensuring reporting and performance against internal KPIs and external benchmarks
  • LITE Fellow – Redefining sustainability in the curriculum

About me

Thom is the Head of the Sustainability. He leads the Sustainability Service and is responsible for ensuring we can and do deliver against our sustainability commitments and objectives. Thom has a core focus on bringing academic and professional services together to develop strategy and to deliver our plans. He works closely with senior leaders across the University to embed sustainability and ensure delivery of the Climate Plan.

Thom plays a leadership role in the University's Sustainable Curriculum programme and has a Fellowship with the Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence (LITE) exploring sustainability, climate change and equality in the curriculum. He also has a leadership role in the Net Zero City Climate Plan principle, championing civic partnership and community engagement in addressing sustainability and the climate crisis.

Thom has been in the Service since 2017, firstly leading the development of the University’s Living Lab programme before joining the management team to lead on embedding and engaging in 2019. He is an alumnus of the University, graduating in 2004 in Environmental Biogeoscience, and gaining a MSc in Sustainable Development in 2006. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) and also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Thom began his career in the Third Sector, advising SMEs on environmental management and compliance, before spending nearly a decade in the water industry as an environmental officer, environmental advisor to construction and capital delivery and more latterly as a lead sustainability advisor developing and driving corporate strategy.