Category: Sustainability Month

Cycling in London event & survey

Two photographs showing a bike mechanic looking at a bicycle in the courtyard of Bush House.On 3rd March, a cycling event was held at Bush House as part of Sustainability Month to increase awareness and understanding of how students and staff can get started with cycling in London.

The event consisted of a “Dr Bike” session, where external bike maintenance mechanics provided free bike health checks, advice, and small fixes (fully funded by Westminster City Council).

Students were also on hand to provide information to help others get into cycling, particularly focusing on commuting to campus. They discussed where the bike lockers are on campus and how to access them, information offered by external organisations (for example, TFL cycle safety pages and relevant council pages for cycle buddy schemes), and KCL’s Cycling club.


Two photographs showing a bike mechanic looking at a bicycle in the courtyard of Bush House.

The COVID pandemic forced us to rethink how we travel to campus. Cycling was identified as being a safer, more sustainable mode of travel that also supports wellbeing. King’s is keen to support our ‘new ways of working’ so identifying where improvements to cycling provisions need to be made is central to that.

To help us identify what those improvements might be, please could you take this 5-minute survey by 17 May? Your responses will shape how we grow the estate to meet everyone’s needs. Please direct any queries to Ruonan Zhang.

Climate Justice event during Sustainability Month 2022

This blog post was written by Katie Gard, Climate Education Assistant and organiser of the Climate Justice event in Sustainability Month.


Climate change will impact different people differently. Therefore, it’s likely to further exacerbate existing inequalities across generations, thus creating greater inequality and injustice. The recent Climate Justice Event, held during Sustainability Month 2022, explored narratives of exclusion which can often be perpetuated within environmental movements and discussed how inclusion can be promoted instead. The event involved a panel consisting of three wonderful speakers: Elias Yassin, Suzanne Dhaliwal, and Harpreet Kaur Paul. The speakers combined their personal experience with academic rigour to deliver engaging and informative presentations which challenged the misconception that social justice is unrelated to the climate movement. Although we acknowledged that it was impossible to comprehensively explore all the various avenues of climate justice, the speakers discussed themes including, but not limited to, disability justice, racial justice, and land justice.

Elias discussed how people with disabilities are often excluded from environmental and political activism: he drew upon specific instances within Extinction Rebellion and the recent event COP26. He explored the need to recognise issues of accessibility within wider society and the climate movement. Furthermore, he emphasised that the only true liberation is collective liberation, within which disability justice must be central. He also referenced a variety of resources for those who wish to understand more about the subject, all of which can be found at the end of this post.

Secondly, Harpreet Kaur Paul discussed the disparity between the ways in which different communities experience climate impacts worldwide, based on centuries of oppressive systems entrenched in inequality. For instance, women and girls often need to travel further in drought-ridden countries, which can increase their exposure to gender-based violence because of precarity driven by climate change impacts. She further discussed the compounding forms of oppression incurred by climate injustice, for instance how trans* people who are refugees can be subjected to binary ways of existence within refugee camps in relief countries.

Finally, Suzanne Dhaliwal discussed systemic injustice and highlighted the connection between environmental destruction and systems of white supremacy and patriarchy. She emphasised the need for decolonisation, and the importance of accountability within this process, particularly of destructive legacies and histories. When providing examples of her previous activism, she brought up the need to care for those who challenge dominant culture, alongside the importance of serving others within activism. I encourage you to watch the available recordings, for a summary cannot do justice to the extensive examples and content described by the three speakers.

After the speakers’ respective presentations, we transitioned to a discussion in which the panellists answered questions prepared by audience members. Some key highlights from this section included the need for self-work within collective organisations. Reflecting on the work of bell hooks (1994), the speakers discussed the need to build trust grounded in intention, humility, and grace within environmental spaces. Given that ideal solutions are not likely to be achieved overnight, they expanded the understanding of what ‘action’ means by advocating for imperfect action together whilst simultaneously working towards a new and reformed system. Moreover, it was highlighted that activists should be centred in allyship, to advocate and achieve collective liberation and justice for all.

You can access the available recordings and recommended resources through this link.

References:

Hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: education as the practice of freedom. Oxfordshire, England. Routledge.

Sustainability Month 2022: a true celebration

What a month! Throughout February, we welcomed hundreds of people to more than 20 social and educational events focused on taking action around the Sustainable Development Goals. Organised by students, staff members, and alumni from across disciplines, this month was a true celebration of the breadth of sustainability and the King’s community’s involvement in it.

We learned to reflect on our stories in the climate and nature crisis and got inspired to take action in the events on volunteering, recycled glass, plant-based diets, and greener ways to grow your veg. We learned how we might address the climate crisis from a policy perspective, what digital start-ups can do to advance the SDGs, and what some of the main inequality issues are in South Korea. The interconnectedness of environmental and social sustainability was highlighted during the panel for climate justice and the event on the climate crisis and refugees, and we learned how we might go about translating that into education. The Shots for Hope exhibition and the Visions for the Future workshop series helped us to stay hopeful in the face of the climate crisis.

The month brought people together socially in events such as the sustainability quiz night, stitch and pitch, and the show the love campaign, as well as professionally in the interdisciplinary sustainability research forum and the London Student Sustainability Conference. The events on careers in sustainability helped students explore the breadth of what this means for their future.

If you missed an event, you can find the event recordings here. Not all recordings have been uploaded yet, but we aim to do so as soon as possible. We will also be posting event summaries and reflections on our blog over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for those. If you have any feedback you would like to share, please fill out this feedback form. If you would like to write a blog post on an event you organised or attended, feel free to get in touch.

Sustainability Month: Week 5

Sustainability Month is drawing to an end, so make sure to make most of these last few exciting events!

Check out the events taking place this and next week:*

Monday 28th 13:00

14:00
Proudly Lunch & Learn: Creating sex, gender and biology (LGBTQ+ History Month) This event will uncover the processes by which understandings of sex, gender and biology are constructed through investigating the relationship between what we deem ‘normal’ and ‘natural’.

 

16:00

17:00
Meet the Farmer – Bismark Kpabitey (Fairtrade Fortnight) Meet Bismark, a cocoa farmer from the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in Ghana, to learn about his life and the faces behind the Fairtrade work.

 

Tuesday 1st 12:00

13:00
Embedding Fairtrade within an Organisation Find out what an exciting career lays ahead of you should you choose sustainable and ethical companies. Hear about the challenges and rewards of embedding Fairtrade in the HE and private sector and supply chains.

 

Wednesday 2nd 13:00

14:00
Global Health and Climate Change (Sustainability Seminar Series) Is climate change the greatest global health threat facing the world in the 21st century? Join Professor Paul Ekins as he explores “the 2021 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: code red for a healthy future”.

 

14:00

15:30
Poetry Lunch & Do Session – International Women’s Day (online and in person) Have you got a vision for a more equal world? Would you like to unleash your creative side? This International Women’s Day we are looking to collect your ideas of how things would be different in a more equal world.

 

18:00

19:30
Mind the (Finance) Gap – Mitigation & Adaptation Finance (organised by Imperial and Oxford) Expert panellists will share their insights on topics such as scaling up sustainable finance for the transition to net-zero, managing risks and developing the necessary skills and technology at this inter-university event.

 

Thursday 3rd 11:00

14:00
Cycling in London Swing by the Bush House Courtyard for free bike health checks, advice and small fixes, as well as all the information you need including locating bike lockers on campus, the TfL cycle safety pages, cycle buddy schemes and the KCL Cycling Club.

 

Friday 4th 9:30

11:00
The World We Want to Create – A Vision for the Future What positive world could we create if more people addressed the climate emergency? This new, fortnightly interactive event series focuses on the possibilities of a better world to motivate climate action.

 

17:45

19:15
Book Event with Paul Mendez – Author of “Rainbow Milk” (LGBTQ+ History Month) The LGBT+ Book Club invites Paul Mendez to discuss his queer novel “Rainbow Milk” which follows nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of his Jehovah’s Witness upbringing.

 

Monday 7th 16:00

18:00
Inequality in South Korea and Squid Game This event will focus on four main issues in Korea: migrant labour and racism, labour relations and capitalism, North Korean defector, and gender Inequality and its non-awareness and invisibility. These topics feature dominantly in the popular Netflix Series “Squid Game”.

 

Tuesday 8th 12:00

13:00
International Women’s Day Elevate (King’s Staff Gender Equality Network) and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team are planning events for International Women’s Day including a poetry recital. Register your interest here to stay in the loop.

 

* Please note some events were postponed due to the strikes. You can find the most recent updates here.

Sustainability Month: Week 4

Time is flying by this Sustainability Month!

Sustainability Month is a collaboration between King’s and KCLSU that offers all those involved an opportunity to learn more about sustainability topics, collaborate and connect with others from across King’s and #TakeAction on the climate crisis.

Check out the events taking place this week (21st to 25th of February)*

Monday 11:00

12:00
Stitch and Pitch Join this new creativity and ideas session with your stitching project, or come to learn a new skill. This session’s discussion topic: SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.
14:00

15:00
QCGBF Virtual Seminar Series – The Macroeconomic Cost of Climate Volatility (by QCGBF) The Qatar Centre for Global Banking & Finance welcomes Haroon Mumtaz from Queen Mary University of London and Piergiorgio Alessandri from the Bank of Italy to discuss the impact of climate volatility on economic growth.
Tuesday 12:00

13:00
Sustainability meetup (Bush House Activity Room F, 8th floor SE wing) Meet students and societies involved in sustainability and find out how the King’s Sustainability Team can support you with promotions, support for events, and funding. Email Tasnia if you have any questions.
14:00

16:00
Achieving Education for Sustainable Development – A Panel Event Have you ever wondered what Education for Sustainable Development is and how we can incorporate it? This panel will explore how we can achieve an educational practice that encourages change in knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, to enable a more sustainable and just society for all.
18:00

19:00
How to break into sustainability – a guide for an impactful career This event will provide students with insight into sustainable careers through 3 guest speakers with different backgrounds in sustainability.
Wednesday 14:00

16:00
Fair Energy Forum In this workshop, you will learn about the issues within the energy sector and the causes and consequences of the current energy emergency. You will brainstorm solutions, redesign policies and contribute to challenging injustice through community organising.
Thursday 12:00

13:00
LGBTQ+ Allyship Leadership Class (LGBTQ+ History Month) To mark LGBTQ+ History Month, KCLSU is offering a Leadership Class helping you understand and learn how to practice allyship with the LGBTQ+ community.
12:30

17:30
London Student Sustainability Conference Join this inter-university, student-led conference to broaden your knowledge of the challenges and solutions to today’s most critical issues; network with students, academics and professionals from universities across London; and gain inspiration for your own research or dissertation projects.
15:00

16:30
Digital Sustainability – How any start-up with an online presence can deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals Emissions from digital industries match those of aviation and are growing. This event will explore how start-up founders with digital products and services can, and must, act on sustainability.
Friday 11:00

12:00
LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in STEM (and beyond) (LGBTQ+ History Month) This session will discuss findings from recent surveys of LGBTQ+ individuals working in STEM, and ways in which everyone can help make our university a diverse and welcoming place.
13:00

14:00
Lunch & Learn – Service at King’s & Sustainability Come along to this interactive session to discover how you can take action by volunteering for the SDGs and find out about the new and exciting volunteering service.

*Please note there might be changes due to the strikes. You can find the most recent updates here.

More things to check out throughout the month:

  • Visit our Shots for Hope exhibition in The Exchange, Bush House between 2 February and 3 March. The exhibition features photos submitted by King’s students and staff that inspired hope.
  • This month coincides with LGBTQ+ History Month – make sure to get involved in that too.
  • Join the King’s Move challenge: get active by switching up your typical commute for something more active this February.

All registration is done via Eventbrite. Don’t forget to follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for updates and discussion!

Sustainability Month: Week 3

Sustainability Month is already in its third week!

Sustainability Month is a collaboration between King’s and KCLSU that offers all those involved an opportunity to learn more about sustainability topics, collaborate and connect with others from across King’s and #TakeAction on the climate crisis.

Check out the events taking place this week (14th to 18th of February)*

Monday 15:30

17:00
The World We Want to Create – A Vision for the Future

 

What positive world could we create if more people addressed the climate emergency? This new, fortnightly interactive event series focuses on the possibilities of a better world to motivate climate action. 
Tuesday 18:30

19:30
Diet and Sustainability – how to eat to fight climate change (CANCELLED) This event will discuss the close link between diet and sustainability, focusing on the benefits of a plant-based diet and its implications for sustainable food systems and the environment. 
Wednesday 13:00

14:00
Proudly King’s History Month Quiz! Lunchtime social (LGBTQ+)  This LGBTQ+ lunchtime quiz covers trailblazers, pop culture and more. Fun AND educational? Sign up. 
18:00

21:00
Seminars on environmental education debate strategies to teach for a sustainable future (Brazil Week)

 

Specialists from the UK and Brazil will lead roundtables to discuss environmental education and practical approaches to implementing it (day 1). 
18:00

20:00
Climate, environment and security in the Amazon rainforest (Brazil Week)

 

This panel aims to present multidimensional perspectives to sustainability policies, international cooperation, national security, and sovereignty in the Amazon region. 
Thursday 18:00

21:00
Seminars on environmental education debate strategies to teach for a sustainable future (Brazil Week)  Specialists from the UK and Brazil will lead roundtables to discuss environmental education and practical approaches to implementing it (day 2).

 

18:30

19:30
The Climate Crisis and Refugees

 

This event will educate King’s students and staff on migrant rights, and examine the links between climate change and migration. 
Friday 17:00

18:30
Amazon deforestation in the context of international relations of Brazil (Brazil Week)  Join forest engineer Virgilio Viana for this lecture on the deforestation of the Amazon and its effects on international relations in Brazil.

 

18:00

19:30
Careers in Sustainability Q&A Panel (w/ KCL Geography Society)

 

This event will explore environmental, economic and social careers in sustainability, and discuss networking opportunities that exist for students. 

*Please note there have been some changes due to the strikes. You can find the most recent updates here.

More things to check out throughout the month:

  • Visit our Shots for Hope exhibition in The Exchange, Bush House between 2 February and 3 March. The exhibition features photos submitted by King’s students and staff that inspired hope.
  • This month coincides with LGBTQ+ History Month – make sure to get involved in that too.
  • Join the King’s Move challenge: get active by switching up your typical commute for something more active this February.

All registration is done via Eventbrite. Don’t forget to follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for updates and discussion!