This Thursday (May 19th) saw a massive ice cream give away at Great Dover Street Apartments as a reward for the great success of GDSA students work for Student Switch Off.
A wave of students who just finished an exam
What is Student Switch Off?
Student Switch Off is a NUS led initiative aiming to bring collective energy saving action to university accommodation across the country. This could be through simple actions like switching off lights to longer, larger campaigns. So far this year SSO has reached 139,000 students over 44 universities leading to an average of 5.5% reductions in energy use (keeping roughly 1,188 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere).
One third of the freezers full of Ice Cream
How did King’s Accommodation do?
Over the past year KCL Halls of residence (specifically Stamford Street Apartments, Great Dover Street Apartments, Wolfson House and Champion Hill) used 4.3% less energy compared to the 2014/15 academic year. That’s the equivalent of 76 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide being kept out of the atmosphere.
Did you say Ice Cream Giveaway?
Why yes. As Great Dover Street saw the greatest reduction in electricity use amongst the halls they were treated to roughly 400 tubs to free Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream (as well as some vegan options and sorbets). With help from the RLAs (Resident Life Assistants), Neil Jennings, who set up the Switch Off programme, was able to pass on all that ice cream to GDSA students, a brief but welcome respite in the middle of exam season.
To keep up with the KCL Switch Off campaign you can check the facebook page.
For more information about Student Switch Off in general click here.
Charles Pegg, Sustainability Projects Assistant
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
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!
Some news and stories
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.