Nova Green

Recylcing Bottles

The Organisation

Nova Green is a not for profit organisation launched by the Department of Essonne in the Île-de-France region. Nova Green promotes innovative projects for sustainable development including carrying out strategic work on recycling waste into reusable materials. Their goal is to try to answer global problems with local solutions.

The Challenge

The company wanted to examine the monitoring and treatment of hospital and pharmaceutical manufacturing waste water in the UK. 

Skills Sought

  • Market research
  • Knowledge of interpreting and reporting on data
  • Report writing 

The Solution

Jennifer Hughes, a student from Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), studying Earth Science with Geography carried out her placement in collaboration with French company Nova Green. Business development managers in LEC and Paris Region Enterprises, introduced Jennifer to Nova Green. The business development managers helped develop the initial scope of the project and supported Jennifer during her collaboration with Nova Green.

Jennifer initially visited Nova Green’s headquarters in Paris to find out more about the company and to define the project objectives in more detail. The key areas Jennifer focused on were EU and UK legislation around waste water from hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, investigating the UK market and examining the technical status of UK and French systems with regards waste water from hospitals.


This transnational student placement was supported through KARIM.  KARIM, the Knowledge Acceleration and Responsible Innovation Meta-network, is a project funded by the European Union. The aim of this project was to build a network for SME’s, University partners and other 'innovation actors' across NW Europe and by so doing to help boost the competitiveness of innovative SME’s in this region.


After the initial visit to Paris, Jennifer worked remotely from the UK and collaborated with UK companies to compile a report that summarised her key findings, the effectiveness of previous work, and highlighted potential areas for development in the UK and France.

Having a UK-based student undoubtedly provided benefits to the company, giving them access to UK-based resources and a better understanding of the UK market for waste water treatment systems in hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.


To the Company

  • Information on current EU and UK waste water legislation
  • Suggestions for future areas of development
  • Better understanding of the UK market and competitors

To the Student

  • Gained an insight into a commercial business
  • Networking with stakeholders
  • Development of skills in a business environment
  • Experience of report writing in a business setting

Student Feedback

“I had been applying for a lot of jobs, and something that kept cropping up was the need for ‘industry experience’ and this placement seemed like a great opportunity to get some real world experience, with a company who were working on something I was interested in. It was a great addition to my CV and has been a good conversation starter.

“It has also helped to boost my confidence in presenting too, especially to an audience I didn’t really know, which helped in my interview for my current role. The background knowledge I picked up during the work on pharmaceuticals in hospital waste waters definitely helps now, as I am the project manager for Thames Water’s Chemical Investigations Programme’. 

“I would definitely recommend this experience to others; real world experience is invaluable to anyone, and to get it in an area which I ended up developing an interest in and now have a role in research for, for the largest water company in the UK, is something I never even dreamed of when jumping on a plane at six in the morning to Paris!” Jennifer Hughes, Lancaster Environment Centre.