New Trustee: Prof. Prashant Kumar Joins the ZCG Board
Zero Carbon Guildford is delighted to announce that Professor Prashant Kumar of the University of Surrey (UoS) has joined our Board of Trustees.
Professor Kumar is an Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and has just been appointed as a founding Co-Director of the newly-formed pan-university Institute for Sustainability.
Prashant is also Founder and Director of the internationally-leading research centre Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), and founder of Guildford Living Lab, a UoS platform created in 2016 to facilitate deeper cooperation between researchers, communities, and stakeholders. The move is therefore another step in strengthening collaboration between ZCG and the University, helping to increase the potential for the University’s world-leading research to make a practical impact in the local community.
This month Prashant was bestowed with the global accolade of being recognised in the top 1% of highly cited researchers by Clarivate. The award reinforces Prof. Kumar’s ‘significant and broad’ contribution across scientific fields as one of the world’s top cited researchers in Web of Science™ , the ‘world’s most trusted publisher-independent global citation database.’
On being appointed to ZCG’s board Prashant said: “It is my honour to join Zero Carbon Guildford as a Trustee. ZERO is leading by example on how to drive a community-led climate action plan by promoting education and solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is perfectly aligned with my research and vision, and the University of Surrey’s Sustainability agenda, offering a unique opportunity to help translate complex science into action by working closely with the community groups, businesses, councils and wider stakeholders towards the fight against climate change and making urban areas resilient, healthy and sustainable.”
Zero Carbon Guildford has been collaborating with the GCARE team since we first opened the doors to ZERO - our town centre space focused on cutting waste, protecting the local countryside, and helping residents and businesses to reduce emissions. From our launch we hosted GCARE’s interactive quiz machine which helped to inform a paper on attitudes toward active travel, and together we have created a real-time air quality monitoring project, focused on both indoor air quality and air pollution in Guildford town centre,
called the RealAir Project.
We’ve also helped to facilitate connections with the wider community to push forward the great work done by GCARE researchers, including the use of the Heat-Cool project at local schools, and the design tool hedgeDATE which can help residents plan vegetation for maximum air pollution absorbing capabilities - an immensely practical use of academic studies, with GCARE's projects cutting air pollution in Lambeth schools by 44%.
Prashant & ZCG Chair Ben McCallan at the launch of
the UoS' Institute for Sustainability
One of our ongoing collaborative projects on air quality involves Sandfield Primary School, and has seen Zero Carbon Guildford work with GCARE and Guildford Borough Council with a plan to use green-blue infrastructure through urban greening to improve air quality and student health, at a primary school located on a junction which sees high levels of idling cars. We hope that Prashant joining our trustees ensures continued co-creation of impactful projects, not just on air pollution, but with the wider University as a whole, where we currently work with a number of research departments.
Prashant and some of the GCARE team at the launch of ZERO, the town centre premises of ZCG
Ben McCallan, chair of Zero Carbon Guildford said, ‘Prashant and his team at GCARE have been amazingly supportive since we opened ZERO. We’re really happy to further cement the relationship with the Uni, who we’re lucky to have on our doorstep. Prashant’s a fantastic addition to the team, and through GCARE, the Reclaim Network, the Institute for Sustainability, and other collaborative projects with UoS, such as on water testing and the Sustainable Business Network, we hope we can continue to develop and deliver projects which make a genuine impact to lowering Surrey’s emissions and protecting the local environment’.
As Prof. Kumar joins the Board of Trustees between AGM’s he is appointed as a de facto Trustee (as all our original trustees did at the formation of the charity in 2020). ZCG Members will have the chance to vote on Prashant’s appointment, alongside the reappointment of all the trustees, during the charity’s next AGM, in March 2023. Some of our existing trustees will be stepping down at that AGM, so if you think your skills and experience can help our board push forward our charitable objectives then please get in touch today.