'Sustainable Futures' competition winners announced

May 2022

Image for press release - Toby Alkhersan and Claire Jebbitt smiling at the camera in front of a Writtle University College banner on sustainable futures
(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Toby Alkhersan and Claire Jebbitt have been revealed as the co-winners of 'Sustainable Futures', a new competition designed by Student Success and the Students' Union.

William Charity, Students' Union Sustainability Rep, was instrumental in creating and launching this event.

William said: "As the first SU Sustainability Officer Writtle has had, it's been a pleasure to work with the Student Success team to launch a new and exciting competition that promotes the need for sustainable solutions to industry issues."

The competition will now run annually with finalists pitching proposals to a judging panel. Students were asked to ensure that their entries fell into one of eight sustainability categories, including:

  • Biodiversity, fauna and flora
  • Water
  • Air
  • Soil
  • Population and human health
  • Material and energy assets
  • Climatic factors
  • Green infrastructure and amenity landscape

BSc (Hons) Horticulture student, Toby Alkhersan, presented an aeroponics system. He explained: "Aeroponics is the process of growing plants without medium, with bare root exposed to a fertigation solution dispensed intermittently dependent on crop choice and technology selected. It has significant application to arid regions where water for crop production is of primary concern, due to the fact it reduces water use by up to 95% compared to traditional agricultural practice."

Claire Jebbitt is studying BA (Hons) Art and the Environment. She said: "I am currently exploring the possibilities of using Hempcrete as a sustainable carbon neutral material, within art and landscape design. Hempcrete is an incredibly versatile product and I look forward to developing its uses as an alternative to plastics and cement."

The entrants were supported by Business Mentor David Bell who also facilitated the judging process. Grant Mason from Essex Wildlife Trust and Peter Hobson, Professor of Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability, were part of the judging panel.