Sustainability champions are honoured

Colleagues and students who have gone 'above and beyond' to champion sustainability have been recognised during a prestigious annual awards ceremony.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, addresses the audience at the Sustainability Awards 2019

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, addresses the audience at the Sustainability Awards 2019. June 2019

Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, presented the Sustainability Awards 2019 on Wednesday 12 June, highlighting his pride in everyone’s efforts in embedding sustainability into the culture at Leeds.

Awards were presented to the following: 

Embedding Sustainability Through Collaboration

This award recognises staff or students who have shared skills, ideas or resources across campus to ensure sustainable practices and values are embedded into the culture of Leeds.

Winner – James Hamilton

James, from the National Institution of Health Research, has educated his colleagues in engaging lunchtime sessions, making sure sustainability training is on all job descriptions and introducing glass milk bottles to the office.

Runners-up – The Public Engagement (PE) with Research team and Jonathan Busch

The PE team was recognised for its flagship Be Curious event, while Jonathan was honoured for his involvement in climate workshops and facilitating the establishment of a student-led journal in the Sustainability Research Institute.

Building Knowledge and Capacity

This award is given to someone who has helped educate staff or students about sustainability, who has incorporated the concept of a ‘living lab’ and has shared expertise across campus or the local area.

Winner – Priestley Centre

The Priestley Centre teamed up with three other northern universities to take Climate Chats out into public spaces across the country. It translated science into art, music and poetry to engage with the public regarding its rising concern about climate change.

Runners-up – Kashmir Kaur and James McKay

Kashmir was recognised for her Language in Context – ‘Sustainability’ module, while James was honoured for his dedication to teaching colleagues and schoolchildren about climate change through a wide range of methods.

Being a Positive Partner in Society

This award is for an individual or team who has made Leeds a happier and better place to work and live.

Winner – Sustainability into Schools programme

This programme increases awareness of sustainability issues in primary schools across Leeds and gives pupils the tools and knowledge to live more sustainable lifestyles.

Runners-up – Eight Minutes to Save a Life team plus Dr Alex Bamji, Dr Viktor Doychinov and Alistair Hay

The Eight Minutes to Save a Life team – a staff-student collaboration – taught more than 1,000 people basic lifesaving skills. Dr Bamji (School of History), Dr Doychinov (School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering) and Alistair (School of Health and Medicine) volunteer on a regular basis at our Into University centres, giving academic support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Making the Most of Resources

This award celebrates staff and students who have implemented policies, ideas or encouraged behaviour changes to ensure efficient and effective resources management.

Winner – Roger Stevens Pond

A campus favourite, this is an exemplary living lab example, bringing together academics and grounds staff to build a biodiversity haven on a concrete Grade II listed building in the city.

Runners-up – Residential Services and Daniel Preston

Residential Services was recognised for its work with Bishops Beds to recycle old mattresses, and with Over2Hills to send old mattresses to third party organisations. Daniel was also honoured for dedicating his time to educate his colleagues about living a low waste lifestyle and organising lunchtime litter collections.

Sustainable Purchasing Award

This award congratulates someone who has encouraged best practice and innovation in purchasing at Leeds.

Winner – Charles Morris Hall

Charles Morris Hall installed a Purex system, which cleans water chemical-free, replacing 86% of chemicals previously used on site.

Runner up – Antony Wilkinson

Antony was honoured for his research into replacing washing machines with more environmental versions.

Single Out Award

Following our pledge to be single-use plastic-free by 2023, this year we celebrated a new category – the Single Out Award.

Winner – Alumni team

The Alumni team claimed this award for its intuitive efforts, getting involved with Sustainability Services to replace plastic envelopes with paper, saving more than 900kg of single-use plastic per quarter.

Runners-up – stage@leeds and Richard Jones

stage@leeds and Richard, from Devonshire Hall kitchen, were recognised for making changes to their respective catering services.

The Student Co-Curricular Award

This award highlights stand-out, student-led, non-curricular work that has had a positive impact across campus or the wider Leeds community.

Winner – Ruth Trainor

Ruth won this award due to her organisation of Sustainability Week, hosting talks, events and presentations involving stakeholders from Leeds and beyond.

Runners-up – Shannon Jackson and Ryan Higlett

Shannon was recognised for her work with educating young people in the Youth Strikes, and engaging communities not traditionally involved in sustainability. Ryan also claimed the runners-up spot for his extensive involvement with Sustainability into Schools and comprehensive literature reviews, developing KS2 sustainability materials.

The Student Curricular Award

This award can include any original work at Leeds that has taken place this year.

Winner – Hazel Mooney

Hazel took this award for her dissertation, researching the intrinsic value of trees in urban areas.

Runner-up – Jonathan Teasdale

Jonathan was recognised for his impressive presentation at the Student Sustainability Research Conference, highlighting the waste created in fashion and designing a waste-free clothes pattern.

Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Development, presents Blueprint awards to James McKay and Jill Roberts. June 2019Dennis Hopper (centre), Director of Campus Development, presents Blueprint awards to James McKay and Jill Roberts

Blueprint Awards

This academic year has been the first for the new staff engagement scheme, Blueprint. A total of 16 teams were presented with either ‘Working Towards’ or ‘Explorer’ status for their work in this area. The Sustainability Service works with teams to scope out their potential impacts and opportunities for environmental and social issues in order to produce an action-plan bespoke to their team. Contact the Sustainability Service to get your School or Service signed up to the scheme.

The Sustainability Service would like to thank Bright Beginnings for its exquisite table decorations, made from reused materials. The team is incredibly grateful for the time staff voluntarily took to create these awe-inspiring sculptures, meeting a demanding brief.

And every year, the Catering Service is challenged to provide a vegan and gluten-free menu, and it always steps up to the mark!

A student jazz band also performed on the night for the first time, receiving many compliments for their musical talents.

Sustainability in Practice

Did you know a training course in sustainable practice has been introduced for all staff?

The Sustainability in Practice course explains why sustainability is important and ensures we all have the knowledge and skills to put it into practice.

It gives concrete examples of how we all play a part in ensuring that the University has a positive environmental, social and economic impact.

Contact the Sustainability Service or see the training page of the Sustainability website for further information.

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