Month: November 2013

How can we make food at King’s more sustainable?

Photo by James Lee on Flickr.

Photo by James Lee on Flickr.

This month’s Sustainability Forum will focus on two themes: sustainable food and social entrepreneurship. We invited Kate Hofman and Tom Webster, founders of the GrowUp urban farm. They used crowd funding to raise more than £16.000 for their social business through a Kickstarter campaign and successfully built a prototype fish and salad farm in a shipping container box near London Bridge, showcasing new techniques for sustainable food production in the city.

Food sustainability at King’s

We hope their story will inspire many students and staff to start up their own food sustainability projects. Similarly, we would like to offer a platform for suggestions and ideas on the food we provide at King’s. This academic year all catering was moved in-house to King’s Food, which allows us to improve on different aspects that impact our ecological footprint. The sustainability team met with King’s Food to see if we can work towards the Soil Association Catering Mark, which is “an independent endorsement that food providers are taking steps to improve the food they serve, using fresh ingredients which are free from undesirable additives and GM, and better for animal welfare” (more info here). Accreditation schemes such as the catering mark are a way to analyse all aspects of food sustainability in our canteens: from choosing where supplies come from to what is on our menus. 

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Lisa Dupuy reports on King’s first Sustainability Forum


Lisa is a master’s student in the War department at King’s, reading non-proliferation and international security studies. On her own blog she writes about journalism and conflict. She provides her thoughts below on King’s first Sustainability Forum.


How would students want to make King’s more sustainable, if they were the Principal? It was the question asked of the participants of the Sustainability team’s first sustainability forum, which took place on 31 October. To help the students get a grasp on the challenges of creating a ‘green movement’ within King’s College, Felix Spira had been invited to give a talk on behalf of rootAbility. As a student, Spira was the founder of the Green Office at Maastricht University (the Netherlands), a student-led sustainability unit that became a viable and authoritative body within the university, employing students to work on sustainability projects.

Since leaving Maastricht, Spira has duplicated this model and now assists other universities to set up their own sustainability unit. Spira walked the students through the stages of this process, dealing with such issues as commitment, time management and access. His ‘message’ centred around the idea that, regardless of clever schemes and policy, the actual impact of sustainability projects relies on whether you can get people – students, professors, staff – involved and convinced.

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