Environment Awards 2023

On the 29th of June the Sustainability Team joined staff, students and members from Newcastle University’s Executive Board in King’s Hall to celebrate achievements and displays of sustainable excellence. 

Recipients of the award were from various departments across the university, including teaching, research and Estates and Facilities. We hope this demonstrates how sustainable changes and innovation can be made across any department and be recognised. 


  • LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) members 

LEAF lab groups who have achieved a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award at the University this academic year were all acknowledged for their achievements in increasing the sustainability of their labs. 

LEAF is a framework that helps to guide lab users through different actions that they can take to make their labs more sustainable across areas like waste, water, travel and energy. 

This year, 4 labs at Newcastle University achieved Gold efficiency, 2 labs achieved Silver, and 7 labs started their journey with LEAF and achieved Bronze. 

Running on Bronze accreditation and efficiency, a lab can save 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year, compared to not completing and running on Bronze criteria.  

If you would like to learn more about LEAF at Newcastle University, please take a look at our LEAF information on the Sustainable Campus website

  • The Grounds Team for their work on enhancing biodiversity 

The 29-person Grounds Team were recognised for the work they do to enhance and protect biodiversity on our city-centre campus. They plant a wonderful array of flowers, trees and bushes to benefit insects, and keep our campus litter-free, which keeps hazards out of the way of any animals that pass through. 

The Grounds Team prepped/planted more than 1200 m2 of wildflower beds last year, and they’ve added another 500 m2 this year. 

Wildflower planting has many benefits which include: 

  • Boosting biodiversity as it attracts pollinators such as: bees, birds and butterflies. 
  • Wildflower areas on campus bring flowers into the everyday which can encourage people to get outdoors, enjoy walks, take photos and observe wildlife. 
  • Wildflower areas also help us with our aim to be more sustainable, as wildflower areas instead of lawns means that we reduce our cutting frequency, which prevents wear on machines, and reduces fuel use and emissions. This also saves money in the Grounds Team’s budget and frees up time for the team to focus on the detail of their ground’s maintenance tasks and other types of planting. 

The wildflowers have been in bloom all month across campus and receive non-stop compliments on social media. 

Please let us know what you think of wildflower areas on campus in the comments.  

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