23 Sep.

Climate change impact through 50,000 Actions and Living Lab nominated for an Earthshot prize

Over 40,000 staff and students at The University of Manchester have been nominated for The Earthshot Prize for their practical action on climate change.

This year, The Earthshot Prize is breaking records with 30% increase inspiring solutions compared to last year. It is an honour for Manchester to be nominated such a prestigious prize.

In the last two years, the University has saved CO2 through active travel, shaped municipal climate change policy, increased biodiversity and enabled ethical consumption whilst empowering and equipping the future workforce of a net zero world. The Earthshot Prize would harness the massive global force for sustainability to affect change whilst shaping the decision makers of the future.

Action for sustainability requires both multidisciplinary and collaborative solutions. The University methodology transforms how universities contribute to the most urgent challenges facing our planet in a scalable way.

The University Living Lab connects Manchester students to hundreds of research projects set by organisations around the world working at the cutting edge of sustainable development. Framed with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals these projects can be adapted to most assessments for most disciplines for students across the globe to tackle.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility said: Our community of over 40,000 students have a range of advanced skills that can benefit communities, but rarely are these harnessed at scale, and in ways that meet the real needs of communities. Our University Living Lab addresses this challenge in of the UK’s largest universities by supporting students to undertake practical pieces of work linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Driven by a multitude of community-driven, people, planet and prosperity challenges students develop their sense of social responsibility, meet key learning objectives and know they are making a difference to real needs.”

50,000 Actions is the biggest environmental sustainability initiative in the higher education sector. Manchester students and staff are together taking small steps to live more sustainably and take care of our planet at a global level.

Through this platform, people can pledge sustainability actions and charter their progress. There are more than 150 different actions to reduce carbon impact and combat climate change whilst looking after the environment.

Dr Jennifer O’Brien, Lecturer in Geography said: “The 43,000 students are the University of Manchester are agents of change for sustainability, yes as future thinkers, decision and policy makers, but also right now during their studies. Our innovative, scalable, methodology through the University Living Lab and 50,000 Actions deploys that huge force for change whilst enhancing student experience and employability.”

The University’s approach brings up a huge potential. With the estimated growth rate of students in higher education, 50000 small actions could add up to great change. This method brings the full knowledge resources of universities to bear upon the most pressing global challenges, delivering timely, streamlined, replicable and scalable change.

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