Reflecting on Sustainability Week 2024

Posted on: 13 March 2024 in Issue 8

Sustainability Week 2024 came to a close earlier this month, and today we are reflecting on some of the highlights from the week. From new initiatives to insightful discussions and practical workshops, this annual event has once again demonstrated the power of collective action in addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges.

Sustainability Week took place between 26th February – 1st March 2024, as part of the Feel Good February initiative. Working in collaboration with the Guild of Students, the Sustainability team, with the help of staff and students from across the University delivered nearly 40 educational, wellbeing and creative activities and events, that covered a range of sustainability topics. The aim of the week was to raise awareness of sustainability objectives and initiatives at the University, and for staff and students to come together to explore and promote sustainable practices. Events held during the week were varied to reflect our broader commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Let's take a look at some of the highlights:

Sustainability Week highlights

Many of you met the sustainability team at our Sustainability Roadshow, where we discussed what we are doing to make the University more sustainable and the range of opportunities to get involved. Staff and students tested their carbon literacy with the ‘How Bad are Bananas?’ game and won some eco-friendly prizes. Campus Food & Drink joined us along the way, and we got to sample some of the vegan and vegetarian options available in University catering outlets.

Chief Financial Officer and Chair of the University's Sustainability Board, Nicola Davies joined the guided tour of the University’s Energy Centre. This tour provided an understanding of the important role our combined heat and power (CHP) gas engines and heat network have in meeting the daily energy demands on campus. It was a great opportunity to see the impressive, large scale plant and equipment up front whilst learning about the energy/carbon saving benefits of operating such systems. The tour also gave an insight into the challenges faced by universities operating energy centres moving forward with regards to future energy demands, climate change resilience and achieving net zero carbon targets.   

A number of students and staff joined our academics for an enlightening lecture on the science of climate change to explore impacts, and solutions together. Karl Whittle, Professor of Zero Carbon and Nuclear Energy, and Ric Williams, Professor of Ocean, and Climate Science discussed the science around climate change and the UK progress in reducing carbon emissions, with an overview of the implications of climate change on the energy industry.

Laboratory users explored how to improve the sustainability of laboratories and technical workspaces and learnt about the rollout of our Laboratory Efficiency and Assessment Framework (LEAF) at the Sustainable Labs event. We now have 84 LEAF accredited labs across campus, 6 with gold status. There were also guided tours of the LEAF accredited laboratories at Life Sciences, Central Teaching labs, and Materials Innovation Factory.

Students helped to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and enjoyed the health benefits of gardening, by bringing some colour to the Guild’s iconic green wall, and planting and harvesting at the Oliver Lodge Garden. The Guild explored the gorgeous beaches of Crosby and spent an afternoon cleaning up the coast, improving beaches for the community, wildlife and environment.

Employability sessions proved incredibly valuable for students interested in sustainability-related career paths. We were joined by David Connor, the founder of Liverpool’s 2030hub for the Sustainability in the Liverpool City Region online workshop which explored how different organisations are engaging with the SDGs and the sustainability skills and attributes organisations will be looking for in their employees now and in the future. Plus, the Green Careers online workshop with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) explored the free Green Careers Hub, which connects business and individuals to become part of tomorrow’s workforce for a cleaner, greener future. Students also took part in the interactive thought-provoking multi-player facilitated 2030's SDGs card game, which simulates what the world could look like in 2030.

Together we celebrated the transition to a circular economy with the Guild’s ‘crafternoon’ of upcycling unused t-shirts, totes and tin cans, plus an opportunity to swap unwanted clothes for a sustainable style switch up with their famous Swap Shop. Students swapped clothes, shoes, accessories and dressing up costumes for coupons to spend on preloved items. Our students took action and hosted a range of student-led activities across campus, including a circular economy pop up shop and a waste reduction workshop. Plus, the Money Advice & Guidance team were at the Food Pantry for a Love Food Hate Waste special, offering advice on how to save money and reduce food waste, plus cooking demonstrations using leftovers which were donated by the University’s catering venues and the Liverpool Zero Waste Community. 

Our cycling experts Peloton were on hand on to help you discover the most picturesque bike routes around the city whilst increasing your confidence on two wheels.

Staff and students enjoyed panoramic views of the city and learn about what goes into making one of the worlds healthiest buildings, with a guided tour of Liverpool’s iconic Spine Building.

Plus, there were sustainability themed film screenings throughout the week, including Wall-E and Dark Waters at the Guild, and Children of Men in the Victoria Gallery and Museum.

New opportunities and resources for staff

To coincide with Sustainability Week, we launched new staff initiatives to celebrate the University’s commitment to sustainability. Providing staff with the skills, knowledge and resources needed to take collective action in creating a more sustainable environment both at work and at home.

We unveiled our new Sustainable Events Guidance, a comprehensive resource designed to empower event organisers to integrate sustainability into the planning, management, and evaluation of events.

In addition, we launched new training and guidance on sustainability, including a new module hosted in Canvas by the Academy, to equip all staff with the skills needed to create an environmentally conscious and socially responsible workplace.

Communications campaign

Sustainability Week wasn’t just about face-to-face engagement, we launched a comprehensive digital communications campaign to raise awareness, inspire action, and foster a culture of sustainability among our stakeholders. Our digital communications campaign was designed with several key objectives in mind, to; raise awareness, promote engagement, showcase initiatives and inspire action.

To achieve this, we partnered with internal departments and external organisations and employed a variety of strategies and tactics across digital channels through a targeted social media campaign, a blog series, webinars, virtual workshops and website enhancements.

The results of our digital communications campaign were overwhelmingly positive, with significant impact and outcomes including, increased awareness, enhanced engagement, positive feedback, and behavioural change. The communications campaign exemplifies our dedication to sustainability and acknowledgement of the power of digital platforms to drive positive change. See some examples below: 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by University of Liverpool (@livuni)


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by University of Liverpool (@livuni)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by LivUniITServices (@livuniit)

Thank you!

Sustainability Week served as a powerful reminder of the collective impact we can achieve when we come together with a shared purpose. Thank you to the faculties, departments and students who hosted their own events, and everyone who took part and engaged with Sustainability Week 2024. Let's keep the momentum going, and continuing to champion sustainability in our daily lives and work towards a more sustainable future. See you next year!

Find out more

If you attended any of the Sustainability Week events, the Sustainability team would love to hear about your experience. Please contact with your feedback, and help make next year even better.

The Sustainability team run events throughout the year and there are many other ways staff and students can get involved and help shape sustainability at the University, find out more here.

For more information about sustainability plans and progress at University of Liverpool please contact the Sustainability team by emailing