Sustainable UCL


UCL celebrates 2021 Sustainability Award Winners

14 July 2021

Sustainable UCL hosted the ninth annual Sustainability Awards Ceremony this Wednesday, 14th July, celebrating the inspiring work of staff and students rallying to create a fair and sustainable future through teaching, research, and projects.

Virtual Awards Ceremony participants on a computer screen

Despite the pandemic, we’ve seen countless innovative ideas to encourage sustainability while working and studying from home: from online wellbeing events, to planting at home campaigns, to strategic sustainability plans.  This year’s sustainability awards celebrated the UCL community for making change possible at UCL and beyond. 

An impressive 85 teams participated in UCL’s Green Impact and LEAF programmes, to make offices and labs more sustainable. Whilst 67 researchers, teachers, students and professional staff were nominated for prestigious Sustainability Special Awards. For the first time, we honoured 54 Student Sustainability Ambassadors who have volunteered to make UCL’s sustainability commitments a reality. 

Four  sustainability leaders inspired the more than 150 UCL’s sustainability champions joining the virtual awards ceremony: 

What I find working in this field of sustainability is that it unites our community around a common purpose. It acts as a bond that brings people together, helps to form friendships, enables togetherness and collaborative working. It's a strong value for a number of people...and it gives us purpose
  • Ash Ghadiali, Activist in Residence at UCL’s Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation  recognised the collective efforts showcased at the ceremony to move UCL towards its sustainability goals and highlighed the power and possibility that comes with a university like UCL;

  • Deborah Gill, UCL Vice-Provost (Education & Student Experience) spoke about how sustainability and climate change are increasingly important to students and highlighted some student inivitatives at UCL that demonstrated this interest: a group of Medical students reviewed how their faculty could incorporate sustainability in the curriculum and the Students' Union UCL launched its ambitious sustainability strategy:

Like all of you I believe this is a pivotal time for our planet and its people, and I truly believe education is the central vehicle in creating the change that we need to see. I can commit that sustainability will be a thread in our education and student experience strategy in coming years
  • Geraint Rees, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences, UCL Pro-Provost (Academic Planning), Professor of Cognitive Neurology at University College London and Chair of the Sustainability Steering Group (SSG) concluded the ceremony with a rallying cry encouraging students and staff in their efforts to mainstream sustainability and reflecting on how the challenges of the past year have shown us that change is possible.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S39_4h9OTdM


2021 Winners of the Sustainability Special Awards revealed 

Staff Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability 

This year’s winner of the Staff Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability is Ivet Dimitrova, University Project Officer in the UCL Estates Capital Projects team for incorporating sustainability into UCL construction projects. 

Ivet ensures that all future spaces at UCL are designed and constructed with an emphasis on sustainability and in line with the UCL Sustainability Strategy and the UCL Sustainable Building Standard

Ivet has helped reduce UCL's environmental impact in several areas: reducing the energy use associated with mechanical and electrical building services; maximising materials reuse and minimising waste as part of a circular economy approach; and improving internal environments to support the health and wellbeing of staff and students. 

Student Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability 

Carol Paige receives the Student Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability during her 2 years as Democracy, Operations and Community Sabbatical Officer at the Students’ Union UCL. 

Carol developed the Students’ Union UCL’s first Sustainability Strategy, hosted numerous sustainability-themed events, including sustainability talks during the election period, and facilitated UCL's Student Sustainability Council and Sustainability Ambassador programme.  

Sustainability Research Award 

Dr Priti Parikh, Associate Professor and Head of Engineering for International Development Centre at the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, receives the Sustainability Research Award for championing the role of infrastructure to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the last five years.  

She led a UCL team which demonstrated the links between sanitation and energy, climate change, health, education and poverty reduction, making a case for targeted action in sanitation. Until that point the linkages between water and the SDGs had been mapped but the role of sanitation had received very little attention. Priti has also led efforts to influence policy and practice, with her and her team’s work influencing the African Sanitation Strategy, and how SDGs are monitored in South Africa. 

Sustainability Impact Award 

This year’s Sustainability Impact Award goes to UCL’s Ahlul-Bayt (ABsoc) Student Society for engaging their members in sustainability campaigns and undertaking a sustainability week. Their events aimed to mobilise the Shia Muslim community to engage with the climate crisis. During sustainability week they sought to unite student societies such as the Climate Action Society and the Pakistan Society, to discuss how climate change affects people of all faiths and backgrounds, and how they can work to achieve environmental justice and tackle the climate crisis. 

Sustainability Education Award 

This year the Sustainability Education Award is a joint award for the UCL Medical School for a series of inspiring staff and student sustainability projects. 

Adesh Sundaresan, Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the UCL Medical School designed and ran a novel module for medical students dedicated to empowering, educating and inspiring students on the health impacts of climate change. Students were equipped with skills which will allow them to participate in adaptation, mitigation and communication-related activities. 

Tor Wright, Head of Medicine MBBS Management Clinical and Professional Practice and Quality Assurance and Enhancement Unit, and Medical students Florence Fowkes, Mehar Singh, John Ooi and Natalia Zernicka-Glover collaborated to review and integrate issues linking healthcare, climate change, and sustainability into the MBBS curriculum and presented this review to the MBBS Executive Team in March 2021. 

Deanne Atreed, Head of Strategic Partnerships at the UCL Medical School has been instrumental in introducing core student teaching within the Medicine MBBS Programme (2000 students), as well as being key in establishing the first medical Student Selected Component (SSC) in climate change and health in the UK. Deanne also worked with Medical students to sign a Declaration of the Climate Change Emergency, which is a national initiative amongst UK medical schools. 

Trizzha Feliciano, Catherine Napper, Luisa Alamo Gomez, Selina Aziz and Isis Gaspar Calado researched and reviewed the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences’ commitment to climate change education and sustainability in the faculty’s curriculum, interdisciplinary research, community outreach, support for student-led initiatives, and campus sustainability, in addition to setting up a board to further improve the faculty’s engagement in the future as part of the Planetary Health Report Card (PHRC) Initiative.  

Read more about the highly commended nominees and award winners here

Green Impact Office Awards


Bartlett Library (Bartlett Bees) 

Bartlett Faculty Office 

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health  

Faculty of Laws (Green Laws) 

Department for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (Jewish Green)   

Orthopaedics Library   

Department of Philosophy  

School of Pharmacy Student and Academic Support Office   

School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES Evergreens) 


Department of Chemical Engineering (Chem Eng Sustainability)  

Department of Information Studies  

 UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (Green Square Admin) 

Queen Square Library  

Institute of Education (IOE) Library  

Institute of Ophthalmology (IOO) Library 

Main Library  

Royal Free Library  

Science Library  

Senate House  

Student Registry Services  

UCL Medical School  

Mullard Space Science Laboratory from the Department of Space and Climate Physics  


BASc Arts and Sciences 

Bartlett School of Environment, Energy, and Resources (BSEER Green Team) 

Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction (BSSC Green Onions) 

Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER) 

Central Library 

Cruciform Hub Library 

Dementia Research Centre at the Institute of Neurology (Dementia Research ION) 

Finance and Business Affairs (Green Counts) 

UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library (ICH Library) 

Institute of Archaeology Library 

Institute of Ophthalmology  

Greek and Latin Department (Legion of Eunomia) 

Office of the Vice-President Advancement (OVPA Green Team) 

UCL Psychology and Language Sciences (PALS Green Team) 

School of Pharmacy Library  

Student Enquiries Centre Team

Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences (Sustainable Surgery) 

UCL Careers (Careers Staff Experience Team) 

Language and Speech Science Library 

UCL Innovation and Enterprise  

Bartlett School of Planning 

Wickford Stores (Wickford Zero Waste)  

LEAF Awards for Sustainable Laboratories


I&I Rayne 

Pharmaceutics Instrumental – B12, B57, 306, 317, 320, 324 

Pharmaceutics Tissue Culture Facility 301a 

Department of Clinical and Movement Neuroscience 

Institute of Prion Diseases, MRC Prion Unit at UCL 

Spinal Repair Unit 

Centre for Obesity Research 

Institute of Women’s Health 

MacAskill Lab 

Ear Institute 

Department of Neuroinflammation at Wakefield Street 

Bloomsbury Institute of Intensive Care Medicine 

SoP - MSc Teaching/Instrumentation Laboratory (B56) 

Katan Lab 



Fly Lab Rockefeller 


Thermal Analysis Laboratory 

Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy Labs 

Department of Neurodegenerative Disease 

Research Department of Pathology 

UCL Respiratory 

Institute of Healthy Ageing 

Annette Dolphin Lab 

Centre for Clinical Microbiology 



PALS LEAF Lab - from UCL Psychology and Language Sciences  

School of Pharmacy Teaching Labs - from UCL Pharmacy 

IoO Labs - from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology  

Department of Neuromuscular Diseases 

Cruciform 3.4 

NMD – Cruciform Building 

Geography Labs 

Kurian Lab – ZCR 

C. B. E. 


ISH Laboratories 

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre 

Fish Floor Anatomy 


Environmental Engineering Laboratory 

Sustainability Plan Awards

PALs (Psychology and Language Sciences)

A plan including an innovative No Fly Zone Pledge to reduce academic travel that has the potential to become a UCL-wide initiative.

Innovation and Enterprise
A plan including a dedicated section to promoting Innovation and Enterprise’s support for sustainable activities across UCL linked to their unique position, including entrepreneurship support for UCL students with a sustainability focus.

A plan including embedding sustainability into their teaching, induction week activities and as part of a compulsory module, with future plans to work with the Geography Department on possible co-development of sustainability teaching.

Mullard Space Science Laboratory
A plan considering the laboratory’s unique location, and how people can be encouraged to travel to them sustainably, from organising meetings nearer the train station to setting up EV charging points.

Students' Union
A plan including the ambitious goal to become the most sustainable Students’ Union in the UK, and the embedding of sustainability into everything they do.

Medical School
A plan including a pledge to integrate sustainability teaching into the Medicine MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) curriculum.

Division of Surgery
A plan including a bespoke sustainability policy and a series of sustainability pledges alongside this, setting out greater ambitions.

OVPESE and Arena Centre
A plan to embed sustainability throughout the curriculum, including a connected learning internship project on sustainability in higher education, launching a sustainable curriculum toolkit, and showcasing sustainability in the curriculum in a large-scale panel event.