If you would like to find out more about environmental sustainability at the University, you can send us an email or explore the team profiles below and contact an individual directly.
The Environmental Sustainability team are based in the Directorate of Estates and Facilities.
Learn more about our full governance structure.
Richard Smith – Head of Environmental Sustainability
Key areas: strategic development, zero carbon, risk and climate resilience, team management and support.
Richard leads the team and is responsible for directing activity to deliver Our Sustainable Future. Richard returned to the University in 2021, 27 years after graduating in English Literature. In the intervening years he worked at the BBC. He was a journalist for 15 years, including a stint as Home Affairs Correspondent in the South East. In 2009 Richard joined the BBC's sustainability team, creating "Albert", a carbon calculator designed to estimate the carbon impact of TV production. The tool is now used by thousands of companies around the world.
Sarah Choi – Environmental Sustainability Manager
Key areas: data, construction, waste, lab sustainability.
Sarah's key roles include gathering and analysing carbon data and reporting to stakeholders, developing and implementing strategies to reduce waste production, overseeing the sustainability issues across all laboratories of the University, as well as seeking and advising on any opportunity to eliminate negative environmental impact during construction and refurbishment projects. Prior to joining the University she had been working as a sustainability and waste management consultant in Hong Kong for more than 15 years.
Julia Durkan – Environmental Sustainability Manager
Key areas: travel and transport, valuing nature.
Julia leads on two key areas of the University's Environmental Sustainability Strategy; travel and transport and valuing nature. This includes looking at how we can reduce the impact of our travel from University fleet, business travel and staff and student commuting, and how we can restore biodiversity and enhance positive impacts on nature both on campus and across our activities.
Lucy Millard – Environmental Sustainability Manager
Key areas: engagement and communications, Scope 3 emissions, responsible procurement.
Lucy is a full member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and a Chartered Environmentalist with an MSc in Enviromental Governance. She has worked in a variety of environmental roles in the energy and higher education sectors and her work has won several awards.
Nox Fu – Environmental Sustainability Officer
Key areas: valuing nature, sustainable food
Nox is responsible for two main areas based on the University's Environmental Sustainability Strategy: valuing nature and sustainable food. Valuing nature includes looking at how we can increase the quality and quantity of campus green space and connect teaching and learning with campus biodiversity data and resources. Sustainable food includes how we can reduce the carbon footprint of the University's catering operations, and improve the engagement of staff, students, and the local community.
Leilah Radler – Environmental Sustainability Engagement Assistant
Key areas: engagement, events, social media
Leilah helps to organise student and staff engagement at the University and assists the Environmental Sustainability Team with their virtual and in-person outreach to get more people involved with environmental sustainability initiatives. She recently joined the team after graduating last year with a degree in geography.
Professor Nalin Thakkar – Vice-President for Social Responsibility
Professor Nalin Thakkar is Vice-President for Social Responsibility. Nalin is a clinical academic who has been associated with the University for more than 40 years. He undertook his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Manchester and after serving as a senior lecturer, he was appointed to Chair of Molecular Pathology in 2003. He was then appointed as Associate Vice-President for Risk, Compliance and Research Integrity in 2010. He is also a Consultant Histopathologist at the Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and leads a specialist head and neck histopathology service.
He was listed in the top 50 most influential BAME public sector leaders in the UK in 2017 by Inclusive Boards.
Professor Carly McLachlan – Academic Lead for Carbon
Professor Carly McLachlan is Academic Lead for Carbon and works closely with the Environmental Sustainability Team to try to reduce emissions across all areas of our activity – from business travel and commuting, to renewable energy procurement and reducing energy demand. She is Director of the Manchester Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and is Associate Director of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation where she leads the centre’s city level climate action work.
Professor Jen O'Brien – Academic Lead for Sustainability in Teaching and Learning
Key areas: teaching and learning.
Professor Jennifer O’Brien (NTF, PFHEA) is Academic Lead for Sustainability Teaching and Learning at the University of Manchester, UK. Jen is the Education Lead for Sustainable Futures and directs the University Living Lab which links applied research needed by organisations with students who can undertake it for their assessment to effect change with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. A Development Geographer by training, Jen works with Education for Sustainable Development to inspire and equip learners to ethically address challenges of sustainability, inequality and social justice to affect positive change.
Professor Mike Shaver – Director of Sustainable Futures
Michael Shaver is a Professor of Polymer Science in the School of Natural Sciences where he leads initiatives in sustainable polymers and plastics for the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub. He is also Director of the Sustainable Futures research platform which champions strategic, interdisciplinary, sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. He has published more than 110 papers, delivered more than 80 invited lectures and is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
Dr Julian Skyrme – Director of Social Responsibility
Dr Julian Skyrme is Director of Social Responsibility at the University. Social responsibility is one of our three core goals and ensures that Manchester's learning, research, engagement and operational activities make a positive difference to society and the environment. He has first-class honours, master’s and doctoral degrees in social and political sciences and spent his early career as a teacher and Assistant Vice-Principal in a large urban sixth form college.
Julian advises on the Strategic Education Partnership and Homeless Partnership Boards for Manchester City Council. He is a Board member of Loreto Sixth Form College, a trustee of MACC – Manchester‘s support organisation for the third sector, a Board Member of the community arts venue Carlton Club CiC and part of Business in the Community’s North-West Leadership Board.
Simon Atkinson – Waste Coordinator
Key areas: waste management and recycling.
Peter Murray – Principal Energy Engineer
Key areas: energy management .
Ah Yiu Chong – Assistant Mechanical and Energy Engineer
Ah Yiu is responsible for the monitoring of energy consumption across campus and reporting analysed data to the Sustainability team. With the help of energy management and simulation tools, Ah Yiu assists in the development and implementation of energy efficiency projects by providing insights on buildings’ performance and potential savings.
Email Ai Yiu
Dr Maggy Fostier – Associate Dean for Environmental Sustainability
Dr Maggy Fostier is the Associate Dean for Environmental Sustainabiluty and a lecturer specialising in biotechnology and enterprise in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. Her engagement with sustainability started in 2019 while working with colleagues and students to develop the 6R guide to reduce plastics in practical classes. She now works with the sustainable lab network to implement the LEAF programme in all research labs across the University.
Eemaan Memon – Environmental Sustainability Project Officer
Eemaan is the Environmental Sustainability Project Officer for FBMH, working closely with Dr. Maggy Fostier and the FBMH-SR team to champion sustainable practices in Research and Teaching & Learning. She grew up in Japan and obtained her undergraduate degree in biotechnology from Osaka University. She then started her PhD in Cancer Sciences at the University and is now in her final year writing up her thesis. Beyond her dedication to sustainability and academia, she enjoys baking, reading and painting in her leisure moments. She's also a skilled archer, and holds a coaching qualification in the sport.
Daniele Atkinson – Social Responsibility Manager (FSE)
Daniele Atkinson is Social Responsibility and EDIA Manager in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She oversees the delivery of Faculty objectives relating to environmental sustainability by encouraging staff and students to be environmentally conscious and ensuring that the outputs of our research into environmental sustainability are shared. Daniele is passionate about climate change and the environment, and does what she can to to minimise her and her family's impact on the earth.
Kathryn Downey – Social Responsibility Officer
Kathryn Downey is the Social Responsibility Officer for the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She supports the Faculty with their objectives relating to environmental sustainability. Kathryn provides support to the networks that help build this collaborative work, such as LEAF which looks to make lab spaces more sustainable and support opportunities where we can share our research with the wider community.
Anke Bernau – Associate Dean for Environmental Sustainability
Associate Dean for Environmental Sustainability in the Faculty of Humanities.
Anke Bernau is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature and Culture, based in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, with a particular interest in Environmental Humanities. She has published on a wide range of topics (female virginity, origin myths, medieval film, poetics) and in recent years has turned towards work on new materialism, posthumanism and plant humanities. Her current book project, Knotworks, proposes an 'aesthetics of life' operating across late medieval European thought and writing, bringing such works into conversation with recent theoretical concerns and tropes. She has also published on the cultural history of hedgerows and ethics of care and is developing a new interdisciplinary and cross-period project on Moss Aesthetics and Ethics.
Roz Webster – Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability Projects Officer
Roz is responsible for overseeing Environmental Sustainability work in the Faculty of Humanities. Priorities include training and upskilling our staff on ES issues; implementing a comprehensive sustainable travel policy; and developing a biodiversity action plan. At the core of Roz's work is making sure ES is integrated into research and teaching.
Hannah Hartley – Environmental Action Manager
Hannah drives forward Manchester Museum’s commitment to building a sustainable world and develops programming which catalyses public conversations about the climate and ecological crisis. She co-manages the ‘Top Floor’ environmental and social action hub which opens up resources to people taking action for social change. She is also a Senior Assessor for the A Greener Festival certification scheme and a steering board member for the Greater Manchester arts and cultural sustainability network GMAST.
Alison Criddle – Museum Development Officer: Environmental Responsibility
Alison Criddle is Environmental Responsibility Officer for Museum Development North West, delivering the Roots & Branches project in partnership with Manchester Museum, the Carbon Literacy Project and Museum Development England, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. She has spent several years growing environmental responsibility across arts and culture in Manchester and beyond, embedding action and strategy into organisational activities and programming.
We also have sustainability groups and committees to guide and support our University in its journey to becoming more environmentally friendly.
We are proud that our work in environmental sustainability has been recognised by several awards. Here are a few examples of the most recent accolades.
The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) Sustainability Impact Awards
- Sustainability campaign for 10,000 Actions
The Catey Awards
- Sustainable Business Award for Hospitality and Events
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
- Champion of Champions award
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
- Travel Choice Award (gold award)
Guardian University Awards
- Sustainability project (runners up) for 10,000 Actions
- Learning and skills for 10,000 Actions and the Sustainability Challenge
Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) Awards
- Impact Initiative of the Year for 10,000 Actions and the Sustainability Challenge
Green Innovation and Finance Awards
- University of the Year
The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO)
- Sustainability Award
Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM)
- Best Reuse and Waste Prevention Project – Give it, don’t bin it
Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food in Residence rating of 3 out of 3 stars
- Greenhouse Café rating of 3 out of 3 stars
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
- Travel Choice Award (Gold)