In September, the Climate Action Team held a ceremony to celebrate the inspiring achievements of staff and students taking action to fight the climate emergency.
Through the Climate Action Framework, the University is taking action across all aspects of university life, including providing education to empower students as change makers, researching solutions to the climate emergency, reducing our environmental footprint, and forging partnerships to bring wider transformation in society.
Launched in January 2023, Climate Action badges include the Climate Action logo which represents both the challenge of a labyrinth and the solution of collective thinking. The tree resemblance reminds us that alongside the people that will suffer from the devastating effects of climate change, nature will also be impacted should we not take urgent action.
At the event, we recognised achievements of Aurelie Charles, Emma Emanuelsson Patterson, and Peter Harper of the Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG), a former staff-led group instrumental in calling on the University to develop a meaningful response to the climate crisis.
We also acknowledged those who achieved Carbon Literacy certification: over 1000 students and staff took part in training with over 100 achieving full certification. Clare Power, Clemence Bricker, Gratsiela Madzharova, Sam Hayward and Dan Davies have been instrumental in delivering and expanding our Climate Literacy programme and so were all recognised with badges.
Emily Richards was celebrated as a key member of the Climate Literacy team, and with a badge awarded also in recognition of the countless other projects that she's involved with, including VIP projects, One Young World and leading a staff group Green Team.
Work to embed climate action learning and experiences across our education provision at Bath is being embraced and supported by many colleagues, and some key champions for driving these changes were recognised with a climate badge, including Nicki Schantz, Momna Hejmani, Brian Rutter and Rob Heyes.
We are grateful for the support provided by our Climate Action Research Advisory Group and awarded climate badges to the following members of that group: Annie Snelson-Powell, Antoine Buchard, Charles Larkin, Chris Budd, Sophia Hatzisavvidou and Tim Mays.
Living Labs provide an exciting opportunity to join together our action on carbon and our research and teaching, and in the past year, the Climate Action Team have worked with colleagues in the Department of Psychology to deliver such projects targeting behaviour change across our community. Recognising these efforts, badges were awarded to Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, Paul Haggar, Kaloyan Mitev and Becki Hafner.
Delivering a joined up approach to research and partnerships further demonstrates the benefits of a whole-institution response to climate action and it has been fantastic to have such collaborations forged to deepen the university's wider impact, with some key projects led by Will Hawkins, Andy Shea and Rick Lupton. All have been recognised with a badge.
While the University undertakes research to tackle the climate crisis from multiple angles, it’s also imperative for us to address how we conduct that research. Our LEAF programme provides a framework for implementing sustainability actions while ensuring research quality. Across the University, 85 labs have signed up to LEAF, with 39 certified to Bronze, including 7 in Health, 15 in Psychology, 2 in Chemistry, 2 in Chemical Engineering and 1 in Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations to Mark Thomas, Andreas Walbaum, Susanna Martin, Nathan Taylor, Ellen Martin, Josh Byers, James Taylor, Sara Crew, Jemma Gane, Dave Wood and Florence Richardson for their efforts to achieve these certifications.
Furthermore, the following individuals have received Climate Action badges in recognition for their ongoing efforts and sustained support in driving and growing LEAF at Bath: Fabienne Pradaux-Caggiano, Brigite Nunes Simoes Rodriguez, Helen Liang, John Lowe, Neil Price, Chris Carey, Elisabetta Schettino and Martin Levere.
In addition to research and academia, there have been critical collaborative projects carried out this year targeting reducing the University’s carbon footprint.
Colleagues in Campus Services have demonstrated a strong commitment to climate action, with badges awarded to Jane Loveys, Liz Russell, Emma Cockle, Mike Gale and, Cheryl Herbert for significant efforts in leading action for change through student-focused initiatives, leading the University’s Sustainable Food Commitment, embedding different approaches in campus accommodation and leading efforts to tackle waste minimisation from multiple angles.
Significant work has been undertaken by the Campus Infrastructure team over many years to reduce the University’s energy consumption. The team continue to work closely with the Climate Action Team to deliver a joined-up approach to technical and behavioural solutions to reducing our carbon emissions from energy use, and in recognition of this, badges gave been awarded to Dev Biddlecombe, Steve Andrews, Peter Gurr and Mike Wilson.
Internationalisation is one of the critical challenges facing the university sector, whereby we want to embrace the many benefits of pursuing an international agenda while acknowledging that we have also made commitments to minimise our carbon footprint. To delve into this, solution-seeking projects have been undertaken by Jessica Carwardine, from the International Relations Office, as part of her master’s course and Catherine Bailey, from Student Support and Safeguarding through her MBA. Both have been awarded badges in recognition of their work in this area and we look forward to continuing working with them over the coming year.
Our procurement of goods and services across the University is responsible for roughly two thirds of our carbon footprint and the Climate Action Team have been working in collaboration with the Finance and Procurement Team to tackle this head on, including piloting low carbon consideration in tenders, embedding in the business travel and expenses policy, and supply chain footprint data support. Key leaders for change, Tony Brett, Lester Hayward, Richard Backholer, Louise Rudall and Simon Holt, were recognised and awarded for their dedication to these positive changes.
We also highlighted key projects funded by our Net Zero Carbon Campus Fund in the past year, including a Dr Bike event organised by Mark Evernden and Community Trees Project by Katrina Kelly and Joshua Hale.
Leading organisational change
We have a vast community of change-makers who strive to make a positive and sustainable difference. Our Climate Advocates, Tessa Kerslake, Melusine Pigeon, Mark Evernden, Stefania Esposito, David Wood, Ed Feil and Sandhya Moise, hold vital roles to deliver change in their departments.
As part of the Climate Action Framework and governance, we are supported and guided by a number of groups. From our Steering Group, badges were awarded to Marcelle McManus, Anneke Lubben, Cassie Wilson, Corinne Evans, Laura Clapp, Martin Williams, and colleagues mentioned elsewhere in this article. From our Advisory Group, badges were awarded to Nicola Lloyd, Ed Webster, Clare Baxter and Sacha Goodwin.
During this event, we also highlighted and celebrated the committed work that Ghika Savva and Kathryn Jones have done toward green issues through the Student Community Partnership, including coordinating end-of-year waste minimisation efforts and running projects with students such as community litter picking and tree planting.
Jian Xin Lim, Mark Evernden, Ben Harris and Stéf Kasprowski are each dedicated to encouraging others to cycle to campus, with efforts via the Bicycle Users Group and Riding In and Out groups, and so have all been awarded badges.
The Communications Team are a vital support in raising awareness, embedding a climate-focused approach to communicating about the University, and championing staff and student climate action. With particular thanks and badges awarded to Chris Melvin, Kate Evans and Alison Crichton.
Special recognition to Ann-Marie Hartland who coordinated a challenging yet exciting project to develop climate-friendly principles applicable to the digital transformation process.
Our student community are actively engaged with making change and you can read about their inspiring and significant actions, and which were recognised at this event, in our article celebrating students at the forefront of climate action.
In support of student action, we recognised efforts made by the Students’ Union to embed a climate action culture across their own operations, with leadership on this agenda from Suzanne Snook and Mandy Wilson-Garner.
Finally, at this event it was a joy to be able to recognise and celebrate the efforts of our brilliant Climate Action Chair, Professor Pete Walker, who has now stepped down from this role which he has held since the team's inception in 2020. We were delighted to present with him a custom Climate Action black t-shirt.
In the Climate Action Team, we take great pride in recognising the dedication of colleagues who have made contributions in the fight against climate change. Our community of staff and students remain unwavering in their commitment to reduce the university’s carbon emissions and maximising positive impacts through education, research and partnerships. As we move forward, we will continue championing climate action and honouring top innovators and leaders as we make strides for change together.