Category: Community (Page 1 of 10)

Join the Big Garden Birdwatch (27th of January)

The 2023 Big Campus Birdwatch takes place on Friday 27th January, and we’re encouraging staff and students to take part.

The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Big Garden Birdwatch takes place over the weekend of 27th – 29th January 2023. This annual survey is not only a great opportunity to learn more about our back garden wildlife, but also makes an important contribution to monitoring biodiversity across the country. Last year over a million people took part in the event!

The University encourages staff and students alike to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch and we also organise our own Big Campus Birdwatch, where we ask staff and students to help us better understand the bird life across different areas of campus.

This year, the Big Campus Birdwatch will take place on Friday 27th January, and can be carried out in your own time, either individually or in small groups with your friends or colleagues.

How can I take part?

To take part in the Big Campus Birdwatch, simply register using this link and choose a favourite spot on campus at any time on Friday 27th January and record what birds you see.

Showcase your work at the London Student Sustainability Conference 2023

Calling all students at King’s College London! 

Join this unique opportunity to showcase your sustainability work in front of an inter-university audience and to network with other like-minded students.  

Group picture from LSSC 2022 showing people holding up SDG signs.

Group picture taken at LSSC 2022.

The London Student Sustainability Conference (LSSC) is back again in February 2023 for its fifth edition. This conference is a platform for any students at a London University to showcase their work related to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The event welcomes students, staff, professionals, and members of the public to listen and engage with student research and projects in the field of sustainability. During the event, students exhibit their research and projects through presentations, posters and workshops, followed by an early evening networking reception. 

This year’s Conference is a collaboration between King’s and 9 other London universities: City, GCU, Imperial, Kingston, LSE, South Bank, UCL, Greenwich, and Westminster. 

This is a great opportunity to share your work with a diverse audience, practice presentation skills and network with students, staff and professionals interested in sustainability from universities across London and beyond! 

Find out how to apply here. Deadline: 4th of December. 

Registrations for tickets to attend will open in January 2023. Stay tuned by subscribing to the King’s Sustainability newsletter and following King’s Sustainability on Instagram. 

Read about LSSC 2022.  

Weathervane: We Not I 

Tuesday 15th November, 17:00-19:30, Strand Campus Great Hall

Person holding up a poster saying "13% of homes in fuel poverty" in a museumOn Tuesday 15th November King’s Culture Climate Collective is presenting Weathervane: We Not I, a joyful evening of collective artmaking and a student-led call to action from the Great Hall on Strand Campus.

As COP27 approaches and millions of young people once again hold their breath for meaningful political action, how do we create space for King’s students to share their climate hopes and fears, their dreams for a just and sustainable future?

Weathervane answers that call, featuring a range of empowering activities including:

  • The creation of We Are A Sea, a live unfolding mass artwork led by artist Beccy McCray exploring our relationship to water through the mixing of plant dyes
  • A talk from youth social justice organiser Simmone Ahiaku about how to turn climate anxiety into hope, resistance, and change
  • A showcase of specially created climate justice posters created by King’s students
  • The creation of the Climate Action Network Collective Manifesto, The Wall of Hope, a sustainable crochet masterclass and more!

Refreshments will be provided. Open to all students and stuff, however space is limited. RSVP via Eventbrite.

Take part in the climate listening campaign in the community

Passionate about taking climate action, challenging injustice and building stronger communities? Then this might be an exciting opportunity for you!  

Over the next few months, the King’s Climate Action Network (CAN) will be running a listening campaign in King’s local boroughs. The CAN is now recruiting leads and 121 volunteers to support the roll-out of the listening campaign. 

The leads will form the passionate core team shaping this campaign. As a lead, you will receive full-day community organising training by Citizens UK to empower you to coordinate the project and lead a group of volunteers to conduct 121 conversations.  

As a 121 volunteer, you will conduct the listening to hear first-hand about the climate and sustainability challenges our local communities face and identify how King’s can support them in taking action. 

You will be working together with like-minded people to make real change while developing key skills including leadership, listening, organisation, and teamwork. 

Apply here: https://forms.office.com/r/wcAiRsyBVQ 

Student Auditors for Sustainability Champions

Last week, students from a variety of degree backgrounds volunteered as Student Sustainability Auditors. They received IEMA approved training on sustainability auditing, which they then used to audit teams of Sustainability Champions at King’s across two days. Find out more about the Sustainability Champions programme here.

We asked the students how they found the experience:

May be an image of 7 people, people standing and indoor

 

“Training was very helpful and well presented. Using this method to evaluate organizations in sustainability efforts will be beneficial in future interactions personally and professionally. A very insightful experience.”

“I have enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about what different departments are doing at King’s and how they are able to improve this. It was also good to be able to meet fellow students with a similar interest in the topic.”

“I really enjoyed the training and met interesting people. It was really exciting to look into all the meaningful work the sustainability team and the sustainability champions are doing.”

King’s is re-certified with the international standard ISO14001 for our environmental management system

This update is brought to you by Nicola Hogan, King’s Sustainability Manager for Operations.


King’s was recently re-certified with the international standard ISO14001 for our environmental management system.

For those of you not familiar with the international standard, it provides a framework that the King’s Estates and Facilities team can follow for guidance on best environmental practice, and subsequently submit evidence of their environmental performance. The system and its evidence are then audited by an external auditor for certification to the standard.

The recertification was awarded by NQA after one of their auditors carried out a 6-day external audit of 4 of our sites (Bush House, Guy’s Campus, Honor Oak Park and Great Dover Street Apartments). He also audited our various EMS documents, for further evidence of adherence to the ISO:140001 standard.

The auditor, who has audited King’s before and knows the campus quite well, was particularly impressed with the extent to which we communicate with staff and students via social media and newsletter. Being re-certified with this standard is important to King’s as it confirms our operations have considered their impact on the environment, minimised it where practicable and that we remain compliant with relevant legislation year on year.

An example of reduced impact on the environment includes evidencing that our recycling rates have improved and our bins are not contaminated, that our buildings source their energy from solar panels, that several of our lightings are LED and that lights and electrical equipment are not left on unnecessarily. The auditor also interviewed various staff at each site and commented on how knowledgeable everyone was about how their sites operated.

Aside from physical evidence, the auditor also needed to see that we were keeping important and relevant documentation up to date, that we were making changes in line with changes in legislation and that external global activities such as climate change, COP26, COVID and fuel supply shortages had been considered. Examples of such documents are our list of objectives and targets, our compliance register, our aspects and interested parties, and an up-to-date Environmental and Sustainable Policy that refers to the EMS.

The Sustainability Team are delighted at being re-certified but agree that we should not rest on our laurels. While our overall score was very good, the auditor identified several areas that he considered ‘opportunities for improvement’. The wider estates and facilities teams will be working hard to make those improvements and to identify where we can make further changes that will reduce our carbon footprint further. We will be audited again in March 2023, and have already started preparing for another successful audit. 

So if you are wondering what you can do to contribute to a smaller carbon footprint, feel free to send suggestions to Sustainability@kcl.ac.uk. Alternatively, if you see resources being wasted across the estate, e-mail ask@kcl.ac.uk.

New student-led initiative: Freecycle

King’s Residences and King’s Sustainability are trialling a new initiative this year called Freecycle. Items such as bedding and cookware will be donated by current residences and reused by students moving in after summer. The goal is to minimise waste while providing students with essentials without a price tag. Tasks will include sorting out and distributing items. Volunteers will be able to call dibs on certain items and there might be free food involved. If interested, please fill out this form to receive more information.

This is initiative has been led by Kindness Ezekwe who is a BSc Accounting and Finance student at King’s Business School and part of the Students & Education subgroup of King’s Climate Action Network.

Dive into King’s Spotlight on Sustainability podcast

The new series of the Spotlight on Sustainability podcast has landed! In this series, Emily and Abigail will be exploring “Building sustainable communities”. 

Episode 1: How can universities be more inclusive to migrants? With Ria Patel 

In this episode, Ria Patel, founder of the KCL Undoing Borders campaign, Co-Chair of LGBTIQA+ Greens and External Relations Officer for Greens of Colour, talks about the KCL Undoing Borders campaign. This campaign aims to tackle the hostile environment against migrants at universities.  

Episode 2: Why does Equality, Diversity and Inclusion matter? With Sarah Guerra 

In this episode we are very lucky to be joined by Sarah Guerra, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at King’s to explore what EDI is, why it matters and how you can help make your community accessible for all.

You can access the podcast on Spotify here. We would love to hear your thoughts on this episode; get in touch via the email sustainability@kcl.ac.uk. 

Community Garden week at King’s

It’s King’s Community Garden week!🌳

King’s Community Garden (Guy’s Campus) was setup by Oli Austen – Sustainability Champion and senior technical officer in the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine.

Oli set up the space as gardening is a great way to connect with nature (especially for city dwellers), and evidence for the positive impact of gardening is always growing. A report by the King’s Fund in 2016 found many health benefits of gardening, including significant reductions in depression and anxiety. The Royal Horticultural Society website also lists advantages such as improving cardiovascular health and promoting a healthy diet🌸

Since its creation the garden has been tended to by undergraduate and postgraduate students, professional services staff, academics, technicians and KCLSU staff🌱

You can get involved with the community garden in the future by emailing kingscommunitygarden@kcl.ac.uk.

Check out how to find King’s Wolfson Card Courtyard Community Garden here.

LGBTQ+ History Month

This blog post was adapted from a post that Josh Pullen wrote last year, who at that time was the co-chair of Proudly King’s and Waste to Resource Project Coordinator in the Sustainability Team.


February marks LGBTQ+ History Month alongside King’s celebrating Sustainability Month. Environmentalism has always been a core issue of the LGBTQ+ community since the inception of the now-iconic rainbow flag. Each colour represents a different part of the LGBTQ+ experience, and green is for nature.

Overview showing the colours of the LGBTQ+ flag and their meaning

study done in 2018 found that LGB people were twice as likely to join environmentalist, anti-war and anti-corporate movements. As a social justice movement, the queer community has a keen awareness of issues outside the progressing of sexual and gender identity and has found intersectional links with the Black Lives Matter movement, Occupy Wall Street and the environmentalist movement. Examples of this can even be found within King’s itself with many active Sustainability Champions members being part of Proudly King’s, the LGBTQ+ staff network.

With growing support for ethical and sustainable business practices, the link between progressive environmental issues and the LGBTQ+ movement grows stronger as people understand that fair treatment of the environment means fair treatment of people.

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