Shaping Sustainability at the University of Birmingham

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The University of Birmingham recently launched a competition titled ‘Shaping Sustainability at University of Birmingham: Community Project.’ Staff and students were invited to vote on one of the following projects:

  • Returnable Cup Scheme
  • Living Pillars™
  • Sustainable Travel Schemes
  • Tech Swap Scheme  

We received 780 votes in total across the staff and student community and are delighted to announce that the Living Pillars™ initiative, proposed by Trevor Payne - Director of Estates, has won! Living PillarsTM are an innovative way to introduce planting to urban areas using street lighting columns.  

They have been identified as a key enrichment feature for biodiversity as they provide further opportunities for pollinators and generalist bird species. With their automatic irrigation, as well as bird and insect boxes, they provide a sustainable way to support wildlife using our existing infrastructure. They also work to mitigate street level pollution and improve air quality. 

Over the next 12 months, the Biodiversity Action Group, led by Dr Laura Graham, will work with Estates to explore how and where these might be implemented on campus to best support connectivity of different areas of wildlife.  

Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey! It is great to see so many staff members and students engaged with sustainability initiatives here at the University of Birmingham. We will keep you updated on the progress of this scheme.  


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