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Durham University’s ‘Greenspace’ sustainability festival returns for its second year

Durham University will be hosting its second ‘Greenspace Festival’ on Thursday 16th June, from 2-7pm in Collingwood College, following the inaugural event last year.

The ‘Greenspace Festival’ was launched in 2021 as a part of Durham University’s ‘Greenspace’ identity, which incorporates all of the organisation’s environmental plans, policies and procedures.

The festival was designed to bring together student environment groups, researchers, local charities and sustainable businesses to celebrate the work they do to tackle climate change and drive sustainable development.

This year’s festival is set to build on last year’s success with a range of new activities, including many new stallholders, bringing the total up to 34, a Carbon Management workshop and two speeches by sustainability leaders.

The day will commence with words of welcome by David Loudon, Director of Estates & Facilities, followed by stalls from University and local groups.

The stalls section will welcome local charities such as Wear Rivers Trust and Durham Wildlife Trust, as well as Durham County Council’s Low Carbon Economy team, waste contractor Biffa and community interest company Climate Action North East, to name a few.

The festival will also feature a number of sustainable businesses, such as local eco-product hub the Eco Stall, and student-run small enterprises such as Zephyr Jewellery, an upcycled sea glass jewellery business, Daisy Rose Candles, who make sustainably-sourced soya candles, and The Ugly Fruit Group, who reuse, donate and educate on food waste.

After the stalls pack up at around 4pm, the festival will incorporate a new, educational aspect, beginning with a talk by ex-Newcastle Falcons rugby player turned renewable business owner Jason Oakes on renewable energy, which the team hopes will attract a new crowd to the event.

Jason’s speech will be followed by an hour-long Carbon Management hackathon-style workshop, in which attendees will be divided up into groups and tasked with creating 3 key recommendations for each contributing category to the University’s Scope 1 & 2 and Scope 3 carbon emissions.

The workshop aims to provide insight into the tasks at hand for a sustainability professional for interested students and community members, while also seeking to inform the University’s next carbon management plan, which the Energy & Sustainability team at the University hope to have published by next year.

The day will close with a keynote speech on green skills & jobs, delivered by Deputy CEO of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), Martin Baxter, and early career sustainability researcher Maddy Diment.

Martin was a co-author on the IEMA/Deloitte green skills report: ‘Green skills and green jobs for a greener economy’, published last month, while Maddy shared her experiences building a career in sustainability in the article: ‘On the hunt: Starting a career in sustainability’ for IEMA Transform magazine. Together, Martin and Maddy will discuss job opportunities in a greening economy, and how to take the next steps in building a sustainability career.

The event is open to university students, staff and alumni as well as members of the wider community, which presents an exciting opportunity for them to come together to celebrate their achievements so far on the pathway to net zero, collaborate and network with one another.


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