Two full-time job opportunities at King’s Climate & Sustainability

King’s Climate & Sustainability (KCS) are advertising for two full-time Project Officers – one focused on research and one on education. Feel free to apply/share!

Project Officer (Education):
The Project Officer (Education) will play a key role in supporting and managing the work associated with the education workstream. This includes supporting the new KCS Education Working Group, working collaboratively with faculties, institutes, the Students & Education Directorate and Marketing to develop new programmes and modules, and working with students and colleagues across the King’s Climate Action and Sustainability Champions networks. The role holder will ensure that activities associated with the education workstream are developed, planned, organised and delivered successfully.
We are looking for someone with experience of working on projects and/or supporting undergraduate or postgraduate education programmes, with strong verbal and written communication skills. The successful candidate will have excellent organisational skills and the ability to build positive relationships with colleagues and students.
Project Officer (Research):
The Project Officer (Research) will play a key role in supporting and managing the work associated with the research workstream of KCS. This includes supporting the new KCS Research Working Group, and working collaboratively with faculties, institutes and the Research Management & Innovation Directorate (RMID) to grow our research activity, income and impact. The role holder will ensure that activities associated with the research workstream are developed, planned, organised and delivered successfully.
We are looking for someone with experience of working on projects and/or supporting research operations/funding, with strong verbal and written communication skills. The successful candidate will have excellent organisational skills and the ability to build positive relationships with colleagues and students.

Teaching sustainability values in adult nursing

This Education for Sustainability case study is from Melanie Maddison. After a 20 year career in the NHS with particular interest in cardiology nursing leadership and sustainable healthcare, Melanie joined King’s as Lecturer in Adult Nursing in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care. She was instrumental in making the School the first in the country to be awarded Beacon Status by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. Here Melanie discusses sustainability teaching across undergraduate Nursing modules including clinical skills, quality improvement and working with and motivating others.

“We teach students about movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too, so they start to realise that they don’t need to take everything on their own shoulders, and if enough people agree that something could change then they don’t need to wait for somebody with leadership in their job role.”

Sustainable development goals addressed Sustainability competencies addressed
3. Good health and well-being – two purposes of nursing education.

10. Reduced inequalities through attention to how the ‘triple bottom line’ influences health.

13. Climate action through reduction in waste.

Systems thinking. Holistically conceptualising patient care in terms of the ‘triple bottom line’.

Normative thinking. Analysing clinical skills teaching and practices teaching to reduce different kinds of waste.

Strategic thinking. Incorporating sustainability thinking into quality improvement.

Self-awareness. Students becoming aware of their agency even if they don’t have leadership in their job titles.

Integrated problem-solving. Working with problem scenarios from the Centre for Sustainable Health Care.

What is the purpose of the module and why is sustainability important to it?

We want nursing students to come out of university being able to make their patients’ lives better, the planet better – all these things. The NHS is busy and overloaded and part of that is because our processes sometimes don’t talk to each other and because we’ve always done it in a certain way. You can put a sustainability spin on that, because whatever you’re wasting – PPE, anaesthetic gas, a patient’s time, turning up to six different appointments, fuel, money, your own time fetching something stored in an inconvenient place. Less waste is better.

The environment has a huge role to play in human health, but the Nursing & Midwifery Council Code and Nursing Standards were written in 2018 and don’t have much to say about this yet. That is in contrast to the General Medical Council Outcomes for Graduates which states that newly qualified doctors need to bring the principles of sustainable healthcare into their practice and make a link between planetary health and human health.

That said, our undergraduate nursing students learn about sustainability in their leadership, and their quality improvement modules. The leadership module is called  ‘Working With and Motivating Others’ and supports third year nursing students to become agents of change in certain situations and develop the self-confidence to know that they have some power and some purchase when they qualify. We say to students that yes, it is really, really busy in the NHS, but if you don’t try to change stuff – particularly when you first start work – then you’ll get sucked into the daily treadmill and never believe you can innovate. We teach students about movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too, so they start to realise that they don’t need to take everything on their own shoulders, and if enough people agree that something could change then they don’t need to wait for somebody with leadership in their job role. Teaching them about eco-activism fits well with this and avoids eco-anxiety which can lead to inertia and acceptance.

How do you bring together sustainability and disciplinary learning?

Since 2021 eleven members of our faculty have worked with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) to incorporate the principles of sustainability into our curriculum. This includes the ‘triple bottom line’ which looks at the financial savings, reduction in environmental damage and improving the social determinants of health. This is a nice way of thinking holistically about patient outcomes. The CSH have open-licensed resources and case studies for adult nursing so I can show students, say, how an A&E decided they were using too many cannulas, took a look at why that was and managed to reduce the number of cannulas. This is better for the patient, less cost and less plastic waste. Boom! That’s how you frame it, and students respond well to that type of case study.

Our job as educators is to bring in pedagogical design to how we use these CSH materials. For example students can do my Cardiology course and learn how to use more environmental sustainable products in a clinical setting. I start the session with Sustainability Bingo that acts as an ice-breaker and allows students to explore their personal values about the climate crisis and apply it to their professional persona.

We’ve also been working on a project to audit the contents of the bins in the clinical skills lab to see what people throw away during the session. The aim is to reduce the waste produced in these sessions. ‘Bin Diving’ was not something I thought I would be doing as an educator but this just shows how glamorous my life is as a lecturer at times, but seriously it has been very revealing. We found that we’re incinerating used aprons and gloves that haven’t been contaminated by clinical exposure to bodily fluids, or certain items such as syringes that could have been reused for those six different practice attempts with the same plastic mannequin. That’s a huge carbon footprint and has a financial implication which we could solve in a heartbeat, and in a way which keeps the clinical verisimilitude and doesn’t interfere with the habits and muscle memory of, say, always putting on gloves before going to a real patient. If students are practising with one mannequin throughout the session then they can use the same pair of gloves for all their attempts without harm to anyone. If we’re using mock substances and the gear isn’t contaminated, then it can be part of a re-use or recycle scheme rather than being thrown away. This does need to be considered in line with the student’s level of competency and we do not want to encourage poor practice but overall, we can make changes to excessive use in the sessions as well as how it is ultimately disposed of.

How do you assess sustainability learning?

The nursing curriculum is often competency-based and driven by prescribed learning outcomes so teaching and assessing values and a sense of agency is challenging. There is no mandate from the Nursing and Midwifery Council yet. Currently nursing students have only three years and a tight schedule with many competing demands before they qualify. Assessing sustainability learning in clinical placements is also tricky because nursing students are only there for approximately six weeks and it’s often outside their scope to make quality improvement interventions.

But what’s been clear is that most of our nursing students have an appetite for this, so we’re asking the Nursing and Midwifery Council to consider including competencies and an Episode of Care reflection related to environmental sustainability. When we have that mandate to make a link between planetary health and human health, we’ll be able to include that in our learning outcomes and assess it fully.

Thinking longer term, for the ‘Working With and Motivating Others’ module, what I want to know is how much students already know and how much they are taking to heart. The students do an academic reflection where they make a toolbox for themselves about maintaining their own resilience and well-being in their careers – you know, “I have a bladder and it’s been 12 hours on shift, so I have to go to the toilet now” – and about gaining the strength to become an agent of change. So, if they see a different way to do something that helps the patient, the environment and themselves, by saying it out loud, suddenly they are a quality improver.

What support do students need?

“Post-pandemic, many students may have been left with mental health and anxiety issues, and they’re also in a profession that brings heavy mental trauma, insult and injury, all of which can lead to occupational burnout. So, what you don’t want them to do is get so anxious about the state of the planet that they can’t do anything at all.”

The triple bottom line is quite simple to teach because you just give students some problems to solve, and they work it out using the equation. But teaching values is less simple. Post-pandemic many students may have mental health and anxiety issues, and they’re also in a profession that brings heavy mental trauma, insult and injury, all of which leads to burnout. So what you don’t want them to do is get so anxious about the state of the planet that they can’t do anything at all. In environmental movements they talk about turning your eco-anxiety into eco-activity. This course is about empowerment and agency, so without being doom-laden we try to engage with them on a personal level – because on a personal level so many of them are already invested in it.

What benefits have you seen?

This year we will be evaluating students’ responses to the sustainability sessions and encouraging them to get involved with such initiatives as the Planetary Health Report Card, a student-led evaluation of the eco sustainability of their campus and learning environment. For ‘Working With and Motivating Others’ specifically, it would be lovely to meet with them at the end and find out whether they think it will be helpful. As part of our curriculum co-design, I am trying to get them back after they’ve qualified and talk about the parts of the course which made them a motivator or an agent of change – or which didn’t, since this course is dynamic and has to evolve yearly. I have recorded a short podcast with an outgoing student and shown it to the new cohort so that they can see how that student has responded to the issues raised in the course.

Do you have any suggestions?

There’s very little literature about teaching sustainability values specific to nursing. It mostly focuses on, say, the carbon footprint of a clinical skills session, or digital learning, but far less about developing values. So if anyone is teaching this kind of thing, they should publish about it! A lot of tutors don’t feel comfortable talking about sustainability because they don’t feel they know enough. And I find that quite funny because sustainability is not an elitist thing – anyone can do it. But maybe people need to make that connection between sustainability and global health for example through the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the World Health Organisation.

Another thing is one-to-ones I’ve had with overwhelmed educators worrying about having no space in their curriculum. We’ve been able to talk about bringing the Triple Bottom Line into problem-based learning scenarios without adding anything extra. We view the content through the lens of sustainability rather than adding more. It’s a case of reframing the curriculum and I don’t think there is any conflict or competition there. And if there’s too much going on, I think about it in terms of inequality – because it’s the most disadvantaged people who have the worst living conditions and tend to face the most discrimination. Climate change and the impact on health hits hardest amongst disadvantaged communities. It should be a priority.

It’s been great getting involved in the sustainability events at King’s led by Frans Berkhout. Through meeting sustainability colleagues in Estates I found out about lab recycling and reuse schemes in medical education which we can bring into our labs. I would never have had any kind of interface with that role otherwise, so that’s proper collaborative working.



Get involved in climate and sustainability action at King’s  

Are you interested in all things sustainable and want to make a positive impact whilst at King’s? The King’s Climate & Sustainability team have a range of volunteering opportunities, events and resources to help you learn more about and take collective action on climate and sustainability. 

Sign up for the Sustainability newsletter and follow King’s Sustainability on Instagram and Twitter for all updates. 

There are also KCLSU student groups dedicated to sustainability such as the Climate Action Society, Eco Soc and the Vegetarian & Vegan Society. 

Find out how to get involved below or view all opportunities here. 


Learn and boost your CV: Sustainability module and seminar series 

The KEATS module on Sustainability & Climate is an open-access and interdisciplinary module covering the biggest topics in sustainability, from climate change and food to sustainable finance and social justice. Fully co-created by a Take Action Team of students, staff and alumni, it is a module that is designed by the King’s community, for the King’s community. The module aims not just to equip you with sustainability knowledge, but to help you develop the agency to take action on the issues that most concern you.  

To boost your employability, you can gain a King’s Experience Champion for Change Award upon module completion, which goes on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) that you receive when you graduate from King’s.  

A Sustainability Seminar Series accompanies the module and runs monthly between October and July with seminars from climate justice to sustainable economics.  

Register online to keep updated.  


Take collective action: King’s Climate Action Network 

The King’s Climate Action Network (CAN) is an open forum bringing together more than 400 people from the King’s community who are passionate about climate action. It is a place to foster innovation, brainstorm new ideas and discuss what action King’s needs to take to reach our targets.  

By joining the King’s CAN, you will get an opportunity to hear from stakeholders about progress in theme-specific sessions, discuss fresh ideas and get a chance to implement them through the Sustainability Projects Fund.  

Find out more and join the King’s CAN. 


Make a difference: Volunteer for sustainability  

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and the King’s Climate & Sustainability team offer exciting opportunities to help drive sustainability and gain valuable employability skills.  

You can become an ambassador raising sustainability awareness across King’s, a Sustainability Champions Assistant supporting staff teams to make their work environments more sustainable, and much more.  

Check out all opportunities on King’s Volunteering platform (look for: King’s Climate & Sustainability) 


Learn & take action: King’s Climate & Sustainability Month 

King’s Climate & Sustainability Month takes place every year in February, offering you an opportunity to learn more about sustainability topics, collaborate and connect with others from across King’s and take action on the climate crisis. The month includes an inter-university London Student Sustainability Conference with an opportunity to showcase your sustainability project or research to a London-wide audience.  

Interested in organising an event? That is possible! King’s Climate & Sustainability Month includes exciting social and educational events organised by people from across the King’s community focused on one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Subscribe to the newsletter to keep updated 


Discover: Spotlight on Sustainability podcast 

The King’s Spotlight on Sustainability podcast aims to draw attention to sustainability at King’s and beyond. The goal is to get you thinking about some of the issues and challenges we face regarding climate change and the natural world by highlighting the excellent work on sustainability happening at King’s and on local, national and global levels. 

Start listening online 


Climate and sustainability ambitions and progress  

King’s Climate & Sustainability Action Plan was developed in consultation with students, staff and alumni members of the King’s CAN and went live in February 2023. The plan sets new targets across 13 key impact areas, including at least a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 and a 50% reduction by 2030 across energy use, business travel, our supply chain, commuting and waste. The plan includes a 2030 net zero target and prioritises the absolute reduction of carbon emissions over offsetting and carbon removals.  

Our annual Environmental Sustainability Reports summarise the efforts made by the entire King’s community to make the university more sustainable: from managing our estates and providing sustainable food to engaging with our local communities and driving Education for Sustainability. Have a look – we hope it inspires you to take action on climate and sustainability, whatever your role within or beyond King’s! 


We’d love to hear from you! 

If you want to set up your own sustainability project, you have any ideas or feedback to share, or you would like us to promote any of your initiatives, please get in touch with the team: 

An Engineering Module on Energy & Sustainability

This Education for Sustainability case study is from Claire Lucas, Professor of Engineering Teaching and Learning at King’s. As well as time in industry, Claire has taken a national role in Engineering education, including as a QAA subject specialist and deputy chair of the 2022 subject benchmark statement review for Engineering. Here she discusses Energy & Sustainability 4CCE1SUS, a core module all new Electronic Engineering and General Engineering students take in the first semester of their first year.

“Students learn that Engineering is about compromise rather than making the most efficient thing possible, and that historically the compromise has been one way.”

Sustainable development goals addressed Sustainability competencies addressed
7. Affordable and clean energy.

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure.

Integrated problem solving. Students work on energy problems in realistic settings such as transport or buildings.

Collaboration. Students undertake problem-based learning in groups using formal decision-making approaches.

Systems thinking. Students use tools to analyse emerging and interactive behaviour.

Normative competency. Alongside their quantitative methods students develop judgement to balance competing priorities.

What is the purpose of your module and why is sustainability important to it?

Often at the start of their degree, Engineering students have a classical Engineering science module. With our module we want to make it really obvious from the start that Engineering science and sustainability are intrinsically linked. For example, when you learn about thermodynamics (the interaction of temperature and air movement) in the lab you learn how the internal combustion engine or ram pump relate to thermodynamics and ultimately to global warming – which itself is a thermodynamic process.

How do you bring together sustainability and disciplinary learning?

We have a competency framework with some overlap with the ESD competencies – systems thinking, for example, which we take to be understanding emerging and interactive behaviour. In the first year of Engineering, the functional competency is to apply methods to solve broadly-defined problems, and the non-functional competencies are self-awareness, ability to reflect, cultural competency and creative thinking. Different parts of the degree address different competencies.

The first half of the module is the science and lab part where students learn about mechanical, electrical, thermal and fluid energy. We’re showing that, say, fluid flowing round pipes follows the same principles as electricity flowing round a circuit or heat flowing round your house. We have five labs where they analyse these principles in action. One of those labs is an internal combustion engine where they learn about chemical heat process, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. The reason we have that – and it might seem really old-fashioned – is that at this early stage, students don’t have the material science knowledge to understand the complex electrical machines that power a wind turbine, but taking an internal combustion engine apart and putting it back together is a really good way to learn about the interactions between mechanical, electrical, chemical and thermal energy – and in the process how much energy is wasted as heat and pollution.

The labs are interesting because as well as the standard activities like learning to write a lab report, we also want them to start thinking experimentally as early as possible, so that they can validate their decisions and their models. So when they learn how to operate a piece of equipment, we are also scaffolding their thinking about what that equipment could validate. All of this prepares them for the science of sustainability in their Materials module – that’s where they’ll start using formal tools to analyse supply chains and lifecycles.

Then the second half of the module is Problem-Based Learning (PBL) to demonstrate why the science and labs are relevant. The groups need put their maths so far into practice to take a sustainability perspective on modelling realistic cases like buildings or vehicles. Students learn that Engineering is about compromise rather than making the most efficient thing possible, and that historically the compromise has been one way.

How do you assess the learning?

One element is PBL group coursework. That exists to show students that sustainability is something you can quantify and evaluate, and that you can use Engineering science to do that. They take an energy model of a building or a vehicle and carry out a lifecycle analysis. They use their maths so far to design an energy system to meet the demands of normal use – we give some datasets on this – and protect the environment by maximising efficiency, minimising pollution, or being responsive to changing energy demands. We’ve decided to give a group mark for this module rather than an individually differentiated mark.

For these first years we pitch the problem carefully so they’re working on something new rather than retrofitting an existing site – that way we can manage the systems thinking complexity based on what they know at this early stage. One option they have is a tender for a greenfield house building scheme and the other is a tender for new buses. There’s always a business-as-usual baseline which they use their creativity to improve on. They explain their criteria, they use their maths to do the modelling. We also ask them to write an individual reflective statement where they respond to prompts about what they learned and the kinds of problems they faced. That helps develop self-awareness.

The other assessments are individual coursework on the labs (30%) and an exam on the scientific knowledge (40%), which is fairly typical for this kind of course.

What support do students need?

We spend a lot of time scaffolding the skills students will need for group work. We explicitly give students approaches to teamwork, negotiation, and decision making with formal decision-making comparison tools like pugh matrices and multi-criteria analysis graphs. It’s about evidence for the decision rather than the person who is the strongest leader winning – we doing all we can to help students keep an open mind about group work and avoid settling into fixed roles early on. We timetable the PBL group work and observe attendance, and in the following semester we give each student a specific role within their groups.

We see this group work scaffolding as just as important as learning how to use a piece of equipment to take measurements in a lab. Students often arrive with habits of keeping their ideas secret. We say that we’re not looking for the Dragon’s Den person who ‘wins’ and actually, winning is sometimes about losing your idea or bringing it into the open so it can be iterated and improved. The way we put it is that to be truly excellent you have to help others to be excellent.

I mentioned already that we manage complexity for students based on their level of learning. We don’t do complex systems without systems boundaries until Level 6 or 7. This is why we give first years the problem of designing a new system from a blank slate – it means they’re thinking about conflicting requirements, which is a kind of systems thinking, but with a lot less complexity than retrofitting a system that already exists, like the existing London transport network, or existing buildings. This is because retrospectively adapting existing systems in the real world is often a matter of iterating based on a restricted number of leverage points which as a systems thinking problem is often really challenging.

But ultimately students do need to be able to claim that systems thinking competency, so this first year problem is the start of a thread that students follow throughout the degree. When they revisit it in their third year Energy Generation and Storage module, this time the constraints are removed, they gather their own data, the models are more complex because the systems already exists, and the techno-economical and lifecycle aspects are present.

One thing I often wonder about is how much to explain to students about why something is important without making them sick of the framing. We spend a lot of time justifying why we teach what we teach in the way we teach it, and it sometimes comes out in students’ reflections that they would rather just get on with the project. I sometimes wonder if women spend more time defending their decisions, and whether if we didn’t it would make a difference. But on the other hand, there are good pedagogical reasons to do it and it gives students a chance to criticise the approach.

What benefits have you seen?

The labs mean that students are generally well-prepared for the second semester. They have a good understanding of engineering as multidisciplinary and can start to take different perspectives and recognise commonalities between problems in other disciplines. Typically this group project is not successful, and that’s why it exists – it’s there to shake things out a bit and give us a chance to observe the cohort ready for the next semester when the group project is higher stakes.

Students learn that sustainability needs both Engineering science and qualitative judgement. They learn that sustainability does have a cost, and Engineering science can be used to bring  quantitative sustainability equations to negotiating balanced outcomes between competing priorities. They get an introduction to some approaches and tools for that analysis, and they start learning how to reflect on their own contributions, roles and strengths.

Do you have any suggestions?

We’re talking here about a single module, but we don’t think it is possible to fully develop the sustainability competencies in just one module and it would be a mistake to try to put everything students need to know about sustainability into a single module. So we are separating the sustainability science from the sustainability competencies, and mapping the competencies out across the degree so we can reinforce them all the way through.

I really recommend to anyone to make a table for their discipline where they set out the knowledge students will learn but also the corresponding skills which help them learn really well and become great mathematicians, historian or lawyers. And then to think about whether some sustainability competencies are more advanced and cognitively challenging than others, and how to develop them.

Sustainability at Welcome to King’s September 2023

Are you interested in all things sustainable and making a positive impact whilst at King’s? This Welcome Fortnight, the Sustainability team have prepared an exciting range of events for you to learn more about climate and sustainability. Check them out below. You can also find us at various hubs, fairs and inductions – come have a chat!

Introduction to sustainability and climate action at King’s 11/09/2023, 14:00-15:00 Microsoft Teams Are you passionate about sustainability and making a difference? What action is King’s taking on the climate crisis? How can you take individual and collective climate action while at King’s?

Join the King’s Climate & Sustainability Team to learn more about what King’s is doing around sustainability and climate action, and how you can get involved.

How to be sustainable in London 13/09/2023, 14:00-15:00 Microsoft Teams Do you care about sustainability but not sure where to start? Join this session to hear some useful tips from the King’s Climate & Sustainability Team on how to be more sustainable – and possibly even save some money!
Explore King’s campuses and try a bike for free 18/09/2023, 16:00-19:00 (time change) Meet at Swapfiets (E1 6LT) Want to get to know King’s campuses? Want to save money and get active? Unsure about cycling in the city?

Cycling is a great way to get active and to get around London. However, it can be scary in London with lots of other traffic on the roads.

Join this guided cycle tour around King’s campuses led by King’s Cycling Club. Bikes will be provided FREE of charge by Swapfiets for the afternoon and you’ll learn the rules of the road and tips for staying safe whilst cycling. The tour will start at the Swapfiets store so that you can pick your own bike (including e-bikes) and will take 2-2.5 hours including a coffee break.

Great way to meet new people!

How to champion sustainability in King’s labs 19/09/2023, 14:00-16:00 Meet at Guy’s Memorial Arch Join this session to learn more about sustainable labs at King’s!

Labs are extremely energy and resource intensive, so you’ll hear about what labs at King’s are doing on their sustainability journey. You’ll explore why lab sustainability is important, while also experiencing a guided tour of two labs to see what they’re doing.

There will be lots of space for questions with lab sustainability champions, and you’ll hear more about how you can get involved!

Building and connecting King’s climate communities 21/09/2023, 15:00-17:00 Macadam Building 4.2 (Strand Campus) Join us in exploring ways to change the world during your time at King’s! We’ll be tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals through collective action.

We’ll get creative and listen to YOU – what are your priorities? What would you like to see King’s do? We’ll provide a range of creative prompts and art supplies to help you collaboratively create solutions to some of the biggest climate and sustainability challenges.

You’ll get to know other fellow students and passionate staff teams, think about social and environmental impact, and work together to shape the future direction of the King’s Climate & Sustainability team.

Snacks, refreshments & supplies will be provided!

Have a look at how you can get involved with King’s Sustainability. Make a difference during your time at King’s!

How to register

  1. You’ll need to download the Welcome to King’s app from the App store (you can download onto iOS and Android.)
  2. ​​​​​​You’ll need to download the Welcome to King’s Guide for all information for new students. To access this guide, you’ll need to enter our passphrase reggielion23 (no spaces)
    • The Welcome to King’s Guide will be the first stage of welcoming you into university, offering a range of information from ID card collection to new opportunities at King’s.
  3. ​​​​​When you’ve downloaded the Welcome at King’s app, you will need to create an account; we advise that you use your King’s email address to create an account. ​​​​​​
  4. Once you’ve set up your account, allow ‘push notifications’ on your device, so you can receive important messages.
  5. Go to Welcome Events & Workshops and scroll down to “Climate & Sustainability”
  6. Check out our events across the two weeks and register by clicking “+”

King’s progress in responsible investment

The Ethical Investment Policy commits King’s to making no direct investments in tobacco, divesting from all fossil fuel investments and investing 40 per cent of its funds in investments with socially responsible benefits by 2025.

In 2021, King’s fully divested from fossil fuels almost two years ahead of target and since 2023, armaments are also excluded from investments. King’s conducts ethical screening for cash deposits, which excludes companies that generate over 10% of their turnover from armament, tobacco and/or fossil fuels.

In 2022–23, we also met our commitment to invest 40 per cent of funds in investments with a positive purpose two years early and King’s only purchases green bonds to raise debt. We have invested £44 million in the Northern Trust’s World Green Transition Index Fund, which not only screens out fossil fuel producers and the worst 10 per cent of companies by carbon emissions intensity but also has a positive ‘tilt’ towards companies that generate ‘green’ revenue, such as energy efficiency and alternative energy. We also have £14 million invested in RobecoSAM’s Sustainable Water Strategy, which invests in companies with innovative technologies and products across the water value chain that will help deal with the issue of water scarcity. During the year, £10 million was invested in the Polar Capital Smart Energy Fund, which invests in companies involved with clean power distribution, energy transmission and distribution, energy conversion and storage, and energy efficiency. £8 million was also invested in the GMO Climate Change Select Investment Fund, which invests in companies dealing with clean energy, batteries and storage, electric grid and energy efficiency.

The Ethical Investment Policy is due to be reviewed in 2023–24, which will provide an opportunity to work with the Finance Team to set new targets and further embed responsible investment principles in our policy.

Building sustainability partnerships in International Marketing

This Education for Sustainability case study is from Dr Romas Malevicius, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Marketing at King’s Business School. He is passionate about education for sustainability and is interested in embedding sustainability in the curriculum. He was appointed in March 2022 to lead Level 6 undergraduate International Marketing module with 200 students.

“Authentic assessment and project-based learning brings real clients and real examples into the classroom and empowers students not just to complete the work and do well, but at the same time to feel that they’re doing something meaningful to address global challenges.”

Sustainable development goals addressed Sustainability competencies addressed
12. Responsible consumption and production. Students develop marketing campaigns for events promoting sustainable food and fashion.

4. Quality education. Project-based assessment for lifelong learning.

13. Climate Action. Students investigate the impact of climate change on the food and fashion industries.


Systems thinking. Analysing a national context for sustainable food and fashion marketing campaigns.

Strategic thinking. Collectively bringing about food and fashion sustainability events.

Normative competency. Understanding how to market a sustainability event to a target audience.

Critical thinking. Critically evaluating challenges and opportunities in supply chains, manufacturing, consumer behaviour, waste disposal and recycling.

Collaborative competency. Working in teams and engaging in collaborative and participatory problem-solving.

What is the purpose of your module and why is sustainability important to it?

The module teaches the theory and practice of international marketing – strategy, planning and consumer behaviour. Key elements are internationalisation, branding, creativity and building partnerships. King’s is part of Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) and Education for Sustainability is a research interest of mine, so when I took up leadership of this module, I naturally looked for ways to embed these principles into my learning and teaching practice.

I generally tend to do the groundwork to find an organisation with a marketing problem for students to work on. To bring in sustainability I look for organisations with a strong social and/or environmental sustainability focus – in fact, my friend introduced me to the founder of Sustainable Gastro, Jennifer Avci. We share objectives – they organise events and dialogues in Baltic countries to address our broken food systems and challenges and opportunities in the fashion industry.

What do students do?

I put my students in groups to collaborate in the role of a marketing agency. They have to promote a sustainable food or fashion event in one of three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia. They’re analysing the national context of the country they’ve chosen, using marketing methods to target a particular audience and persuade them to come to a sustainable food or fashion event. They’re putting their branding knowledge to work on logos, posters, taglines and social media campaigns for their event. Additionally, students have to create a promotional video for the target audience.

Visual branding created by a student group. Yellow disc containing white anglepoise lamp and black text: SMA. Spotlight Marketing Agency. We put a spotlight on real world issues.   Visual branding created by a student group. A sun rises over a watery horizon into a pink sky. Text reads: digital horizon. Broadening possibilities everyday

Visual branding created by a student group. Four students wear t-shirts with their 'Eco Friends' logo - many-coloured hands surround planet earth

Some of the visual branding created by International Marketing students in 2023

How do you assess the work?

I keep with the Education for Sustainability emphasis on authentic assessment and project- or problem-based learning. The assignment brief was designed in consultation with the founder of Sustainable Gastro, Jennifer Avci. The groups produce a Pecha Kucha presentation with a one-minute promotional campaign video for a particular target audience and an individual report. I highlight the Sustainable Development Goals in the assessment brief, and many students have foregrounded them in their work. There are two elements of peer assessment. They assess each other’s contribution to the group work, and they also vote on which groups should be given a Student Voice Award for the best presentation. Presentations are in hybrid format on campus and streamed to eight international industry experts and academics, our external expert reviewers. Students fed back that they found the written comments from experts extremely valuable alongside the overall feedback they received. The prospect of the expert reviewers and The Student Voice Awards motivated them to participate actively in the module.

Map of Europe with pins dropped in Spain, France, England, Sweden and Latvia. There were 49 student groups, 406 votes cast and 8 reviewers.

About the students’ projects – groups, reviewers and locations

What support do students need?

I’m building in complexity and choice so that students have the opportunity to select a topic they are passionate about and oversee their own learning. I tend to bring uncertainty – an authentic quality and crucial for employability, but needing support. Because of this element of choice, the first assessment brief was one of the longest I ever wrote, and some students struggled to get started.

Students who are good at research may need encouragement with the more creative aspects of the assessment. I give them some famous marketing campaign examples for inspiration but avoid anything too close to the Sustainable Gastro brief because I want them to be original and creative. Teamwork and presenting are essentials for students’ employability, so I coach them about the format of the PechaKucha and about how to overcome nerves when presenting.

They also have resources about methods, including a mid-semester checklist to help them focus. And towards the deadline, they are making excellent use of my office hours. I take an organic approach to the groups – these are final-year undergraduates, so I didn’t want to micromanage them with team agreements or record-keeping, though I did coach them about what intervened if I knew that somebody wasn’t contributing.

What benefits did you see?

The variety in the videos they made was inspired. What they achieved is amazing, and the diversity of presentations was great – one group combined pecha kucha and role play. I was very pleased to receive highly favourable remarks from the client and reviewers. Sustainable Gastro has decided to increase its focus on sustainable food and is planning a series of events – students have already attended three further meetings about organising those. Around 60% of students said they wanted to carry on working with Sustainable Gastro. For the first time, I submitted some of the group videos to the Principles of Responsible Management Education writing competition and three groups were shortlisted as finalists. This was the first win for King’s.

Project-based learning in groups with case scenarios in the real world gives students something meaningful to do and a reason to deepen their knowledge. Their feedback tells me that the opportunity to influence these changes motivated their engagement with the module.

What are your next steps?

I’m thinking about ways to strengthen students-as-partners relationships in ways that keep students engaged with sustainability marketing. That’s often a matter of starting off quite broad and open to possibilities and having discussions to narrow down our decisions about purposes, what to work on, and ways to work together. I want students to gain real experiences in marketing sustainability and produce creative work that they can show to their future employers. I also working on supporting students with the dynamics of presenting and communicating as a team.

Around 25 International Marketing students and staff pose for a photo on a stage under the King's College London logo

Students from the International Marketing module after their presentations



Climate change: why the risks are so hard to understand (and what we can do about it)

This blog post was written by Kautuk Chaddha (he/him), Project Change Manager at King’s, member of the King’s Climate Action Network and Sustainability Champions group.

Art created using DALL·E 2.

The Complexity of Climate Change: Navigating a Global Puzzle

Climate change, a topic as vast as the world itself, can often feel like trying to solve a mind-bending puzzle. It is a conundrum that combines the intricate threads of mathematics, physics, chemistry, economics, social science, geography, earth science, data analysis, and countless other disciplines, and can often feel overwhelming. It can also sometimes feel distant and complex, shrouded in scientific jargon and expert opinions. But here’s the truth: understanding climate change is not reserved for the select few or confined to scientific circles. It’s a global challenge that demands our collective attention and action. In today’s world, where the impacts of climate change are increasingly evident, it has become imperative for everyone to take the initiative to understand this pressing global issue. Why? Because climate change affects us all, regardless of our background or beliefs. It poses risks to our environment, economy, health, and overall well-being. By gaining a deeper understanding of climate change, we equip ourselves with the knowledge and tools needed to make informed decisions and take meaningful action. It allows us to engage in informed conversations, advocate for sustainable solutions, and contribute to a more resilient future. Moreover, understanding climate change fosters a sense of interconnectedness, recognising that our choices and actions have far-reaching consequences, not only for ourselves but for future generations. By collectively embracing the responsibility to comprehend climate change, we empower ourselves to be part of the solution, driving positive change and creating a world that is safer, more sustainable, and prosperous for all.

Below are six of the most common reasons why people fail to understand the risks posed by climate change:

The risks are often framed in technical terms:

The communication surrounding climate change risks often involves technical language and complex terminology. This can present a challenge for individuals to fully grasp and comprehend the risks involved. Scientific reports and discussions by organisations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may use specialised jargon that can be difficult for non-experts to understand. As a result, it becomes important to bridge this gap and translate technical concepts into accessible language, enabling a wider audience to engage with and comprehend the risks associated with climate change. By using clear and concise communication strategies, we can ensure that climate change risks are conveyed in a way that resonates with people from diverse backgrounds and facilitates their understanding and participation in addressing this pressing issue. When communicating about climate change risks, it’s crucial to use language of everyday and one that resonates with people from diverse backgrounds. Avoiding excessive jargons and instead employing relatable examples, metaphors, and analogies that draw upon everyday experiences. By relating climate change risks to familiar situations, we can make the topic more accessible and encourage broader participation in addressing this critical issue. Transforming technical concepts into visual representations can also be a game-changer. Infographics, charts, and illustrations can convey complex information in a simple and engaging manner.

The risks are often distant in time and space (and sometimes invisible to the naked eye):

Climate change risks often play hide-and-seek, testing our ability to connect the dots across time and space, while remaining invisible to the naked eye. Picture this: the full impact of climate change may not be immediately obvious, as it unfolds gradually over years and affects diverse corners of the world. This means that it can be challenging for us to see how our own lives are intertwined with the far-reaching consequences of climate change. For instance, consider the gradual loss of coral reefs due to ocean acidification — an almost invisible process to most, but one that threatens entire marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of coastal communities.  Connecting the dots between our personal experiences and the broader consequences of climate change can be a challenge. We might not see the direct link between a heatwave in our hometown and the rising global temperatures, or how deforestation on the other side of the world affects our local ecosystem. But make no mistake, the web of climate change weaves through our lives, leaving no one untouched. Think of changes in rainfall patterns, disruptions to ecosystems, or subtle shifts in temperature that occur over extended periods, often slipping under our radar. By unravelling the puzzle of these elusive risks and bringing them into focus, we can empower everyone to grasp the urgency and take meaningful action in the face of this global challenge.

People hold different values:

When it comes to climate change, each person’s unique set of values can shape how they perceive and respond to the issue. Our values reflect what we hold dear in life, whether it’s our family, friends, community, nature, or even economic prosperity. Let’s take a moment to explore how these values can influence our understanding of climate change. Imagine someone who deeply values their family and community. For them, the impact of climate change on their loved ones and local community becomes a significant concern. They may see climate change as a threat to the well-being and future of their family, prompting them to take action. Now consider another individual who places great importance on nature and the environment. They might be deeply moved by the irreversible loss of wildlife habitats or the destruction of pristine landscapes due to climate change. For them, the urgency to address climate change stems from a moral obligation to protect the natural world we rely on. On the other hand, some people may prioritise economic growth and innovation. They might be concerned about the potential costs of addressing climate change or worry that stringent regulations could stifle progress. They might view the issue through the lens of finding economically viable solutions and technological advancements. It’s crucial to recognise that these values can differ across cultures and countries. In the Global South, where communities are tightly connected and rely on one another, the focus is often on the well-being of the collective and building resilience within local communities. Picture close-knit neighbourhoods supporting each other through thick and thin. On the flip side, in the Global North, there’s a stronger emphasis on individual freedoms and pursuing economic growth. Imagine a society where personal choices and economic progress are highly valued. These contrasting perspectives stem from the unique cultural and societal values of each region, shaping how they approach the challenge of climate change. Understanding these variations helps us appreciate the diverse perspectives on climate change and enables us to find common ground for meaningful discussions. By acknowledging and respecting these different values, we can engage in inclusive conversations about climate change that resonate with people from all walks of life. It’s about finding shared aspirations and connecting climate action to what matters most to individuals, whether it’s safeguarding their families, preserving nature’s wonders, or fostering economic prosperity. When we understand and appreciate the values that underpin our diverse perspectives, we can bridge gaps, inspire action, and collectively address the challenges of climate change.

The issue is politicised:

Climate change has unfortunately become a highly politicised issue, with politicians sometimes putting their own interests ahead of the urgent need for action. It’s disheartening to witness how some politicians treat climate change as a mere game, using it as a tool to score political points or advance their personal agendas, rather than actively seeking tangible solutions. Their actions, or lack thereof, can leave people feeling frustrated, unheard, and disillusioned. Consider a scenario where politicians deny or downplay the impact of climate change in order to cater to certain interest groups or secure short-term gains. Such actions not only undermine the urgent need for climate action but also perpetuate the division and confusion surrounding the issue. This politicisation hampers progress and obstructs the collective effort required to combat climate change effectively. However, here’s the essential truth: the effects of climate change do not discriminate based on political ideologies or party affiliations. They transcend boundaries and affect all of us, regardless of our beliefs. Think about the increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events we witness, such as devastating floods, prolonged droughts, or scorching heatwaves. These events disrupt communities, endanger lives, and strain infrastructure, irrespective of political stances. To overcome the politicisation of climate change, it is crucial for us to hold politicians accountable and demand that they prioritise the well-being of both people and the planet over short-term gains or political games. We have the power to make our voices heard and drive meaningful change. By supporting politicians who genuinely prioritise climate action and sustainability, we can ensure our concerns are represented in decision-making processes. Additionally, joining grassroots movements, engaging in peaceful protests, and advocating for stronger policies can amplify our collective voice and inspire politicians to take decisive action. Climate change is a complex challenge that requires collaborative efforts and innovative solutions. We need our elected leaders to focus on finding practical, science-backed strategies that address the immediate and long-term impacts of climate change. By doing so, we can create a future where the health of our planet and the well-being of all people, irrespective of political affiliations, are prioritised.

People are not always motivated to act:

When it comes to addressing climate change, one of the significant challenges we face is that people are not always motivated to take action. The urgency and complexity of the issue can sometimes feel overwhelming, leading to a sense of helplessness or complacency. People may be preoccupied with their daily lives, juggling various responsibilities and priorities, making it difficult for climate change to take centre stage. Moreover, the consequences of climate change can often seem distant or abstract, making it challenging for individuals to connect their own actions to the larger global impact. Consider a situation where individuals are aware of climate change but struggle to translate that awareness into meaningful action. They might acknowledge the need for sustainable practices but find it challenging to break old habits or make significant lifestyle changes. It’s crucial to recognise that motivations vary from person to person and are influenced by a range of factors such as personal values, beliefs, and life circumstances. To address this motivational gap, we need to inspire and empower individuals to take action. One approach is to emphasise the personal benefits and positive impacts of sustainable choices. Highlighting how adopting renewable energy sources can reduce energy bills or how cycling to work can improve personal health not only creates individual incentives but also contributes to the broader climate change mitigation efforts. Additionally, fostering a sense of community and collective responsibility can help motivate individuals. Encouraging people to participate in local environmental initiatives, join community gardens, or engage in climate-focused events can create a supportive network and foster a sense of purpose. Education and awareness also play a crucial role in motivating action. By providing accessible and reliable information about the impacts of climate change, the benefits of sustainable practices, and the opportunities for positive change, we can inspire individuals to make informed choices. Sharing success stories of individuals and communities who have taken action can also serve as powerful examples and inspire others to follow suit. Ultimately, overcoming the motivation barrier requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses the unique concerns and aspirations of individuals. By recognising the diverse motivations and tailoring our messaging and strategies accordingly, we can create a supportive environment that encourages and empowers everyone to take meaningful action in the fight against climate change. Together, we can unleash the collective potential to create a sustainable and resilient future for ourselves and future generations.

The solutions are often complex and expensive:

When it comes to tackling climate change, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the solutions are often complex and require substantial investments. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy and implementing sustainable practices involves extensive planning, technological advancements, and significant financial resources. This complexity can make it seem daunting and unattainable for individuals and communities to contribute meaningfully to the solutions. For instance, shifting to renewable energy sources requires substantial infrastructure development, research and development, and policy support. Implementing energy-efficient technologies and practices in industries and households necessitates changes in behaviour and investments in new equipment and systems. Additionally, addressing deforestation, promoting sustainable agriculture, and transitioning to circular economy models all require comprehensive approaches that involve multiple stakeholders and require long-term commitment. However, despite the challenges, it’s important to recognise that there are pathways towards a sustainable future. The complexity and cost of solutions should not discourage us from taking action. Instead, we can approach the task by breaking it down into manageable steps and focusing on areas where we can make a difference. One key aspect is promoting innovation and technological advancements. Investing in research and development can lead to the discovery of new clean technologies, making them more accessible and affordable over time. By supporting and advocating for policies that incentivise clean energy and sustainable practices, we can accelerate the adoption of these solutions. Furthermore, fostering collaboration between governments, businesses, communities, and universities is essential. Universities play a crucial role in conducting research, providing expertise, and educating the next generation of leaders in sustainability. Through interdisciplinary studies and partnerships with other stakeholders, universities contribute to the development and dissemination of knowledge, driving forward sustainable solutions. Importantly, while large-scale actions are necessary, individual choices and actions also matter. Each of us can contribute to the solutions in our own capacity by adopting sustainable lifestyles, reducing waste, conserving energy, and supporting environmentally responsible businesses. Small changes, when multiplied by collective efforts, can have a significant positive impact. By recognising the complexity and cost of solutions, we can approach the task with a combination of ambition, collaboration, innovation, and the expertise of universities. By harnessing the collective will and resources, we can unlock the potential to create a sustainable future for generations to come.


In conclusion, climate change is a pressing global challenge that demands our collective attention and action. It’s not just for scientists or a select few—it affects us all. Understanding climate change empowers us to make informed decisions, engage in meaningful conversations, and advocate for sustainable solutions. By bridging the gap between technical language and accessible communication, we ensure that climate change risks are understood by people from diverse backgrounds. Connecting personal experiences to the broader consequences fosters a sense of interconnectedness, encouraging wider participation in finding solutions. Recognising different values and perspectives allows for inclusive discussions that resonate worldwide. Overcoming the politicisation of climate change requires holding politicians accountable and prioritising the well-being of both people and the planet. Motivating action involves highlighting the personal benefits of sustainable choices, fostering community and collective responsibility, and promoting education and awareness. Though solutions may be complex and costly, they are within reach. By supporting innovation, collaboration, and individual actions, we can pave the way towards a sustainable and resilient future. Together, we can make a difference.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

A rare peek inside King’s Food’s new supplier: Reynolds

This blog post was written by Minseok Ryu, first-year Neuroscience and Psychology student at King’s and member of the King’s Climate Action Network

Staff and students from the Sustainability Team (Jone, Jaydeep, Avash and Minseok) visited our new fruit & veg supplier on July 3rd to find out what makes them “more than just a greengrocer”. In March 2023, King’s Food held a veg and fruit tender where potential suppliers were assessed on – among other things – their responses to a set of sustainability questions, including product sourcing, food surplus, organic and Fairtrade certified produce, and carbon footprint measuring. Reynolds’ answers stood out.

12:00 Sustainability Overview

We start off with a delectable buffet to satiate even the most jaded appetite inside the ‘Avocado Room’ reserved for meetings which, to my dismay, is not entirely made of avocados. The vegetarian sandwiches subvert my preconceived notions with their authentically chewy texture, leaving me to chew on whether I should change my diet for good. Project Associate Nick Reynolds – one half of generation four within this family business – presents a high-level overview of company operations as relates to sustainability. One particularly noteworthy initiative in this vein is the recent introduction of reusable crates to replace their wasteful cardboard counterparts. To our delight, more than half of Reynolds’ clients – including King’s – have embraced this environmentally friendly scheme, returning the plastic boxes to the distribution centre at the end of the day. The only ones not joining the crate party are those tightly secured locations like airports, where even fruit and veg get patted down for guns.

Group of students and staff wearing hi vis vests in the Reynolds office.

13.00 Site Tour I

We are given hi vis vests and safety boots to wear with pride. It makes us sharp and confident, remarks Jone, instantly instilling a sense of team spirit as we leave head office. Stepping outside, we gain a glimpse inside their all-electric vehicle fleet boasting the latest monitoring gears to keep an eye on tyre particle pollution, in turn delivering significant emissions savings across the UK. Entering the warehouse, we are transported into the intricate world of grocery stack management. Towards the back, some of the potato piles attempt to channel their inner Leaning Tower of Pisa as they break into sweats in skewed fashion. The original potato supplier has evidently cut corners by reducing the thickness of its cardboard packaging, resulting in mouldy, damp produce posing a danger to Reynolds’ workers. An employee tags it bright red – rejected. Declared not fit for commercial standard, Nick explains they will back charge the farm source alongside a stern warning to improve delivery conditions as per contract.

13:30 Site Tour II

We are soon joined by several of his colleagues upon moving base to the quality control lab. Here, various equipment, such as an avocado pressure sensor, actively test the viability of randomly sampled produce to vet only the finest fruit and veg growers before Reynolds can safely sell them onto customers.

14:00 Site Tour III

A walk-in fridge greets us next, where we get to see (and touch!) live lobsters, swimming so serenely as if to silently indicate – much like how my Cambridge bestie can’t help but “silently” drop the C-bomb at the club – that they reliably hail from MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified sustainable fisheries. Strolling into the labyrinthine freezer further afield, breathing in the hauntingly refreshing air chilled at a nice and crisp -18 °C, there’s only one thing left to do to fight the numbing cold:

Three students holding icecreams

15:00 Departure

Next time I bite into my juicy avocado salad in the canteen, I’ll be sure to remember the behind-the-scenes efforts of Reynolds and their extraordinary dedication to our environment. Certainly, they’re not just a greengrocer – they’re the pioneers of greener transport, the protectors of pristine produce, and the guardians of a more sustainable future at King’s and beyond!

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