Sustainability at King’s over the last year has seen major progress, and on the 19th July, we celebrated the efforts and achievements of everyone who has been actively involved in helping to make King’s a more sustainable university this past year.
The annual ceremony took place at on the 8th floor terrace in Bush House. We celebrated the commitment and passion of the 327 Sustainability Champions who have carried out 2,762 sustainability actions, nearly 812 more than the previous year.
62 Sustainability Champions Teams were awarded: 25 Bronze, 9 Silver and 29 Gold Awards. (In the table, yellow shows office teams, green are residence teams and blue indicates lab teams).
We also celebrated staff, students and groups in the Special Awards category, for members across the university who have achieved particular success in embedding sustainability across operations, teaching and the wider King’s community.
Sustainability Awards 2018 – Staff and student champions
Serve to shape and transform
We welcomed Professor Jonathan Grant, Vice President & Vice Principal (Service) who thanked all champions for being the ones to motivate others and to stand up and make a difference to the environment and local communities around King’s. ‘Service’ is a large part of sustainability at King’s. The term was adopted at King’s in July 2018 in the Service Strategy, forming part of the Strategic Vision 2029 to emphasise King’s’ commitment to society beyond the traditional roles of education and research. Professor Grant praised the champions and their actions which are integral to this strategy over the past year (for example:
- Geography labs have been making their own air quality monitors and are working with SMSS to go into local schools to build and walk around their local area to map clean air routes and devise clean air walking route for pupils and their parents/guardians.
- Maughan library champions planted 202 trees in the Maughan library garden as part of the Mayors London Tree Planting Weekend (1 & 2 December).
- King’s Policy Institute sustainability champion, Rebecca Brown, established the first Universities Against Modern Slavery Alliance (UAMSA) conference in March.
- King’s Food & Venues promoted and carried out a beach clean on the banks of the Thames – copious of cable ties and fish soy sauce packets were found!
- Science Gallery London grafted cacti in their ‘SPARE PARTS’ exhibition – the remaining cacti have now been donated to KCLSU to find a new home in the student common area!
Sustainability with our students
As part of the event we celebrated our students who’ve been involved with a ‘Sustainability Showcase’. Lizzie Ayles, Climate Change MSc student spoke on her passion to combat the climate crisis and why the champions programme is important to her and her involvement in the programme in the student auditing opportunity which takes place each May. Morgan Larimer, Events Officer in the newly established King’s Energy Co-op on why the co-op was formed and their plan of action to help King’s reach it’s net-zero carbon target by 2025. You can join the energy co-op by contacting them via email or on Facebook.
National Sustainability Awards
This year, one of the King’s champions teams: Social Mobility & Student Success, found out that they had been nominated as finalists at the national EAUC Green Gown Awards. This year, we now have 3 finalists at the Green Gown Awards, including Social Mobility & Student Success champion team, the Sustainability Report and the recently opened Vegan Café in Bush House.
Thank you again to everyone who has helped us make a difference here at King’s this year. The efforts of all those involved really do add up and help to achieve our university sustainability targets.
Achievements this year include:
- 37% carbon reduction achieved (by July 2019), keeping us on track to achieve the 43% carbon reduction goal by 2020.
- Improving waste recycling rates to an overall recycling rate of 62%
- 26 events held by staff and students champions in Sustainability Week
- Growth in champions teams was 35% and number of champions grew by 44%
- King’s ranked 5th in world for social impact in THE rankings.