Sustainability Mural Competition

Design a mural that encourages our students and staff to be more climate conscious.

About the competition

Loughborough University is committed to sustainability and has set ambitious targets to become a net zero campus. This will require behavioural change from everyone in the university community.

To support this, we are inviting students to design a mural for campus to raise awareness of climate issues and encourage individuals to play their part.

The winning design will be produced as a semi-permanent mural in a key outdoor location on our Loughborough campus. Selected entries will be presented across campus for a limited period. This will help make visible the University’s commitment to sustainability.

There are three cash prizes available, and we will showcase all entries online in early 2024.  

Design brief

We are looking for imaginative and powerful designs that:

  • raise awareness and understanding of climate issues; and
  • encourage the university community to act to help reduce our impact on the climate.

Your design should clearly communicate what individuals can do to help our campus become sustainable. This could be a combination of graphics and text or graphics alone.

You could imagine what a future Loughborough might look like if we don’t take action or promote specific action(s) to help reduce our carbon footprint. It could encourage specific types of change you think we should make. It could come up with speculative or tangible ideas for how the university could be more sustainable.  We don’t just want a poster telling people to switch off the lights, we want imaginative ideas and artworks that grab people’s attention.

We would like you to address one of four key areas in your design: Biodiversity, Energy, Travel or Waste and Resources.  These broad areas can cover many things, so if you are unsure, please do email us for more information at We have also added some useful information and links for each of the areas further down this page.

Who can enter?

This competition is open to all current UG, PGT and PGR students at Loughborough University, including Loughborough London students. It does not matter what course or subject you are studying.

We are committed to inclusivity and representing the student community we serve. We welcome applications from students of all backgrounds.


We want this opportunity to be accessible to all students. If you would like to discuss any accessibility issues in advance of applying or to discuss how the opportunity can be made inclusive for you, then please email or call 01509 222948.

What can I win?

First prize           £500 and the design produced as a semi-permanent mural on our Loughborough campus

Second prize      £150

Third prize          £100

The second and third prize winners will have their designs displayed on campus for a short period of time; this may include digital screens, poster frames and noticeboards.

How do I enter?

Please submit your preliminary design via the online form. At this stage, your entry should be an outline of your intended design rather than a fully polished artwork. The winner will then be asked to work their design up before it is turned into a mural. This may require taking on board feedback from the judging panel, especially around the messages the artwork communicates. Please upload your design as part of the application and make sure the filename includes your name.

We are expecting the finished mural to be landscape and produced on a 2D panel, fixed to the side of a building on campus. Final artwork dimensions and specifications will be given to the winner. They will then work up their preliminary design into the finished artwork ready for production.

The following artwork formats can be accepted:

  • Pixel-based e.g. Photoshop/image-based artwork
    • 75dpi minimum at 100% (1500mm x 3000mm)
    • 150dpi or higher at 50% (750mm x 1500mm)
    • 300dpi or higher at 25% (375mm x 750mm)
  • Vector-based e.g. Illustrator vector EPS
  • Sketchbook or hand-drawn artwork. You will need to submit a scan or photograph of your artwork.


Deadline for applications – Friday 12 January 2024, 12pm

The winning entries will be selected by the end of January.

The judging panel will include representatives from LU Arts and the Sustainability team.

The winning work will be installed on campus during 2024.

If you have any queries relating to this competition, then please email

Further information

We have pulled together some useful information and links for the four key areas which your design could focus on. You do not need to focus on more than one area or one key message from your chosen area.

7 steps to becoming more sustainable 



The Gardens team's key biodiversity priorities on campus are:

  • To manage and conserve our ancient woodlands
  • To provide wildlife corridors to better connect the campus with the wider countryside
  • To promote insect diversity and abundance, especially of pollinators. 
  • To reduce light pollution that interrupts the life cycles of many night-flying insects

To help promote biodiversity the Gardens team are using more mechanical methods of weed control to reduce the amount of weedkiller used and introducing managed mowing to allow wildflowers and grasses to flourish and attract insects and birds.

Read about biodiversity at Loughborough


The Sustainability team at Loughborough work hard to encourage both staff and students to be as energy aware and efficient as possible. 

View the ‘It’s Better Off’ campaign

Find out more about energy and utilities


The Sustainability team encourage sustainable forms of transport by students and staff, which include walking, cycling, and using public transport.

Sustainable travel can:

  • Help the environment by reducing congestion, improving air quality and reducing the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere
  • Contribute to your health and wellbeing by building physical activity into your daily routines
  • Save you and the University money

Car sharing is encouraged to reduce single occupancy vehicle use to, from and across campus.

Read the University's travel plan

Waste and Resources

Below is a list of current/ongoing campaigns in this area which you may wish to reference in your design.

Reduce, reuse, donate, recycle

Love Food Hate Waste 

Ditch the Disposables

Give ‘n’ Go 

Better World Books

British Heart Foundation 

University Strategy 2030

Creating Better Futures. Together is the University's bold and ambitious strategy for the next decade. 

The strategy includes three strategic themes, one of which is Climate change and net zero. This competition supports this theme.

Find out more about the University Strategy 2030 Find out more about the Climate change and net zero strategic theme