The King’s Climate Action Network (CAN) is an open, interdisciplinary forum bringing together people from the King’s community who are passionate about climate action. The CAN focuses on solutions to reduce our carbon emissions while also maximising our positive impact on climate action.
Between 2020 and 2021, the network brainstormed more than 50 actions to be taken forward by the university. This year, the CAN has grown to more than 300 members who are working on implementing these actions.
What has the King’s Climate Action Network been up to these months? From research and responsible investment to our estate and travel, we have been discussing our priorities for the year ahead in our sub-group meetings. Members have signed up to smaller working groups to start implementing actions.
Zero Carbon Estate
In the Zero Carbon Estate group, we heard about the progress the Energy Team and others have been making on a range of actions. We discussed setting up an ‘Energy Champions’ scheme where people could work on energy projects and receive formal recognition for them. This volunteering programme would include energy audit training, encouraging students to report issues and ideas throughout the year. We also brainstormed how we could get more creative with our communications to better engage our community.
In the Responsible Investment group, we explored the best ways to get student and staff input into a refresh of King’s Ethical Investment Policy. During the CAN plenary, we had a fruitful discussion with King’s Finance Team about the Ethical Investment Policy they have been working on. Key suggestions that were made by CAN members included increasing transparency and participation, developing clear definitions, embedding more ambitious wording and targets, and collaborating with the wider sector. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here.
Community & Engagement
In the Community & Engagement group, we have started planning a listening campaign to explore how King’s can best support/work with our local communities around climate action. We also discussed an exciting opportunity to shape the Science Gallery’s strand on climate change which will open next year. Moreover, a group has started working on a plan to engage with secondary school audiences by educating them on science-based climate research and offering them climate-related research opportunities. We are also looking into how we can strengthen collaboration with our local councils around climate action.
Zero Carbon Research
In the Zero Carbon Research group, we brainstormed ideas to get climate researchers from across disciplines together. Following these conversations, the CAN is organising a panel event together with KBS on interdisciplinary climate research with academics from across King’s. A future event could also include ‘sandpit’ exercises where cross-disciplinary researchers come together for a short time to create projects around a given theme.
In the Travel group, we discussed encouraging active travel by implementing a cycle bank system to pass on cycles within the King’s community and organising ‘cycling inductions’ at the start of the term. The new King’s Travel Manager will also drive action around business travel, for example by defining a scoring system to help identify what business travel is essential and what is not, and by creating guides on how to travel sustainably to some key destinations. A group is also working on estimating emissions from student end-of-term travel and brainstorming how we could promote slow travel.
Students & Education
In the Students & Education group, we have been discussing the pilot KEATS sustainability module and the SDG curriculum audit we have started on. We also discussed creating an interdisciplinary toolkit to show how climate relates to each field and developing a ‘Spotlight on Sustainability Careers’ event series. A group of students is also working on a climate careers podcast.
Find out more about sustainable education at King’s here.
Procurement & Waste
In the Procurement & Waste group, we discussed among other things how we could draw people’s attention to the importance of this area – it does represent the biggest part of our emissions after all! We have started to work on improving our methodology for estimating supply chain emissions, starting with food. We are also looking into opportunities for supplier engagement events, waste projects and communications, and developing feedback sessions with King’s Food about climate-friendly food.
The CAN sub-groups meet every 6-8 weeks, and the entire network comes together twice per term. Smaller working groups meet in between to carry out actions. Members are welcome to join one or more subgroups.
Sign up to the King’s CAN to be part of this journey and work together with students and staff from across the university to drive climate action! Find out more here or email Maria Rabanser or Jone de Roode Jauregi if you have any questions.