Sustainable UCL


Alex Page - 2019 Winner of the Staff Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability

Alex tirelessly leads the OVPA Green Impact team expanding its scope, increasing the size of the team and constantly looking for ways to collaborate with new teams across UCL.

Alex Page - Award Winner portait

14 May 2020

What is your role and what does it involve?

I’m a Donor Relations Officer within the Office of the Vice-Provost (Advancement) (OVPA), which means I’m one of a team responsible for ensuring donors to the University are properly looked after.

I love my role – it involves all kinds of interesting work from writing reports and proposals to funders interested in making a significant philanthropic investment in research at UCL to working with scholarship recipients and academics to convey the impact such support can have to a wide audience. It’s really quite non-stop!

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I’ve been at UCL since August 2016, when I joined OVPA as a CASE Graduate Trainee – it was in this role I discovered my passion for stewardship.

Before this, I studied history at the University of Kent and worked at the Asda in Canterbury, both of which I really enjoyed (in very different ways).

Tell us about the Sustainability Award you won in 2019 and the work that it celebrated

I was really surprised and humbled to win the 2019 award for my work to increase collaboration between teams in Bidborough House and beyond.

I’m very enthusiastic about running projects that engage as many people as possible with Green Impact in a fun and educational way and am always thinking ‘how could we make this even bigger?’ It’s always an instinct of mine to ask other teams if they want to take part in an initiative or to meet teams that are in the early stages of setting up to present ideas and lessons I’ve learnt through my time on the Green Team.

The other Green Teams in Bidborough House are fantastic and we often take part in each others’ projects: we’ve grown plants together, donated to the New Horizon’s Youth Centre together, made sustainable Christmas decorations together, and now we’re walking the world together!

Has winning the award changed things for you?

It’s definitely made me even more dedicated to making the impact of our work as far-reaching as possible. The ambitious ‘walk the world’ project we’ve launched (more below) is a result of the award making me realise a huge project is possible, and there’s an appetite for cross-collaboration on such a scale.

Also, the award itself (a peace lily which was christened Brutus by a stranger in a pub) is still alive and well and very much cheers my room up, especially now we’re all working from home!*

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list

We’re currently sending our office mascot, Jeremy Beartham, around the world via most countries. He’s out there investigating the impact of climate change across the globe and reporting back on innovative initiatives countries and individuals are adopting to combat the climate emergency. As well as encouraging people to walk more, we hope this project will raise awareness and drive to take individual actions in an engaging and fun way – so far we’ve done over 15,000,000 steps!

Jeremy has an Instagram Page and a blog (soon to have his first chapters), and everyone is welcome to take part – if you’d like to get involved in helping Jeremy reach his goal, please email alex.page@ucl.ac.uk

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

My favourite album is either 'Popular Problems or Live in London' by Leonard Cohen, who (in my humble opinion), is the greatest wordsmith ever to have lived.
I’d love to say something profound about the film, but I would probably go with the Guy Ritchie crime comedy Snatch! The character Brick Top (masterfully portrayed by the woefully underrated Alan Ford), makes every scene he’s a pleasure to watch.
My favourite novel is a really tough question! I’m a very avid reader. 'The Discworld' novels by Terry Pratchett played a big role in sparking my love of reading, but I couldn’t choose one above the others.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

I asked my friend what his favourite thing about living in Switzerland is. He said, ‘Well, the flag’s a big plus’.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Leonard Cohen, Jo Brand and Sherlock Holmes. Lots of dark humour, philosophical discussion and I’m sure they’d all be up for some party games.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You’ll save yourself hundreds of pounds and a lot of embarrassment by just going with your inner feeling that you’re a terrible driver and not even trying to learn.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

When I was nine, I came very close to being adopted by an orang-utan called Edita in Sumatra who thought (due to my bright ginger hair and orange backpack), that I was a lost baby.

What is your favourite place?

County Kerry, Ireland. I’ve been walking, hiking and climbing there since I was little and I’ve yet to discover a more beautiful landscape.

*This interview was conducted during the UCL closures in response to Covid-19.

Read more about the Sustainability Awards​ →