Introducing our new team members!

A big welcome to new and existing staff and students here at the University of Salford. The Sustainability Team are looking forward to an exciting year ahead and hope that you are ready to get involved too!
Gillian Wright joined the University back in May as the Energy Manager, and Neva Mowl has recently started as the Green Impact Projects Manager. With a new team in force, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce Gillian and Neva, and find out a bit about them.

Let’s start with Gillian; we began by asking ‘What does your job involve?’
‘I am tasked with managing the amount we spend on energy and water, but also reducing the carbon footprint from our building use, as we have ambitious targets to meet. I do this by looking for energy saving projects such as changes to how we operate; encouraging behavioural change; and installing technology to reduce energy or generate renewable energy. This will help make the University more efficient with less reliance on fossil fuels and therefore a more sustainable operation.’


What did you do before starting at the University?
‘I have had several energy and environmental related roles and have worked in the energy industry since 1999, in various manifestations in private, public and third sectors. My last role was Head of Sustainability and Energy Carbon Manager at Sheffield Hallam University, before I took a year ‘off’ to volunteer in Africa. I developed environmental feasibilities for renewable energy and environmental management for organisations in Malawi and Cameroon.’
‘What does sustainability mean to you?’
‘When I went to University I picked Chemical and Process Engineering because I wanted to stop factories polluting water courses. I didn’t go into chemical engineering as at that time, the environmental impacts weren’t as recognised as they are now so I was quite disheartened by the whole thing! I recognise that the distance we have from the source of all the things we consume or dispose of is so great, that the concept of them even having an impact is completely abstract. I like to raise awareness of these impacts to encourage people to think before they act. In terms of the University, we have to demonstrate best practice in what we teach and how we operate, to give students the best toolkit to go out into industry and replicate those behaviours to maximise the impact.’

gillian-malawi‘Tell us a bit about you.’
‘I am a Trustee and Project Leader for Aidcamps International (, which is a tiny UK charity working with Non-Government Organisations in developing countries, to provide schools and health centres through short term volunteering projects. Volunteers fundraise for the project and then travel to the country together to complete the building and hand it over to the community. In the last year I have led groups of volunteers to build schools in Ethiopia, Nepal and Cameroon, where I was honoured as Ya’ah (queen) by the local Fon (chief).’

Moving onto Neva; ‘what will you be doing at the University?’
‘My role is to manage the Green Impact project and other initiatives such as Blackout, helping to promote and embed sustainable behaviours across the University. I am really excited about this role and am looking forward to working with staff and students across the University. I won’t say too much about Green Impact now, as I will be communicating the details very soon!’

‘What did you do previously?’
‘Before starting at the University I delivered environmental education and engagement projects at various organisations. Over the summer I worked for the RSPB, connecting families with nature in their local green-spaces. Before that I worked for a waste education facility (Global Renewables), Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, and The National Trust.’
‘What does sustainability mean to you?’
‘To me, sustainability is about taking care of all aspects of our environment and not being wasteful. I have always loved nature and the outdoors, which is where my interest in sustainability stems from, but I also believe that social and economic sustainability are important too. We all need to live in a way that we meet our own needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. We need to make sustainability a part of everything we do, so educating people that they all have a role to play is really important. By changing the way we do things, we can collectively make a positive impact to our environment and communities.’

neva-owl‘Tell us a bit about you.’
‘As I mentioned, I am a big fan of nature and the great outdoors. I really enjoy taking trips to go wild camping, walking in beautiful spots around the UK and I pretty much cycle everywhere I go. I also like a spot of bird watching and had a great opportunity to live in Hungary a few years ago, where I worked for an owl sanctuary. I carried out barn owl surveys and looked after owls in the aviary; the highlight was releasing a young long-eared owl back into the wild, after caring for it for weeks.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *