The inaugural SustainableUEA Awards took place recently. The awards recognise the achievements of staff and students across UEA who have made contributions to the UEA sustainability agenda, celebrating their work in making the University and local, regional, and international communities more sustainable for current and future generations.
Dr Sarah Eglington, NRPDTP Placement Coordinator, was named the winner in the Sustainability Champion award, which recognises staff who have worked hard to advance the cause of sustainability at UEA. Sarah is an ardent driver and promoter of environmental awareness and sustainability with students and colleagues. Sarah initiated and led the NBI Graduate School Office to achieve a Green Impact Scheme Bronze in 2018 and Silver award in 2019 (hopefully a future Gold).
Sarah has initiated and promoted recycling, liaises with NBI Estates and others on the working environment, and helped set up a tree planting and bird box project. Her great enthusiasm for environmental issues inspires others to become more aware and proactively participate in sustainability activities. She provides a green impact induction to new staff joining the Graduate School Office and encourages them to become involved. Each year she delivers a talk to postgraduate research student cohorts on Green Impact encouraging them to think about sustainability in their research and at home.
Sarah has installed solar panels on her house and has a very productive allotment (the produce of which is often shared with the team in normal times). She is Project Manager of the Norwich FoodHub https://www.norwichfoodhub.co.uk, a voluntary organisation that works with local retailers and charities. Surplus food is collected and redistributed to help fight the massive problem of food waste in this country and to fight hunger.
Sarah also won the prestigious Sustainable UEA Special Recognition Award, which recognises the person amongst the five category winners that has made an outstanding contribution to UEA’s sustainability agenda. Professor Dylan Edwards, who judged this award, said “I was impressed by Sarah’s passion and commitment to sustainability, leading initiatives and acting as a role model at UEA and outside in the broader community. I think she exemplified the inspirational grass roots engagement that helps bring everyone along.”
Professor Dave Evans, NRPDTP Director, commented that “Sarah is a true inspiration, the breadth of her environmental and sustainability activities is outstanding. To be recognised with the Sustainability Champion Award and the Special Recognition Award is a fantastic achievement and very well deserved”.
Sarah was extremely pleased to have won these awards, saying “Sustainability and environmental issues are part of my way of life and I really try to live by my principles. I hope that in doing so I can inspire and influence others to do at least some of the same kind of things”.