Sustainable UCL


UCL Sustainability Awards celebrating Green champion success 

14 September 2016



Last week the Sustainability Team hosted UCL's annual Sustainability Awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of those taking part in the National Green Impact scheme, as well as other sustainability initiatives on campus.

The ceremony recognised the contributions made by the UCL community to drive forward our key sustainability aims, by helping to embed sustainability into research, buildings and behaviours at UCL.

Over 30 teams received Green Impact Awards, of which 26 attained either Gold, Platinum or Excellence accreditation. In addition, three Sustainability Achievement Awards were handed to individuals and teams for their outstanding contributions to driving UCL’s sustainability agenda. Certificates for auditing the Green Impact programme were also presented to 30 of our students.

The level of engagement and quality of the award-winning projects this year has been remarkable. Richard Jackson, Director of Sustainability at UCL and Prof Graham Hart, Chair of the UCL Environmental Steering Group, thanked the teams for their hard work. Graham stated that: 

“UCL has jumped 31 places in People & Planet’s Green League leading us to be classified as a 1st class university. This success wouldn’t have been achieved without our Green Champions. Sustainability requires collective action and engagement from our 35,000 student and staff population.”

Illustrations of UCL produced by the artist Matteo Farinella and Eco Gift e-vouchers were presented as prizes for the winners of Excellence and Special Achievement awards. Celebrations continued after the ceremony over a locally sourced, Fairtrade, vegetarian buffet, with many conversations between teams about their plans for upcoming sustainability projects. You can find out more about the Green Impact project and how to get involved next year on the Sustainable UCL webpage.

A full list of award-winners can be found below. 

Green Impact Award Winners for 2015-16

Bronze Award Winners
  • Institution of Neurology Education Unit
  • Development & Alumni Relations Office
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
Silver Award Winners
  • Cruciform Hub
  • VP Research
Gold Award Winners
  • Action on Hearing Loss and Ear Institute Libraries
  • Political Sciences
  • Division of Psychiatry
  • The Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management
  • Student & Registry Services
  • Dementia Research Centre
  • UCL Main and Science Libraries
  • Institute of Child Health Refectory
  • School of Pharmacy Refectory
Platinum Award Winners
  • ICH Library
  • Eastman Dental Library
  • School of Pharmacy Library
  • UCL Language and Speech Science Library
  • Institute of Clinical Trials & Methodology
  • Institute of Archaeology Library
  • Residences
  • The Bartlett School of Planning 
  • Queen Square Library
  • Ophthalmology Library
  • Orthopaedics Library
Excellence Award Winners

Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

The CEGE Green Group ran a successful ‘Sustainability in Engineering and the Built Environment’ photography competition and hosted a subsequent exhibition of the prize winners. 

Department of Geography

The Department of Geography set up a UCL Conservation Group to connect students and staff with biodiversity and conservation. The group has organised multiple events including guided nature and biodiversity walks, talks on Global Environmental Governance, and volunteering activities with local environment groups.

Royal Free Medical Library

The Royal Free Medical Library team decided to focus on the theme of waste. They organised multiple events to engage colleagues on the topic, including Meat Free Monday lunches and a trip to Bywaters recycling centre. Additionally they collected books for developing countries.

School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) Library

The SSEES library team organised and hosted a series of screenings and discussions relating to environmental issues in Eastern Europe and are producing a dedicated LibGuide on the subject. Read about the event.

Psychology and Language Science

PALS undertook four projects this year. They’ve retained their title of UCL’s most active department and have done a massive amount, including undertaking experimental research into environmental behaviours at UCL; making videos and running a day-long green event; supporting research into recycling and running a competition aimed at finding technological solutions to the challenges of sustainability. Find out more on PALS Green Awareness.


Last year UCL Careers achieved a Platinum Award for recycling their kitchen's food waste with a wormery. This year with the help of another wormery, they have created a garden with the compost produced by the worms. The garden has attracted birds, bees and other wildlife as well as herbs and food for the department, increasing biodiversity, health and wellbeing.


Sustainability Achievement Award Winners for 2015-16

Embedding sustainability through engagement winner- UCLU Green Economy society


The student-led society ‘UCLU Green Economy’ have continued to engage students on topics and events relating to sustainability. In the past year, they have hosted 13 events including lectures, seminars and workshops on environmental topics and a conference on Sustainability. They also promoted and hosted events for the UCL Sustainability Challenges, where students were asked to submit a sustainable intervention idea.

Creating a positive impact on society winner- Ucell- Fuel Cells

UCell are a team of PhD students, lecturers and industrial partners working on electricity production from hydrogen. The team's aim is to bring future energy technologies into the present day by actively powering events around the country. This year they have been dedicated to engaging with the public; providing a unique opportunity for people to see and touch technologies that will play a vital part in near-future energy production. They have delivered events at UCL and festivals and have helped the Sustainability team to promote the Degrees of Change (carbon saving) programme.

Building a sustainable campus winner- Sandra Bond

Sandra Bond focused on improving the energy efficiency of the Institute of Archaeology's (IoA) labs. She did this by monitoring the energy usage of their fridges and freezers whilst investigating energy saving devices. As a result the IoA has agreed to replace the inefficient fridges with energy- efficient equipment. They are also investigating alternative types of storage for samples and are cataloguing to reduce the amount of freezers needed.

Sandra has also replaced standard lab gloves with thicker reusable ones to reduce wastage, and her enthusiasm for Warpit has ensured that second hand furniture is now always considered first when purchasing furniture for the department. She also planted a garden on the top floor balcony of the IoA.