Category: Green Impact (page 3 of 3)

KCL Green Impact Office Audits

March 31st saw this year’s Sustainability Champions good work be audited by a selection of volunteering students.

What are the Sustainability Champions?

Sustainability Champions are our members of staff promoting sustainable use of their environment for the Green Impact Scheme accreditation.

What is Green Impact?

Green Impact is an NUS lead scheme working with hundreds of organisations to improve workplace sustainability and public engagement. Each team of Sustainability Champions (organised by department) use different criteria from a workbook to go for Gold, Silver or Bronze Awards depending on their achievements.

This was just Green Impacts second year at King’s and we had about 20 office teams across our campuses, and a similar amount of lab teams.

AuditingAudit Team

8 Teams submitted their workbooks (with teams aiming for awards between bronze and gold) on the 25th of March and 8 students volunteered to help audit their work last Thursday. From 9.30am to 1pm our auditors were trained by Jessica Naylor from the NUS with help from their laptops (to keep their work paper-less) before being sent off in teams of two to audit our sustainability champion groups. These were between all campuses from the Strand, to Guy’s to Denmark Hill.

All our auditors did an amazing job and so did our sustainability champions. Small issues are being rectified over the next few weeks but we’re super proud of how it went.

The Green Impact awards will be on 5th of July where our teams will receive their awards and celebrate their achievements.

If you’d like to know more about Sustainability Champions you can find information here.


Charles Pegg, Sustainability Projects Assistant

Sustainability Champions- Culture at King’s

This weeks guest blog comes courtesy of Culture at Kings, who tell us about some of the great initiatives they have been carrying out over the last few months as well as their upcoming sustainability plans.

“If you know where to look, you can find many great green initiatives at King’s. There’s an Urban Garden Project, a Cycling Club and there’s even talk of having a bee hive on the roof of the Strand building. It’s fantastic to see how many people across the University are concerned with the environment and we at Culture at King’s wanted to be a part of that of course, so we signed up to the Sustainability Champions scheme with a team of six.

We worked through our workbook and ticked the boxes for a greener office: printing double-sided, wearing jumpers instead of turning up the heating, drinking Fairtrade tea, and shutting down equipment that’s not in use. But soon we started to change things in our personal routines as well. We realised we were eating less meat, we wouldn’t buy products with excessive wrapping, at least two of us have a 4-minute-shower-challenge timer, and we started bringing spare fruit and veg into the office to share with colleagues to reduce our food waste.

Plant-cultureStella Toonen signed up to receiving a bagful of organic vegetables every week, an initiative run by PhD student Roger Hallam in the CMCI department to offer an alternative to buying groceries from supermarkets. Yvonne Castle attended a Bee Hotel Workshop led by Urban Bees, a free event which was part of the Northbank Festival. She made a little bamboo hotel for solitary bees and learnt lots about the different types of bees pollinating London flora. And Kate Dunton helped out at her local organic community allotment and planted bee-friendly flowering herbs in her own garden.

So with all the support we received from colleagues we decided we could take it a bit further and started organising bigger awareness initiatives. We set up an ‘Air Con Free Fridays’ pilot in the office for July and August, which is going very well. And we’re planning to organise a ‘Buy British Week’, in which we encourage staff to buy products grown close to home and celebrate their achievements with a picnic on the last day of the week.

Staff enjoying the breeze at our first Air Con Free Friday

Staff enjoying the breeze at our first Air Con Free Friday

It looks like we’ve got exciting ‘green’ things coming up, and (perhaps subconsciously) our work across King’s also seems to include some great initiatives too. Our Science Gallery London team at Guy’s campus has been promoting the benefits of eating insects through our Fed Up season about food, and as part of our Cultural Institute’s Utopia 2016 season we’re already having great conversations with artists about visualising a perfectly sustainable world. As Sustainability Champions we’d like to think we had something to do with it.”

Green Impact Audit Training

Last week we held training for students and staff to become Green Impact Auditors as part of the NUS Green Impact scheme, gaining practical experience of auditing through the IEMA approved scheme.

With 27 teams currently working towards their Green Impact award as part of the Sustainability Champions scheme at King’s, there has been some great changes across the university already!

The morning involved a training session, with a quick introduction into environmental auditing, as well as a discussion into what sustainability meant to each of us. The variety of responses to this, Fairtrade produce, longevity, recycling, compassion, showed the true variety of things that sustainability encompasses across King’s.

The team of auditors last Thursday!

The team of auditors last Thursday!

After discussions, ice breakers and lunch, we began to prepare for an afternoon of audits. This involved taking a positive approach to all communications, while looking for evidence to support team’s environmental actions. Each of the auditors were given the chance to get involved with hands-on training and learn about the small changes that can be made to create a more sustainable environment across King’s.

With the Sustainability Champions Awards Evening taking place on the 22nd September it will be a great chance to see the results from last week’s audits and reward the teams for the efforts they have made in the last few months!

The Sustainability Champions scheme provides the opportunity for everyone to get more involved with sustainability across King’s. We are hoping to continue to expand this sustainable network across King’s in the next academic year, so if this seems like something you and your department may be interested in, get involved by filling out an application form.

For any further details of how you can get involved with sustainability at King’s in general, contact the Sustainability team at sustainability@kcl.ac.uk or sign up to our newsletter.


Rhianne Menzies, Sustainability Projects Assistant

Calling all Sustainability Champions

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Brilliant sustainability tips from King’s staff

This week we’re looking for staff volunteers to help us launch a new initiative, Sustainability Champions. If you have a passion for sustainability and want an opportunity to help drive change at King’s, then this is a great opportunity for you! This initiative seeks to embed sustainability within our departments, offices and labs through the efforts of King’s own staff. Volunteers can create teams of any size, from an entire department to a few colleagues, and will be working with the NUS Green Impact workbook with the full support of the Sustainability team. If you want to learn more and see a list of times and places at which you can drop by to chat with the Sustainability team throughout this week, take a look at our Sustainability Champions page.

This initiative is meant to complement our operational goals and to build on the efforts of King’s staff that have already been championing sustainability. Allison Hunter offers a great example. As Technical Manager for the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, Allison is responsible for technical provision across laboratories and relevant campuses. In this role she has managed to make some truly sustainable strides, and last month she was awarded a prestigious King’s Award for Sustainability. The King’s Awards recognise outstanding achievements of staff members as nominated by staff and students. In this case the Award recognised the successful implementation of a laboratory cold storage energy saving programme, which has saved 250,000kWh, or £25,000, per annum across six research buildings. Indeed, the efforts of staff like Allison can have a tremendous impact on the operations of the College, and we hope that Sustainability Champions will enable many more staff to participate.

What else is sustainable this week? EcoSoc is holding a Christmas dinner Tuesday evening at the Duke of Cambridge to reflect on the year and plan for the next (find details below). This seems a fitting end to an exciting term. Again, if you’re a staff member interested in becoming a Champion, swing by our drop-in sessions for a chat (and some cake!). We’ll be back next week for a final post before the holidays. Until then, keep it sustainable!

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