The Sustainability Lab shaping brighter futures

Another successful year of Sustainability ThinkTanks

News - The Sustainability Lab, News - university

by Mair Rowlands

The 2015-16 academic year has seen another successful series of our very popular Sustainability ThinkTanks, with a diverse variety of sessions held throughout the year.

The Sustainability ThinkTank is a friendly monthly group which is open to all staff and students and is also the monthly gathering of the Sustainability Champions.  It encourages its participants to come forward with and discuss all sorts of ideas around the environmental, social, cultural, ethical and financial aspects of Sustainability@Bangor, and the people and communities in and around campus, particularly for participants to lead their own projects and activities to create a sustainable future for Bangor University and it’s community.

It’s been a fantastic year of Sustainability ThinkTanks, we’ve had a great variety of topics to discuss from environmental management at the University, to influencing policy, and community projects. The ThinkTanks are a great way for staff and students to get involved and discuss ideas and projects and join us on the journey to create a sustainable future for Bangor University,” said Einir Young, Director of Sustainability at the University.

Environmental management at Bangor University

The academic year began with a session by Ricky Carter, the University’s Environmental Manager where there was an opportunity for attendees to get a better insight into our Environmental Management System and invest to save plans.

Resource efficiency and waste at Bangor University

In the November session, two of The Sustainability Lab team members who are experts on resource efficiency and waste, Rebecca Colley-Jones and Gwen Holland, presented an overview of what’s happening waste wise in the University. They presented a number of different projects related to waste that’s happening in halls, offices and in the community, with participants sharing ideas, and participating in shaping the future of the field at the University.

Influencing the Welsh Government – the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act

There was an opportunity in December for the ThinkTank to influence Government, with Mike Palmer from the Welsh Audit Office joining us to discuss how we will be measuring the success of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, with those present trying to understand and apply the principles of the Act.


It was a community campaign that was under discussion with Rebecca Colley-Jones in January. #LoveYourClothesBangor is a partnership between the University and WRAP working together to engage with students and staff on campus to raise awareness about reducing the impact of clothing on the environment, utilising the Love Your Clothes brand. People got the opportunity to hear more about the campaign and share their ideas and learned about ways to influence and inspire others to take actions to reduce the impact of clothing on the environment.

International sustainability – the Bangor-Makerere Students’ Link

There was an opportunity in the February session to find out more about an exciting project to promote sustainability and welfare across continents by developing the Bangor-Makerere Students Link with Jalia Nabukalu-Packwood from The Sustainability Lab team. The conversation highlighted how students can take the lead in promoting sustainable development at their Universities, communities and countries through sharing best practices and creating new ideas, and further highlighted how students across continents can work together to address a global issue.

Inclusive sustainability planning at Bangor University

Health was on the agenda in April with Professor Paul Brocklehurst, a member of the University’s Sustainability Task Group, discussing patient and public involvement in research, and how could these principles be applied to the University’s well-being and sustainability agenda. There was a broad discussion on co-production and joint planning, and how we could include students and staff in planning for sustainability at the University.

Food poverty and sustainability with LoveBangor Community Partnership

David Beck, PhD Student Social Sciences and Community Partnership Coordinator Love Bangor, Student Union, introduced his ideas on food poverty and sustainability at the last ThinkTank of the year. He discussed his research on food poverty in Wales and food banks are becoming increasingly visible within our communities. He also raise the question whether food banks are a sustainable option not just for the food insecure, but for society and for the government. Following his research and his role as a member of staff at the University, Dave has set up permanent food bank collection points across campus which then goes to the Cathedral Food Bank.

2016-17 – come along!

To join in the 2016-17 Sustainability ThinkTanks, visit our events page to find out when the next ThinkTank is, and turn up on the day – all welcome!

Find out more about the Sustainability ThinkTanks


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