Month: May 2016

KCL Student Switch Off Celebratory Event

This Thursday (May 19th) saw a massive ice cream give away at Great Dover Street Apartments as a reward for the great success of GDSA students work for Student Switch Off.

A wave of exam drained students lining up

A wave of students who just finished an exam

What is Student Switch Off?

Student Switch Off is a NUS led initiative aiming to bring collective energy saving action to university accommodation across the country. This could be through simple actions like switching off lights to longer, larger campaigns. So far this year SSO has reached 139,000 students over 44 universities leading to an average of 5.5% reductions in energy use (keeping roughly 1,188 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere).


A lot of Ice Cream

One third of the freezers full of Ice Cream

How did King’s Accommodation do?

Over the past year KCL Halls of residence (specifically Stamford Street Apartments, Great Dover Street Apartments, Wolfson House and Champion Hill) used 4.3% less energy compared to the 2014/15 academic year. That’s the equivalent of 76 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide being kept out of the atmosphere.




students  students2

Did you say Ice Cream Giveaway?

Why yes. As Great Dover Street saw the greatest reduction in electricity use amongst the halls they were treated to roughly 400 tubs to free Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream (as well as some vegan options and sorbets). With help from the RLAs (Resident Life Assistants), Neil Jennings, who set up the Switch Off programme, was able to pass on all that ice cream to GDSA students, a brief but welcome respite in the middle of exam season.

students3   students4

To keep up with the KCL Switch Off campaign you can check the facebook page. 

For more information about Student Switch Off in general click here.

Charles Pegg, Sustainability Projects Assistant

KCL Sustainability Veolia Trip

Group photo

Jessie Hardcastle, Jo Cassidy, Charles Pegg, Harry Warner, Beth Fuller, Richard Burgess

This Monday a group of King’s College Staff visited Veolia, our waste contractor who services all of Southwark. We got to see the processes our recyclables and general waste all go through (about 20,000KG each week) as well as all the sustainability work Veolia does.

Landfill Waste

If all the recyclables and general waste Veolia received went to landfill that would be the equivalent to 15,000 tonnes of CO2 each year but one of their main accomplishments is their lack of landfill waste. All general waste they receive are transferred to the SELCHPs (South-East London Combined Heat and Power) incinerator and produce heat and power (saving up to 8,000 tonnes of CO2 each year). Similarly other waste this yields has been used to produce steel and limestone to fill mine shafts.

Biodiversity Projects

To support local biodiversity Veolia has several schemes for wildlife. Birds, bats and beetles are all accommodated for with roosting boxes while on the flora end over 100 trees and 10,000 shrubs have been planted. Serum mats also provide an artificial, green roof habitat over the building’s rooftop.

Building Sustainability

The Southwark Integrated Waste Management Facility was built with sustainability in mind. 25% of the materials in its construction came were from recycled sources and its rooftop solar panels provide 20% of the buildings energy requirements. Meanwhile grey water is used for car washing and toilets in the resource centre while smart taps limit any fresh water use.


The Veolia plant also does plenty to educate local members of community. They hold regular site tours to those interested but they put notable effort in appealing to primary schools to engage with young children about the importance of recycling properly.

While we can always improve our waste management systems (only a third of what Veolia receives is put in recycling bins) it is good to see our partners at Veolia attempting to improve the sustainability on their end.



Charles Pegg, Sustainability Projects Assistant