2020 Sustainability Award Winners

Each year Leeds celebrates the sustainable achievements of students, staff and external partners – and this year’s digital celebration received a record number of nominations.

This year’s Sustainability Awards saw a record number of nominations

The 202 Sustainability Awards Trophy logo. July 2020.

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for the Sustainability Awards 2020. The record number of nominations is testament to the brilliant work taking place across the University and beyond to find sustainable solutions on a local, national and international scale. 

Dr Louise Ellis, Director of Sustainability, said: “It has been truly inspiring to see the outstanding achievements of staff, students and external partners in this year’s Sustainability Awards.

“With a record year for nominations, we have been privileged to be able to celebrate such a diverse range of projects, activities and initiatives.

“It just goes to show that everyone has the power to have an impact, whatever the scale, and that sustainability really is for all.” 

Award Winners 

There were seven winners across the five categories at this year's awards, along with a special Lifetime Achievement Award. Find out more about the winners below. 

Innovation Award  

Climate Entrepreneurs Club LeedsStarted in December 2019 by a team of students and researchers from the School of Earth and Environment, the Climate Entrepreneurs Club have been recognised for their commitment to making real-world impact by collaborating to find innovative business solutions to climate change.  

Collaboration Award 

There were two winners in this category. 

Campus Pollinator Project Group: For the pioneering collaboration between the students, academics and operational staff that have developed this impactful research into a project that has gained global recognition. It initially started as a student research project, and has evolved into a wider outreach project thanks to collaborative efforts of students, the Sustainability Service, the Living Lab Team, research staff and Residential Services. 

Laura Wilkinson-Hewitt and Camila Limberg-Dias: Laura, a Staff Sustainability Architect in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Camila, a Student Sustainability Architect studying MSc Sustainability and Consultancy, won for their bold, collaborative efforts to use research and innovation to reduce single-use plastic in laboratories, eliminating around 4000 pieces of single-use plastic per year within the Protein Production Facility. 

Communication Award 

Farhat Yaqoob: Farhat is the Muslim Student Advisor based in the Chaplaincy Team. She won this year’s Communication Award for using diverse forms of communication – including one-to-one counselling, accessible and inclusive events, and random acts of kindness – to promote sustainability, wellbeing and unity. 

Outreach Award 

There were two winners in this category. 

Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programmer (iCASP): For their outstanding work in collaborating with city-wide organisations to reduce local flood risks through sustainable natural flood management. iCASP translates research into solutions to tackle problems such as flooding, pollution and climate change, and has been designed to facilitate close collaborative working with partners such as the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Anna Gugan: For her research with the United Bank of Carbon (a charity that researches the benefits of tree planting to alleviate climate change, based in the School of Earth and Environment) and her commitment to sharing knowledge and ideas with external organisations to help inform their climate change strategies.  

Internationalisation Award 

Students into Schools Team (SiS): For their outstanding work to make the SiS programme more inclusive for international students, whilst providing local schools with their invaluable experience and skills.   

Lifetime Achievement Award 

For the first time this year the University has recognised an individual for their commitment to Sustainability while working at the University with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Sue Keat has been one of the longest-serving sustainability advocates at the University of Leeds, with over 40 years working as a research technician in the Leeds Dental Institute, demonstrating incredible enthusiasm throughout. 

Sue was one of the first to sign up as an ‘Environmental Co-Ordinator’ and regularly contributed to university discussions and initiatives on how we can improve and progress sustainability at the University. 

As the Sustainability Service has grown, she has continued to play an invaluable role, not least as one the very first members of Reuse@Leeds, a University based item reuse network, but also by being amongst the first to sign her department up to the Green Impact programme back in 2010, now the Blueprint programme. 

Michael Howroyd, Sustainability Projects Officer, said: “Sue has had an exceptional impact and most certainly has helped in building the firm foundations that make the University the sustainable organisation it is today.  We wish her all the best in a long and happy retirement.” 

This year’s winners reflect some of the most exciting progress happening to embed sustainability into the University, and beyond.  

To read more about each of our winners, and to see who else was highy commended in each category, take a look at the Sustainability Awards Webpage 

Celebrate your impact 

We want to carry on the celebration of sustainability across the University with all the great things you have been doing. No matter how big or small we want to hear about it! Share your stories with us on social media and be part of our #MyImpact campaign. Tag us on Instagram or Twitter (@UoL_Sus) and use #MyImpact so we can share and celebrate all the great things you’ve been doing.  

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