Sustainability Green Gown win for pharmacy technician

November 9th, 2022

A technician from the university has been recognised for his commitment to sustainability by being awarded a prestigious Green Gown Award.

Lee Hibbett is a Technician Manager in the School of Pharmacy and won the Sustainability Champion staff category in the Green Gown Awards. These annual awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the world. 

Three years ago, Lee set up the Technical Sustainability Working Group (TSWG) for the university. The TSWG is a group of lab technicians from across all UK campuses, working to see where best practices from different departments can be rolled out to the whole university.

The TSWG has implemented a number of practical solutions to improve sustainability that are having an impact on reducing the carbon footprint of the university. They have removed water condensers from chemistry labs and replaced them with air condensers, saving over 3 million litres of water.

They have also driven a project to become the first university to pilot a new solvent recycler to recycle waste acetone, saving 2,000 litres acetone a year that would otherwise go for disposal. A polystyrene recycling initiative has also been set up across the university

The group has also signed up to the Lab Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) and set up a Midlands Innovation Group universities sustainability committee, with the aim of getting technicians and sustainability teams working together to share ideas.

Lee Hibbett, Technician Manager in the School of Pharmacy

The Green Gown judges commented: “You have gone above and beyond to not only embed sustainability into your role and team, but to ensure the good practice is spread across the university, and beyond. By taking on a secondment within the sustainability team, your technical expertise around labs and sustainability is built into decision-making and will influence many more people than if you’d solely operated within your own lab. You have shown how to take responsibility in your specific role and how you can influence the sector!”

Professor Shearer West, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham said: “I am delighted that Lee has received this prestigious award in recognition of his work to Champion Sustainability within our Technical staff and laboratory environments. Lee has galvanised others at the university with his dedication and innovative ideas, which is helping to drive sustainable behaviours and activity across the university.”

The University of Nottingham was also highly commended in the Research with Impact – Institution category with the Trent Basin project, a housing development made up of more than 70 energy-efficient homes being built on the banks of the River Trent that forms an active energy community.

The pioneering scheme enables residents to generate, store and use solar electricity and, so far, is estimated to have saved the equivalent of 34 tonnes of CO2per year and benefited at least 262 people. The university’s micro prospectus was also a finalist in the Building Back Better category.

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