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Net Zero Internship

Posted by Nick

Location: On campus/ virtual
Salary: £10.33 per hour (Grade 3)
Tenure: Temporary (8 days across 2 weeks)
Start date: 20th June 2022

Requirements:
• Must be a student (class of 2022 included) of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and
have completed a climate related module within your degree
• A keen interest in achieving sustainable development, specifically with regards to Net Zero
and tackling the climate crisis
• Ability to use creativity to develop new ideas
• Digitally literate and willing to engage in technological innovation
• Enthusiastic about enhancing the student experience

Application and deadline:
Selection of this post is by submission of a CV and expression of interest. Please send a copy of your
CV along with your expression of interest (250 word max) to Dominique Mansley
(dmansley@liverpool.ac.uk) by midnight on Sunday 5th June 2022.

Successful candidates will be invited to a short informal discussion on the morning of Friday 10th
June 2022.

If you would like further information about the role or have any queries relating to reasonable
adjustments or applying to this vacancy please contact Dominique (dmansley@liverpool.ac.uk)

Remedies for urban drainage problems

Posted by Daisy

The Brighton & Hove Green Party is leading an issue-based campaign which seeks to raise awareness of the widespread practice of illegal and intentional sewage dumping.

The behaviour of Southern Water – the supplier for 4.2 million consumers in Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – marks it out as the worst polluter amongst competitors elsewhere in the country.

Southern Water has been dumping untreated sewage along our beaches. The company argues that this is due to a mismatch between their infrastructure and volumes received. When it rains, water drains into the Victorian sewers where it dilutes the sewage and reaches volumes above and beyond what their treatment facility can handle. If they did not dump the raw sewage the excess fluids would flood the system and we would have sewage coming up out of the sewers.

The Environment Agency has investigated and found evidence that Southern Water has deliberately chosen to dump untreated sewage as this is cheaper than updating their infrastructure. This resulted in the company being fined £90m in July 2021. A catalogue of harmful activity was unearthed in the most extensive investigation by the Environment Agency (EA) to date. (Southern Water dumped raw sewage into sea for years | Pollution | The Guardian).

The enquiry found that between 2010 and 2015, Southern Water knowingly dumped untreated sewage on 10,741 occasions at the 17 sites examined by the EA. 78% of these occurrences were illegal (Guardian, 2021). Treatment works were being deliberately maintained at less than half of their capacity in the interests of maximising profits. The tanks that exist throughout the apparatus were kept full, leaving them to turn septic and contaminate the sea with a venomous potion of sewage and precipitation. This is the probable origin of faecal matter found in shellfish along the south coast, which risked exposing consumers to the potentially fatal norovirus (Guardian, 2021). Similarly, pollution with untreated sewage is introducing E. coli into waters making swimmers and bathers ill (BBC, 2021). All of this paints a bleak picture of what Surfers Against Sewage CEO, Hugh Tagholm, labelled ‘criminal capitalism’.

Southern Water is ‘committed’ to curtailing the recurrence of storm overflows from their combined system, proposing to reduce storm releases by 80% by 2030. We are increasingly seeing this infrastructure activated to tackle routine rainfall, pumping raw sewage into our rivers and seas with a disturbing regularity. That’s why the Green Party has been leading calls for a commitment to zero sewage in our water.

From Parliament to council chambers, Greens are speaking out against Southern Water’s blatant dereliction of duty. In October 2021, Green MP Caroline Lucas criticised the 265 Conservative MPs who voted to cut back an amendment to the Environment Bill which would have given the water companies a legal duty of care not to pollute. Meanwhile, in the House of Lords, Jenny Jones has called out our “toothless” system of environmental enforcement and weak regulatory structures.

In Brighton & Hove, Councillor Elaine Hills proposed a Notice of Motion which asks Southern Water to stop sewage overflows by 2030, invest in sustainable water management locally and explain their plans before council committees and the public. Her counterparts in Lewes Green Party, Councillor Matthew Bird and Green Council Leader Zoe Nicholson, have demanded that Southern Water detail how they will prevent sewage pollution in the River Ouse.

Meanwhile, Councillor Martin Osborne has been appointed chair of The Aquifer Project (TAP), a partnership comprising the South Downs National Park Authority, Southern Water, the Environment Agency and Brighton & Hove City Council. The first priority for TAP is progressing the development of a new system which will counteract polluted runoff from contaminating groundwater in Wild Park, Brighton. The Wild Park Rainscape will encompass a multitude of planted permeable basins that sequester rainfall.

Communities can be supported through investment in sustainable urban drainage systems – known as SuDS. SuDS are designed to mimic the natural interception and diversion of surface water. The term covers a range of environmental measures such as wetlands, green roofs, rain-water harvesting systems and porous asphalt. Two SuDS are planned for Brighton & Hove, and the first is almost complete. This innovative project in the north of the city will provide soft surfaces to intercept water at the midpoint of a ‘flow path’, that is, a long sloping road. This should prevent a surplus of surface water from running downhill, and thus overwhelming drainage systems during intense downpours. In Sweden, SuDS have been crucial to flood prevention, absorbing up to 90% of stormwater in some areas and preventing the need to discharge sewage overflow into the sea.
The essence of the research project is for a student to look into the remedies for urban drainage problems, to inform our campaign. We need to create better drainage and infrastructure to support an increase in water due to climate change and extreme weather conditions.

We would particularly like to quantify the problem and gather some data on the impacts of sewage spills and weather conditions in the area under Southern Water’s care. This includes investigating and listing the impacts of: aquifers under Brighton & Hove drying out, and flooding in the valley by The Level and Hanover. It would be useful to find out if any modelling has been done to see how the weather is expected to change regionally as a result of global warming.

This opportunity is flexible in terms of the time commitment and start date. We have an office in central Brighton, right by the station. We are happy for the student to join us in the office or work remotely.

2030 SDGs Game

Posted by Nick

Participants playing the 2030 SDGs Game learn through play and experience a change in perspective, they feel more connected to the challenges we all face and are more ready to take action.

Come and participate in the 2030 SDGs Game workshop in order to:
• Understand relevance of sustainable development
• Demystify the SDGs
• Experience first hand what it takes to create a balanced world and how everything is are interconnected
• Explore the power of your actions and how you can contribute to a more balanced world.
Who can play the game?
Anyone can! Whether you have no prior knowledge of the SDGs or you are an SDG expert you can play this game. The game has been played by people all over the world from senior management of leading global companies, government official, to university students, activists and everyone in between. The more diverse the game participants are, the more representative of society it is.

To participate in this game please express your interest by emailing: valeria.andreoni@liverpool.ac.uk

Social Media Manager (Paid Placement)

Posted by Mikaela

We have BIG DREAMS at She Almighty and we need great people who care about others and our planet to realise those dreams. There are a number of roles and opportunities which we could provide from social media, design, marketing, and community management, to administrative and business development or being our impact ambassador. You could actually try all of those things! In return, we will provide personal and professional development and career coaching; after all, that's what we do best! We are also open to suggestions and opportunities to shape, collaborate on, and support projects and research. The She Almighty mission is to empower girls and women of all ages, stages and backgrounds and to make our world a better, healthier, and more harmonious place. If you share our values and believe in our mission, we'd love to welcome you to the team!

Exploring how feasible an sustainable lifestyle is for the young people on a low income

Posted by Sue

We want to explore just how feasible an environmentally sustainable lifestyle is for the young people we work with, particularly for those on a low income and who have experienced homelessness. Are choices such as ‘organic’, ‘low carbon’ or ‘veganism’ attainable for everyone and if not, how can we help bridge the gap?

A project like this might consist of interviews with staff members and service users, research into other industries and sectors and shadowing meetings with young people.

Exploring how to adapt services to reflect commitment to addressing climate change

Posted by Sue

We want to assess our current sustainability credentials across our whole organisation, exploring ways we can innovate and adapt our services to reflect our commitment to addressing climate change. This will include exploration into existing services we provide e.g. supported accommodation for homeless young people and horticulture, and might consist of interviews with staff members and service users and research into other industries and sectors. It could also look into how we better use all our stages of accommodation and land to enhance the environments around us.

The Sustainability Improves Student Learning website is designed for STEM academic faculty to learn how to educate for sustainable development. This great website needs periodic updating.

Posted by Wendy

Looking for an undergraduate or graduate student to maintain the website.

Employment, family and sustainability

Posted by Catherine

Neuroscience has demonstrated that the relationships we experience, particularly early in life, have a significant impact on our future life outcomes. Recent ONS data has also confirmed that when family and key relationships are working well, they are the leading factor supporting our resilience through tough times. Our research, has highlighted the key role employers and organisations play in influencing whether families of all forms, thrive or not. The Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as actions that take account of impact on current as well as future generations and we want to strengthen the understanding, commitment and inspiration of employers and corporations to shift the dial on this key issue.

We are currently confirming budget available and are open to discussing the best ways to deliver this opportunity and attract someone who will be the right fit. We are currently in discussion with other potential partners which is likely to result in this brief being finetuned.

The objectives of our overall project are:
1. To scale an urgent and national-level on family as a central part of organisational sustainability practice
2. To partner with 2-3 leading entrepreneurs to further develop their learning, practice and tools to inspire wider system change, inclusive of diverse and dynamic families
3. To partner with leading sustainability and employment groups to scale conversation and action and embed this within their ongoing support to organisations
4. To share learning with government professional bodies to influence future regulation and good practice

We are open to other ideas; our thinking is that this colleague would work with us to develop the following outputs:
- creation of a business case template to support organisational champions to get traction on family as an ESG issue
- creation of 2-3 simple organisational self-assessment tools and processes which inform meaningful organisational improvement
- meaningful and accessible metrics that align with existing ESG frameworks
- strong partnerships with key sustainability organisations (as a result of high quality work and relationship building)
- recommendations for inclusion in influencing activities with investment activists, professional bodies and government consultations on future employment and ESG

We are a micro organisation which works remotely and part-time as business as usual. We have a system of annualised TOIL and flexible working. Employees provide their own equipment. There are many opportunities to learn and develop through the organisation and role including access to some external training and networking opportunities. There will be an expectation of strong planning, problem-solving ability, active listening and relationship building skills. Since we are breaking new ground and influencing from a low starting position, it will be important that candidates are both resilient, self-aware and communicative. We are an inclusive organisation with a strong commitment for all families -whatever their make up or circumstances- to thrive.