Develop the skills, knowledge, connections and passion to meet the global sustainability challenges we face – and help us become one of the most progressive and sustainable universities in the world.

Sussex climate leaders

This year, we awarded our first five Climate Leader Scholarships to students who have shown outstanding climate leadership in their local communities. They will work with us to deliver engagement events around tackling climate change and reaching net zero together.

Meet our Climate Leaders

Learn about our clilmate leaders, their work, interests and what inspires them to care about climate change, sustainability and protecting the environment.

Charlie Simpson, BA Music Technology

Charlie is a first-year Music Technology student. Her environmentalism background is in the music and arts industries. In summer 2022, her band Three Years Younger performed at festivals, including on the ‘Climate Live’ stages at ‘Latitude’ and ‘Neck of the Woods’. She also volunteered with Climate Live, running a stand outside of Billie Eilish’s concert at the O2 and joining a climate rally against Shell.

An annual ‘Vegan Camp Out’ attender and passionate vegan, Charlie has a lot to say about how this diet is crucial to a more sustainable and compassionate future. She aims to always be on the lookout for new ways individuals can take action against climate change.

Eleanor Radford, BA Politics and International Relations

Eleanor is a first year Politics and International Relations student. Her interest in climate justice led her to join a local ‘Fridays for Future’ group and to organise climate strikes and environmental events in her local area. This inspired her to learn more about the climate crisis and become more involved in finding sustainable solutions.

In the role of Climate Leader, Eleanor is especially interested in working on Sussex’s food policies, particularly around limiting food waste, as well as campaigning for more environmental policies, both within the university and wider political contexts. Eleanor is a strong advocate for climate justice and would be happy to support and consult on any environmental concerns from students or staff.

Nicole Gray, MSc Sustainable Development

Nicole graduated from Human Sciences at the University of Oxford, and has since worked at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership on strategic and transformative change and with Cambridgeshire County Council on policy research and advisory.

Nicole's interests lie in issues of social and environmental justice, sustainable fashion and food security. As a Climate Leader, Nicole looks forward to working with the student-body and wider Sussex community to identify innovative opportunities for meaningful change, in an inclusive, friendly and participatory manner.

Panayiotis Kleanthous, Msc Sustainable Finance and Accounting

Panayiotis is a Sustainable Finance and Accounting MSc student and the elected Sustainable Education Officer on the Students’ Union Sustainability Committee. He is passionate about social and environmental issues and advocating for sustainability in local communities.

In his home country Cyprus, Panayiotis advocates for sustainability in his local community, Limassol, through engaging social media content for new initiative ‘Active Circle’, as Communications Manager. He has actively involved citizens and brought key stakeholders together to solve problems around climate justice. He is also on the Board of ‘Friends of the Earth Cyprus’.

In his Climate Leader role, he aims to raise awareness among Sussex students and engage them in sustainable practices, especially around fast fashion, waste, and the abandonment of single-use plastics.

Júlia Bussab Fonseca, PhD International Development Studies

Júlia is a climate change senior consultant and entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience working on climate issues. She holds an MEng in mechanical engineering, an MBA in Socio-environmental Business Management, and an MSc degree in Environment and Development. For her PhD at Sussex, Júlia wants to deep dive into issues of climate justice and finance focused on intersectionalities with race, ethnicity, and gender studies.

Júlia has dedicated her career to entrepreneurship and impact businesses planning, co-funding Climática, a consultancy firm that structures community-based businesses and assesses programmes and projects through the lens of climate justice. She leads strategic projects with bioeconomy entrepreneurs in the Amazon region to build stronger forest governance alongside local communities. She works for Aquatera as a consultant on energy transition policy and stakeholder engagement, implementing projects in marine renewables and the blue economy in the UK.

As a Climate Leader, Júlia wants to focus on climate careers among students and researchers, promoting workshops and professional training in climate issues. She sees this as one of the most promising working areas in the present and in the future.

Pitch for the Planet

Our annual Pitch for the Planet student innovation competition gives you the chance to win a share of funding and incubation support from our Entrepreneurship team to help you develop a sustainability idea.

The next Pitch for the Planet innovation competition will take place in Spring 2022.

Other ways to get involved

There are many ways to get involved in sustainability at Sussex, from your studies to putting time towards local causes.

Be a champion

We’re recruiting a network of volunteers to get involved in implementing our Sustainability Strategy.

Find out how you could become a Sustainable Strategy Champion.

Live sustainably 

Read our Be Sustainable webpages to learn how you can lead a sustainable life while at Sussex.

EcoGo app

Download the EcoGo app to keep track of your travel and earn reward points for using sustainable transport options.