Sustainability funding awarded

Posted on: 6 July 2022 in Issue 2

The Sustainability Fund received a diverse range of applications from staff keen to establish projects aligned to the aims of our Sustainability Strategy. Ten projects were awarded funding in June, and Sustainable Liverpool will be charting their progress over the coming months.

With funding of between £10,000 and £100,000 available, it’s clear that the University is serious about harnessing the enthusiasm and ideas of staff and translating this into impactful sustainability projects.

In order to secure funding, applicants had to demonstrate that their project met one, or more, of the following criteria. Projects had to:

  • Support the ambitions of the University’s Sustainability Strategy, such as meeting net zero carbon by 2035, reducing waste by 50% by 2025, or providing sustainable learning or extra-curricular activities for students
  • Support the reduction of the University’s Scope 3 emissions, linked to, for example business travel, staff commuting, the purchase of goods and services, and investments
  • Be aligned to one or more of the UN SDGs

The following ten projects secured full or partial funding, with successful applicants being based right across the University, from the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Science to Corporate Services in Humanities and Social Sciences and Liverpool University Press.

  • 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Game: Training for certified facilitators: Dr Valeria Andreoni, Senior Lecturer in Economics
  • Addressing the Environmental Cost of Student Doctors Commuting to Clinical Placement: Dr Iain Young, Head of Risk Management and Operational Procedure, Deputy Director of Studies
  • Net carbon zero for all work-related travel, with added benefits: Dr Kris D'Aout, Senior Lecturer in Musculoskeletal & Ageing Science
  • Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability: Upscaling and invigorating food growing at the University of Liverpool for diet, wellbeing, and environmental benefits: Dr Charlotte Hardman, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Sciences
  • Synergy – Laboratory plastic waste shredder: Jo Middleton, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  • HSS Proof of Concept Project – Can hybrid academic events really be as good as ‘real life’ events? Dr Judi Turner, Faculty Corporate Services Manager, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Enhancing and implementing sustainable teaching practice within the Central Teaching Laboratory: Lynne Chapman, Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Students in the Online Programmes Investigating Sustainability (SOPIS): Dr Peter Kahn, Director, Centre for Higher Education Studies, School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
  • Reduce and Reuse period support: Clare Kenny, Department of Veterinary Anatomy Physiology and Pathology, School of Veterinary Science
  • Making University Press sustainable: Anthony Cond, Chief Executive, Liverpool university Press

The focus of the successful projects is equality diverse, and Nicola Davies, Executive Lead for Sustainability, and the University’s Director of Finance, was impressed with the quality of applications. “This is the first time the University has run a sustainability fund like this and it was really encouraging to see interest from a broad range of departments, covering a broad range of ideas,” she says. “I’d again like to thank everyone who submitted an application and to congratulate those who were successful. I am very excited to see how these projects grow and develop over the coming months.”

One such project is Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability. Dr Charlotte Hardman from Psychology says that the Sustainability Fund is “enabling us to achieve impact from our UKRI-funded research project, Rurban Revolution, which has shown the many benefits of urban food growing for people and the planet. We are excited to be working with colleagues from across the University to invigorate food growing and gardening projects on campus and get more students and staff involved.”

Within the Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences, Dr Kris D'Aout and colleagues Vikki Hegerty and Carl Larsen will be working on a project focused on work-related travel. “The Sustainability Fund gave us the means to kick off our plans that had been maturing but were difficult to implement previously,” says Kris. “In delivering the project, we want to make our work-related travel carbon neutral, but importantly use the experience to feed back to the University and hopefully implement changes at a university-level.”

Within Musculoskeletal and Ageing Science and the Department of Eye and Vision Science, PhD students Kiran Riasat and Sherrin Gotru are working with H&S Coordinator Jo Middleton on the Synergy Project, looking at laboratory plastic waste shredder. “Thanks to the Sustainability Fund we’re extremely excited to be able to roll out our initiative,” says Kiran.

The Students in the Online Programmes Investigating Sustainability (SOPIS) received funding and Dr Peter Kahn explained “I’m convinced that education has a huge contribution to make in reshaping the world for a sustainable future. It’s my hope that, through this project, students on the University’s online programmes themselves will learn to take the initiative in framing actions and ways forward.”

A group of colleagues from the Liverpool University Press (LUP), led by Ally Lee, Alice Burns and the Press’s Sustainability Group, also received funding. Anthony Cond, Chief Executive Officer, explains: “Our project will see LUP become one of the first university presses worldwide to become carbon neutral. This isn’t just a moral imperative, it’s a commercial one too. Support from the Sustainability Fund will enable us to fast-track progress in our publishing operations. It will also enable us to create a new green space on campus to the rear of our Cambridge Street offices.”

Those working on the new Sustainability Fund projects have been invited to join a new Community of Practice allowing them to get together, share ideas and best practice and ask colleagues for help and advice. It is hoped that this Community of Practice will also help inform and develop the University’s sustainability action plans.

Experiences from this year’s application process will also influence how the University manages similar funds going forward. “We know that sustainability issues require a whole institution approach. So in future, we might use central funding to support emergent strategies from schools and departments or to enable more effective sharing of insight to drive institutional priorities.” Nicola explains. 

If you have any queries about this year’s Sustainability Fund, please contact the Sustainability Programme Team at