Category: Green Week (page 2 of 2)

Green Week 2015

GGW_logo_web.imdex12443Wow, what a week! Green Week has now come to an end but we’ve had a great time and have lots to look forward to at King’s for the rest of 2015! The week was action packed, with lectures, swap shops, films and of course the sustainability roadshow.

The sustainability roadshow, run by us here in King’s Sustainability Team, travelled round the campus starting on Monday at Guy’s, going through Champion Hill, Denmark Hill, Waterloo and ending at Strand campus on the Friday. We had multiple stalls joining throughout the week including RSBP, London Bridge Farmers Market, Lush (from Waterloo and Regent Street), London Vegan Actions and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). It was great to have so many along and gave us the chance to explore different aspects of sustainability from wildlife, to the products you buy and then the career choices you make.

During the roadshow we asked people to calculate their environmental footprint using the WWF footprint tool, assessing how many planets would be required to sustain the world if everyone lived the same way they did. On average the carbon footprint was 2.5 planets.  Although this is quite high we were able to give people advice and talk to people why they may have a high footprint. Generally the two main factors were eating meat and flying. Some of these of course cannot be avoid (e.g. going home for Christmas!) but we then asked students what they think they could change to improve this.

We then asked students and staff to make a sustainability pledge, of which we managed to collect nearly 100 pledges ranging from eating less meat, to less time in the shower and waking more. It was great to see so many people pledge and hopefully everyone will have fun and success trying to complete them.

We had some great events running throughout the week as well organised by multiple student societies.  EcoSoc and Amnesty at King’s joined forces and ran an event about the Environment and human rights, with speakers from Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation and a UK divestment Campaigner.  Over 30 people turned up to the event and a great discussion followed.  There were also talks throughout the week on Shale Gas, Fracking and even a mock debate to end the week.

KCL Stop the Traffik also joined with KCL fashion society and EcoSoc to host King’s own swap shop. Cupcakes and Fairtrade tea were in abundance as students from across King’s swapped clothes that they no longer want.  Everyone left with multiple items they were pleased with, with KCL Stop the Traffik being able to collect multiple postcards petitioning about the lack of transparency in with the production of clothing brands.

The Waterfront Quiz on Thursday also went well.  With our Sustainability round, teams were asked questions such as how many litres of water does it take to make a chocolate bar (its 687 litres in case you were wondering!)  Although points for this round were low it was great to hear the discussion from the questions and hopefully everyone has left now with more knowledge about sustainability.

We also showed a screening of the Best Before film, talking about the food revolution taking over London where locals are fighting back against the supermarkets. Catch the film again in Fairtrade fortnight (23rd February – 8th March) at the Waterfront!

Finally on Friday night to round off Green Week we had King’s Unplugged, shutting down non-essential equipment across Denmark Hill Campus. This was a great evening with over 6 building shutdown on the evening (with help from the building managers and staff at James Black Centre, Centre of Neuroimaging Science and SGDP who shut down their buildings on their own). We are looking forward to the results to see how much we saved during the weekend and are glad that this is becoming normal weekend practice for so many of the offices we audited.

All in all Green Week this year has been fantastic, with events run by societies, KCLSU and King’s sustainability really promoting sustainability across King’s as well as having fun and engaging the student and staff across the campuses.  If you have any suggestions of Sustainability events you would like to see happening or you have any feedback on Green Week 2015 please get in touch with us by emailing sustainability@kcl.ac.uk

Thanks to everyone who got involved!

Welcome back – a new year and new term

Welcome back to students and staff – we hope you have had a happy and sustainable holidays!

We are pleased to share with you that King’s reduced our electricity consumption by 43 per cent and gas by 24 per cent compared to normal December usage. The Sustainability Team would like to thank you for all reducing our electricity and gas consumption over the winter break. This resulted in savings of £73,000 and 338 tonnes of CO2. We managed to improve by 24 per cent against the winter break of 2012/13. This is a fantastic achievement but there is still room for improvement.

University-wide efforts are helping us to achieve our energy and carbon reduction targets. Shutting down unnecessary items, including lab equipment, lighting and PCs wherever possible led to this result. This builds on the success of the Blackout project in late 2014. This year we will be aiming to achieve similar savings every holiday, weekend and evening when non-essential equipment, such as lights and computers, are not needed.

Looking forward to the term ahead we have a jam-packed schedule. The Sustainability Champions project is set to officially launch next week, swiftly followed by Green Week, and Fairtrade fortnight. We are looking for enthusiastic people who would like to be involved at driving sustainability at King’s and helping with any of the former mentioned projects.

Fairtrade fortnight is especially important; we will be celebrating 20 years of Fairtrade, King’s is aiming to gain accreditation for being a Fairtrade university. The fortnight will be focusing on core commodities – cocoa, sugar and tea. This is the chance to take action to ensure marginalised farmers around the world have decent working conditions and are paid a fair price for their produce. Watch this space for the full Fairtrade fortnight schedule.

News, stories & interesting bits

Upcoming events

Recap panel discussion: a sustainable future – mission possible?

Green Week 2014 was an action packed week. There were events scheduled at every campus in order to reach out to as many people as possible. One of the concluding events of the Green Week was the panel discussion at Strand. The topic was ‘A GGW_logo_web.imdex12443sustainable future – mission possible?’ The distinguished panel comprised of both internal and external speakers – Aaron Re’em,  Senior Account Director from TRUCOST, Dr. Nate Matthews from the Department of Geography and Prof. Mischa Dohler from the Department of Informatics at King’s. The panel tackled a wide range of questions ranging from the the need for a new definition for sustainability to the role of the private sector and governments. They shared examples of the need for critical change in several areas but it was most heartening to hear the positive examples they shared as well.  Here are three positive examples shared by the speakers

1. A compelling business case may be the missing link to a sustainable future

The Carbon War Room analysed several technologies which had the potential to advance the low-carbon economy on a big scale. They looked for specific reasons why such technology hadn’t been adopted yet in the most polluting sectors and found that in many cases, it was simply a matter of poor communication and the need to create a compelling business case. For instance, the shipping industry is known to be a very big polluter. The industry uses raw diesel and cities with ports are usually extraordinarily polluted.

Although the technology exists to reduce this problem, the missing link lay in lack of market information. The company has recently launched operation shipping efficiency which aims to reduce carbon emissions by bridging gaps in market information related to environmental efficiency, encouraging key stakeholders to embed efficiency into decision making, and unlocking capital flow for technology retrofits.  They found that through this there was potential for the shipping industry to save $70 Billion per year on fuel and reduce carbon and other pollutants by 30 percent.

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Green Week day 1: Sustainability tips from our students and staff

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:

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Try these delicious seasonal recipes for Green Week!

[GUEST BLOG] Selina is Departmental Administrator and Equality Representative for the Department of Pharmacy and the Department of Forensic & Analytical Science. She loves cooking and is working on her own cookbook. Try out her Green Week recipes below!

You may already have heard of Meatless Monday, the campaign to try to get all us of to reduce our reliance on meat by encouraging consumption of at least one vegetable based meal each week. In addition there is also the Love Food Hate Waste campaign to try to get us to think more sensibly about the food we buy to reduce the amount we needlessly throw away. Why not celebrate Green Week at King’s with a 5 day menu of cheap and nutritional meals based on seasonal vegetables, love your leftovers and do your bit to reduce food waste and help the environment?

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Join Green Week at King’s!

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

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