Manchester spreads the message on sustainability solutions

sustainability solutionsClimate change has become a priority issue for a range of organisations and sectors – and advanced materials are increasingly seen as providing breakthrough solutions for this global challenge.

In response to this call, the Graphene@Manchester team at the University participated in its own ‘sustainability week’ by exhibiting and sharing thought leadership at a series of events attended by business leaders, policy-makers, the general public, and private and UK government-backed investors.

Manchester experts had an opportunity to engage with a total of 50,000 people in-person. The campaign also worked well on social media with strong engagement throughout the week – and supported by digital assets like the new graphene film and a 60-second TikTok video with their sustainability messages.

The mini-campaign kicked started in the first week of October, and activities included:

  • DAY 1 (3 Oct): The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) was a milestone on a relay racebetween Glasgow (COP26 host) and Sharm el-Sheikh (COP27 host) because of its work in emission-busting materials. A team of volunteer runners from the GEIC – dubbed the ‘Graphene Harriers’ – joined the relay to help carry the sustainability torch to Egypt.
  • DAY 2 (4 Oct): Manchester research in sustainable materials was demonstrated at the Materials Research Exchange (MRE) which was hosted by the national innovation agency, Innovate UK. Manchester spotlighted work in developing a circular economy for plastics and hydrogen storage using graphene-enhanced materials.
  • DAY 3 (5 Oct): Start-up leaders from Manchester who are using advanced materials in their enterprises presented to an audience of potential investors on the second day of the MRE summit. They included University start-up Vector Homes who are using recycled plastic waste to make materials to build new homes.
  • DAY 4 (6 Oct): The construction industry accounts for nearly 40% of the world’s emissions, so the sector is determined to make itself more sustainable – and therefore UK Construction Week (UKCW) invited Graphene@Manchester to demo its pioneering work on award-winning Concretene, a graphene-enhanced concrete that can remove up to 30% of CO2 from a build project.
  • DAY 5, 6 & 7 (7, 8, 9 Oct) agricultural is another big greenhouse gas emitter – so the University’s materials and biotech beacons teamed up to have speakers and a joint exhibition in the ‘Future of Food’ zone at New Scientist Live event. Visitors came to the Manchester stand to find out about vertical farming in harsh environments (including space!) and a new yeast hybrid that can brew beer at lower temperatures.