Over the past four months I’ve been busy working on a review of Education for Sustainable Development at King’s. My colleague Kiran and I conducted 21 qualitative interviews with heads of departments and professors across the College. Last week I was given the opportunity to present our work to the Central Education Committee and Karen O’Brien, our Vice-Principal of Education. I’m very glad to report that my presentation and paper were positively received, and that concrete steps will be taken to further develop ESD at King’s. At 37 pages, the report is a bit too lengthy for this blog, so I would like to share our findings in an infographic. I hope you like it!
Would you like the opportunity to work as a Sustainability Projects Assistant in the King’s sustainability team?
We’re currently [June/July 2014] recruiting for a number of roles in the sustainability team to work with us either over the summer or longer term. As well as providing day to day support for the team the projects that you could be involved whilst working with us include:
- Sustainability strategy development
- Sustainable procurement strategy
- Sustainable food and Fairtrade
- Sustainability communications and engagement
- Sustainable labs
- Carbon reduction
- Waste management
- Water reduction
- Education for sustainable development
- Data management and analysis
- Sustainable construction and refurbishment
- Implementing an environmental management system – ISO14001
See the Careers Group website for more details and to apply.
Passion and commitment to sustainability is a pre requisite but it doesn’t matter what your degree is. We are looking for at least one person to start straight away but we will also accept applications from anyone who can’t start until later this year.
This is offered under the Step internship programme which gives you an income exempt from tax of £308 a week for up to 6 months. There will be an opportunity to apply to extend the placement for up to a year. The role is for King’s students or graduates only.
Please contact Kat Thorne, Head of Sustainability with any questions about the role. If students are interested in researching sustainability at King’s for a project or dissertation, please also be in touch, we would be happy to help.
Watch this space for future opportunities in 2015.
Hi everyone, I’m Janne and I work with the Sustainability team as a Sustainability Projects Assistant. As I will be leaving the team soon off to a new job, I thought this would be a good time to share my experiences and reflect on working with the King’s Sustainability team.
After graduating from my MA Cities at King’s I started here as a STEP intern. I have always been very interested in sustainability and with a group of friends at King’s I established a sustainability committee called ‘sustainitects’. This role seemed like a great opportunity to get involved with sustainability projects at King’s so I applied straight away!
The role is varied and you get a chance to work closely with students and staff cross the College, which I find really inspiring. My favourite project has been my research on education for sustainable development. It was very interesting to have conversations about sustainable development with so many people at the College.
My name is Tytus Murphy, I am a second year PhD student at the Institute of Psychiatry where I am investigating the effects of ageing on stem cells in the brain. I like our planet very much, am also concerned about climate change and am one of the founding members of Fossil Free KCL. I am very keen to bring all the green groups together at King’s, as together we are stronger. I am also quite competitive when it comes to growing vegetables.
On Monday 9th June the inaugural meeting of the recently rejuvenated Environment Society (henceforth and affectionately known as “EcoSoc”) took place at the Strand Campus.
This open and well-attended meeting attracted a diverse range of effusive students, ranging from undergrads in English and Economics through to PhD students with projects in war-region conservation and neuroscience. The vision for EcoSoc is a beautiful merger of eclectic green-minded groups at KCL (Fossil Free, Urban Gardens Project, The Sustainability Forum and any other group/individual with a passion for the environment!), with the aim of enshrining an ecologically sensitive consciousness for many years the come.
In particular, many green groups have been and gone in the College’s recent history and we plan to stop this by creating a collaborative, diverse and enthusiastic group that will stand the test of time.
Over the past few months my colleague Kiran and I have been doing research on education for sustainable development (ESD) for Karen O’Brien, our Vice-Principal of Education. The goal of this research is to get a better understanding of how sustainability is currently understood and taught across the College. It’s been a very interesting journey so far and we have discussed sustainability with many departments at King’s. Here I would like to share some my initial findings with you.
So… what is ESD?
There are different approaches to education for sustainable development. Traditionally ESD has focused largely on environmental problems. In this philosophy environmental sustainability can be explained through science, and solutions need to come from human action and technological innovation. This idea doesn’t cover the more social, cultural or economic aspects of sustainability. A more common view in ESD nowadays is that our present knowledge may be inadequate to cope with future uncer
“ESD seeks to balance human and economic well-being with cultural traditions and respect for the earth’s natural resources.” (UNESCO)
tainties and risks. I like the broad definition by the Higher Education Agency (HEA): “Education that prepares people to cope with, manage and shape social, economic and ecological conditions characterised by change, uncertainty, risk and complexity.” (Future Fit Framework)
According to Vare and Scott, this means that learning needs to be more ‘open-ended’. If we understand ESD in this way, this means we no longer look for a specific desired end-state of learning. This way we can realise what they call ‘social learning’ and be more reflective on how we might live in the future. I find this approach sustainable in that it uses out-of-the-box ways of thinking to deal with this unknown future.
King’s College Hall at Denmark Hill is being redeveloped to improve the quality of the accommodation and the attractiveness of the complex. To achieve a high environmental standard for this project we aim for a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ qualification. The new residence will be called Champion Hill and is expected to open in September 2014.
We recently received a report on our construction processes from the Considerate Construction Scheme. The CSS monitor construction sites against a code of practice, which includes appearance, respect for the community, protecting the environment, safety and valuing the workforce.
Did you know King’s Food gives a 10 p discount on hot drinks when you bring your own mug or KeepCup? Or that you can save one liter of water every time you flush the toilet by installing a simple water saving device? Drop by the Green Week Fair to learn more and pick up handy gadgets!
These are our favorite tips of today:
Green Week is an annual national week of action on climate change at universities across the UK. Held from 10 – 16 February 2014, the week is about raising awareness of sustainability issues and offers an opportunity for students and staff to take part in exiting events and explore ways they can make a difference.
The Sustainability team and KCLSU will organise activities and campaigns on energy, water, food, waste and transport across King’s campuses. We will also offer a peek into the world of sustainable careers, host free bike events and join in with national campaigns Meat-free Monday and the Student Switch Off.
Green Week is a great opportunity to get involved and help organise activities and campaigns at your campus. Whether you would like to showcase your society, present your work or host an event, we are happy to help and spread the word to King’s students and staff (have a look at the People & Planet website for some inspiration). You can also join the team on the day to help out as a Green Week Ambassador. Just get in touch with your event or activity ideas!
We look forward to seeing you there,
The Sustainability team
Yesterday our team joined a London Universities Environmental Group (LUEG) meeting to talk about various ways to reduce our carbon emissions. LUEG meetings offer a great opportunity to share best practice with sustainability practitioners at other universities in London, as we all work on similar issues. One of those issues is energy use. With more than 25,000 students and 6,000 staff, the College spends about £10 million on energy per year! We listened to a presentation by DemandLogic, a company that works for King’s to identify energy efficiency problems in our estates by getting data from building management systems into ‘the cloud’. Or as Joe of DemandLogic described it, this is where the “hardcore industrial world meets internet geeks”.
The DemandLogic system shows how the building management system is performing.
Controlling buildings better can save a lot of energy and reduce emissions. The Carbon Trust estimated that UK businesses and public bodies could reduce 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by encouraging more sustainable behaviours from employees, which could save a shocking £500 million! Since DemandLogic started to work with King’s a year ago we’ve saved 2500 tonnes of carbon. Overall it is estimated the project identified savings worth approximately £390,000.