Top Student Award for Evaluating Environmental Sustainability

24 July 2023

A Graduate from Cranfield University has won the CarbonStore Top Student Award after achieving the highest mark on the ‘Evaluating Environmental Sustainability’ module within the Environmental Management for Business MSc completed in 2021-2022.

Rachael Walker from New Zealand and now living in the UK has won the award from CarbonStore, who work with companies and landowners to offset their residual carbon emissions by planting diverse woodlands across the UK, in partnership with Tilhill the UK’s leader of nature-based solutions.

The award, a specially carved wooden trophy along with £250 prize money, was presented by Alex MacKinnon, Carbon Project Manager at CarbonStore, to Rachael at the School of Water, Energy and Environment (SWEE) prize giving ceremony at Cranfield University.

On accepting the award Rachael Walker, Sustainability Consultant at Accenture UK, said:

“The Evaluating Environmental Sustainability course provided a strong foundation in LCA principles that I have already been able to apply in a practical context to my work as a sustainability consultant. I was surprised and delighted to win the CarbonStore prize, especially as the course was taught remotely which meant overcoming challenges in collaborating on our practical assessment.

“My plan for the future is to continue in sustainability consulting as there is a wide range of interesting projects to work on, great opportunities for learning, and the potential to make positive change.”

As part of CarbonStore’s work to strengthen links with sustainability students, CarbonStore reward top performing students at leading universities which offer Masters in sustainability and environmental related subjects.

Alex MacKinnon, CarbonStore said:

“This is the second year of our awards programme in rewarding top students who are passionate about sustainability. As a company CarbonStore is proud to connect with the sustainability managers and consultants of the future that are working to ensure businesses avoid negative environmental or social impacts wherever possible. 

“At CarbonStore we develop projects which enhance the landscape and improve biodiversity by planting diverse woodlands and forests across the UK, it is graduates like Rachael that will be leading the businesses they consult to not only avoid negative environmental impacts but to be part of projects that improve nature and the state of biodiversity in the UK.

“I am delighted to award Rachael Walker as the top performing student on the Evaluating Environmental Sustainability module and wish her a long and successful career as a sustainability consultant. The industry needs many more people like Rachael to tackle the climate crisis and CarbonStore is excited to encourage and reward them.”

Nick Girkin, Course Director for Environmental Management for Business MSc at Cranfield University said:  

“Cranfield is delighted to be collaborating with CarbonStore for a second year through the Top Student Award, for the best performing student on the module Evaluating Environmental Sustainability.

“Addressing sustainability challenges is becoming increasingly important to businesses and the public sector, and our Environmental Management for Business MSc course is tailor-made to prepare students for a career in this area. Our interdisciplinary course provides students with the theoretical and practical knowledge and a range of transferable skills to address these challenges across a range of sectors. I’m delighted to see Rachael succeed throughout the course and receive this well-deserved award in recognition of her hard work.”

What does CarbonStore do?

In partnership with Tilhill, CarbonStore works with businesses and landowners to deliver new woodland creation and woodland-based carbon mitigation projects to help offset residual carbon emissions. These projects not only achieve the highest possible standards in carbon offsetting but also offer many widespread benefits we can all enjoy.

Please contact David McCulloch, the head of CarbonStore, personally either by email ( or by phone (07500 950832).

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Pending Issuance Unit: A promise to deliver a Woodland Carbon Unit during a given period, based on the trees’ predicted growth Woodland Carbon Unit: A ton of carbon dioxide which has been sequestered in a scheme verified under the Woodland Carbon Code