Month: December 2020

Sustainable & Ethical Christmas Shopping

If sustainability, ethics and fairness are things you want for Christmas, then putting in a bulk order at Amazon is probably not the best way to help achieve them.

During the crisis we’ve seen a shift to online and this trend is going to be on steroids this Christmas,” says Tim Hunt, co-editor of Ethical Consumer magazine.

Amazon, taking a large share of these online orders, has frequently been exposed for avoiding paying tax, as well as it’s highly unsafe and inhumane working conditions. 

Instead, if you can, consider buying from businesses that put sustainability and ethics at the forefront.

Ethical Consumer is an amazing website and magazine which helps to cuts out the noise and gives you information on which businesses have been naughty or nice this year. They cover everything from high street clothing retailers, bookshops, health and beauty products, to which are the most ethical supermarkets.

The Living Wage Foundation has also compiled a great Living Wage Gift Guide for 2020.

This year, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on small businesses. Therefore, if you can, it’s more important than ever to support your small, local businesses.

Charities have taken a huge hit since the pandemic started, with fundraising events cancelled and shops forced to close. Many of the larger ones have online stores worth checking out – Sue Ryder has a big collection of new homewares, kids’ stuff and wooden Advent calendars, while British Heart Foundation sells through eBay and offers secondhand items including games consoles and mobile phones. Amnesty International and Oxfam have good choices of Fairtrade and ethical products, from chocolate to furniture.

Finally, if you are shopping online, someone has to deliver it. If you buy locally, the retailer might deliver itself, and in a city it could even be by bike. Otherwise, you won’t usually get to choose who delivers to you. There are some green options: Ethical Superstore runs a scheme where you can add £1 to your order to support a tree-planting charity to offset some of the emissions from your order, and Etsy says it offsets all of it deliveries.

Environmental Management System Audit

This blog comes from Nicola Hogan, Sustainability Manager at King’s.

Earlier this week King’s became re-accredited on the ISO140001:2015 EMS external audit for 2020.

This year, because of the pandemic, the audit was split into two stages – the first stage being carried out in April online via Teams meetings and by emailing requested documentation to the auditor.

The second stage was conducted outdoors at The Denmark Hill campus and the JCMB at Waterloo Campus.

At both locations, external areas of buildings were audited for general tidiness of waste areas and housekeeping, as well as each of the sites plant rooms and lighting systems.

Overall, our score was just a few OFI’s (Opportunity for Improvements) – mainly relating to waste and tidiness etc, with no minor or major non-conformance’s.

The Sustainability Team are very pleased with the score and the auditor has recommended continued accreditation of the standard to King’s.

The next audit will take place from April 12th to 15th 2021 when the Waterloo Bridge Campus and Maughan Library at Strand Campus will be audited.