Alongside colleagues from Manchester Museum, Dr Jennifer Rowntree recently organised a series of events focusing on the theme of sustainability. The Tuesday evening talks, which ran from April 30th to May 28th, covered the topics of transport, clothing, housing, biodiversity, and food. At each event a speaker from outside the University gave a 30 minute talk. This was followed by 2-4 shorter talks from academic or administrative staff which provided an excellent opportunity to highlight important research, promote good practice, and suggest areas for improvement within the University.
Simon Warburton, from Transport for Greater Manchester, was the speaker at the first event. He provided some fascinating insights into the practicalities of devising and implementing a coherent travel plan for Manchester. During the Clothing event, Stitched Up Collective’s Sara Han discussed upcycling and sustainability within the fashion industry. Ric Frankland from Dwelle was the next speaker and his focus was sustainable housing. In particular, he discussed the process of building his EcoHouse, which can be seen on the roadside when following the bus route into Fallowfield. Matt Holker from the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit offered some inspirational words regarding the ways in which recording biodiversity in our local area can map the trends of species distribution, an increasingly important practice as climate and habitat pressures continue to change. In the final event, it was Incredible Edible’s Pam Warhurst’s turn to make the audience think about the sustainability issues that exist within our food chain. Each event attracted an impressive audience of between 30 and 40 people, many of whom were keen to get involved in the lively discussions which followed the talks. Dr Rowntree commented on the events:
“The Faculty’s involvement in organising this kind of public outreach activity is a testament to our commitment to sustainability issues. The events not only encouraged links between the University and external organisations, but also enabled cross-faculty discussion and cooperation that will ensure the work being done to improve sustainability awareness across the University continues to thrive.”