Leeds Climate Commission presents an opportunity for students at the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University to do interesting, valuable and unique research projects for their coursework (eg for undergraduate dissertations or Masters degrees). 

Student projects not only provide great case studies, they also benefit Leeds based organisations and businesses, helping to improve sustainability and performance and providing an evidence base for future targets/objectives. Research projects also contribute to knowledge exchange on low carbon delivery for the Commission and for the City of Leeds as a whole.

Student research is currently being used to help us produce a number of positioning papers, for data collection, and for supporting the sustainability work of major Leeds based businesses, as well as providing the foundation for wider city initiatives. In terms of impact, the contribution is substantial.

Completed projects

A survey conducted by Andrew Jones, BSc Geography at University of Leeds, was undertaken to study the climate mitigation actions and communications used by Leeds based organisations and groups. Andrew's report (see downloads below) is now being used to inform the Commission's engagement and communications activities - see this news story.

Ongoing projects

What a Waste

Reducing food waste has been identified through the Commission’s research and engagement as a potentially significant, popular and cost effective means of reducing carbon emissions in the city, both by reducing direct carbon emissions when linked to anaerobic digestion and reducing indirect emissions embodied in the food system.

This project seeks to identify and collate as many sources of data on food waste (both surplus and waste food), from commercial and domestic premises in Leeds as possible, with a view to the Open Data Institute hosting a food waste ‘data hack’ event later in the year. The purpose of the hack would be to generate data based solutions that derive value from the food waste data.

Leeds Climate Commission Position Papers

At the Strategy Group meeting in December 2017, the Leeds Climate Commission agreed that it would be useful to produce two to three position papers per year on significant emergent activities in the city. The purpose of these position papers would be to provide authoritative advice on steps towards a low carbon, climate resilient future so as to inform policies and shape the actions of local stakeholders and decision makers. The papers should be short in length, signposting to other information where relevant, and be positive and energising in message and style, demonstrating a "can-do" attitude while also functioning acting as a critical friend to the city.

The first suite of position papers has been commissioned and will cover: the Southbank Regeneration programme; the H21 (Hydrogen) Leeds City Gate project; Food waste. They will assemble sufficient baseline information on these three topics and cover:

  • Short introduction and background to the issue including relevant policy context 
  • Opportunities for climate mitigation and adaptation relevant to the topic of the position paper.
  • Collaborative actions needed to achieve these and where the Commission can assist, supported by examples and case studies from elsewhere as appropriate.

Apply to do a project

If you have a research project that you would like to do in Leeds, please download and complete the Student Projects Expression of Interest form below. Completed forms should be sent to: leedsclimate@candocities.org 

Projects are supported by Leeds Climate Commission and can be co-supervised.

Prefer to choose from a pre-existing selection of potential projects? Check out our list of new student projects.

Image: Jessica Ruscello, Unsplash