Category: UN Sustainable Development Goals (Page 1 of 10)

Welcome to King’s Sustainability: events

Are you interested in all things sustainable and making a positive impact whilst at King’s? This Welcome Fortnight, the Sustainability team have prepared an exciting range of events for you to learn more about climate and sustainability. Check them out below. You can also find us at various hubs and fairs – come have a chat!

Introduction to Sustainability

12/09/2022, 14:00-14:45 Online Are you passionate about sustainability and want to make a difference? Join the King’s Sustainability Team to learn more about what King’s is doing around sustainability, and how you can get involved.
Climate Action at King’s 13/09/2022, 15:00-16:00 Online What action is King’s taking on the climate crisis? How can you take individual and collective climate action while at King’s?

Join this session to find out more about King’s recently approved Climate & Sustainability Action Plan and opportunities to get involved in climate action at King’s.

Volunteering for Sustainability 14/09/2022, 14:00-15:00 Online

Passionate about sustainability and climate change? Want to do more to help local communities?

Join King’s Volunteering and King’s Sustainability to find out how you can take action for sustainability and volunteer to help meet the UN Sustainability Development Goals.

Projects include: Climate Action Network, Sustainability Champions programme, KEATS Sustainability & Climate module and education for sustainability mapping project.

You will also learn more about the King’s Volunteering platform, discover sustainability-related opportunities with our partner charities and organisations and find out how to log hours/get recognition for the volunteering work you do.

Explore sustainability at King’s and discover volunteering opportunities that are directly tied to the SDGs to kickstart your sustainability journey!

This event is for all students at King’s.

Take action on sustainability at home 15/09/2022, 15:00-16:00 Online Do you care about sustainability but not sure where to start? Join this session to hear some useful tips from the King’s Sustainability Team on how to be more sustainable (and possibly even save some money!) in the home environment.
Sustainability & Volunteering Creative Hackathon 20/09/2022, 14:00-16:00 Strand MB4.2 Join us in exploring ways to change the world during your time at King’s! We’ll be tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals through Sustainability and Volunteering projects at King’s and in our local communities.

Let’s get creative – in this hackathon, we’ll provide a range of creative prompts and art supplies to help you create solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. You’ll get to know other students, think about social and environmental impact, and work together to imagine the answers and shape the future direction of the Sustainability, Volunteering and Culture teams.

We’ll provide snacks, refreshments & art supplies!
This event is for all students at King’s.

Tour a sustainable lab at King’s 21/09/2022, 13:30-15:30 Guy’s campus – Guys Memorial Garden Join this session to learn more about sustainable labs at King’s!

Labs are extremely energy and resource intensive, so you’ll hear about what labs at King’s are doing on their sustainability journey. You’ll explore why lab sustainability is important, while also experiencing a guided tour of two labs to see what they’re doing.

There will be lots of space for questions with lab sustainability champions, and you’ll hear more about what you can do to get involved!

Sustainability games night 22/09/2022, 16:00-18:00 Strand MB2.2 Are you interested in learning more about sustainability? Or want to prove your sustainable knowledge? Join our quiz night that’ll be full of games, quizzes and competition! It’ll be a great session to meet like-minded students and the King’s Sustainability Team while learning more about sustainability in a fun way.
Vegan and sustainable food at King’s 23/09/2022, 15:00-17:00 Somerset Room, Strand Join this event with King’s Food and King’s Sustainability teams to find out more about vegan and sustainable food initiatives – and leave with a bag full of yummy vegan snacks!

Have a look at how you can get involved with King’s Sustainability. Make a difference during your time at King’s!

How to register

  1. You’ll need to download the Life at King’s app from the App store (you can download onto iOS and Android.)
  2. ​​​​​​You’ll need to download the Welcome to King’s Guide for all information for new students. To access this guide, you’ll need to enter our passphrase reggielion22 (no spaces)
    • The Welcome to King’s Guide will be the first stage of welcoming you into university, offering a range of information from ID card collection to new opportunities at King’s.
  3. ​​​​​When you’ve downloaded the Life at King’s app, you will need to create an account; we advise that you use your King’s email address to create an account. ​​​​​​
  4. Once you’ve set up your account, allow ‘push notifications’ on your device, so you can receive important messages.
  5. Go to Welcome Events & Workshops and scroll down to “Sustainability”
  6. Check out our events across the two weeks and register by clicking “+”

Get ready for another year of sustainability action at King’s 

Group picture at the London Student Sustainability Conference with participants holding up SDG signsAre you interested in all things sustainable and making a positive impact whilst at King’s? The Sustainability team have a range of volunteering opportunities, events, and other ways to learn more about climate and sustainability.

Enrol on the KEATS Sustainability & Climate module, volunteer in the Climate Action Network or Sustainability Champions programme, join a committee to make your residence more sustainable, or attend one of the many events throughout the year. Find out more and pick your project below! 

KEATS Sustainability Module, Seminar Series, and Take Action Team
The online module on Sustainability & Climate is an open-access and interdisciplinary module covering the biggest topics in sustainability from climate change and food to sustainable finance and social justice. It has been fully co-created by a Take Action Team which currently includes about 50 students, staff, and alumni members. It has been complemented by a Sustainability Seminar Series and other events to build a sense of community and support participants in developing transferable skills. The module and seminar series are relaunching in October 2022. Register here. 

King’s Climate Action Network
The King’s Climate Action Network (CAN) is an open, interdisciplinary forum bringing together people from the King’s community who are passionate about climate action. It was created in October 2020 to co-create the university’s approach to climate action and now has more than 300 members. It focuses on solutions to reduce our carbon emissions while maximising our positive impact on climate action, through 7 themes: Zero Carbon Estate, Procurement and Waste, Travel, Responsible Investment, Students & Education, Community & Engagement, and Zero Carbon Research. Join the King’s CAN 

One of the current CAN projects is the climate listening campaign in our local communities which aims to hear first-hand about the climate and sustainability challenges they face and to identify how King’s students and staff can work with them. Get involved. 

Sustainability Champions
The university’s Sustainability Champions are staff who work on campus and in our residences to make King’s a more sustainable working environment; reducing the negative and maximising the positive social and environmental impacts. Throughout the year, Sustainability Champions work on implementing projects and actions and working toward gaining a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Find out more. 

Sustainability Month
King’s Sustainability Month takes place every year in February. This 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. The month includes exciting events organised by people from across the King’s community focused on one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Check out Sustainability Month 2022 

King’s Community Garden
Did you know King’s has a Community Garden on campus? Email kingscommunitygarden@kcl.ac.uk if you would like to contribute to this garden or get more information. Check out how to find King’s Wolfson Card Courtyard Community Garden here.

Podcast
The King’s Spotlight on Sustainability podcast aims to draw attention to sustainability at King’s and beyond. The goal is to get you thinking about some of the issues and challenges we face regarding climate change and the natural world by highlighting some of the excellent work surrounding sustainability happening at King’sand on a local, national and global level. Start listening here. 

Sustainable Residences
Students living in King’s Residences can participate in the Sustainable Living Community buddy scheme and join the Sustainable Living Communities Facebook group. 

 

If you want to set up your own sustainability project with friends, a society, or individually, you can also get in touch with the team for support. Any ideas, feedback, things to promote, are always welcome: sustainability@kcl.ac.uk. 

All of those who make a significant contribution to sustainability at King’s will be recognised through the Sustainability Awards and/or the King’s Experience Champion for Change Awards.

Expand your positive impact to local communities by signing up to volunteer with King’s Volunteering.  

Make a difference during your time at King’s! Group photo of Sustainability Award attendees and Senior Leaders.

Sustainable education at King’s Academy Festival

This blog post was written by Tasnia Yasmin, King’s Sustainability Projects Assistant.


Image of the Sustainable Development Goal Curriculum Mapping posterThe King’s Academy Learning & Teaching Festival is an annual event which celebrates education and learning across King’s. I presented the education for sustainable development (ESD) work that the Sustainability team have been working on over this last year. This included our KEATS Sustainability & Climate module as well as our Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Curriculum mapping. These were both 2 workshops which linked to the key themes of the festival which were sustainable education as well as co-creation with students.  

Both workshops were taken very well. Many were impressed with our student co-creation model for the KEATS Sustainability & Climate module and how well we have done since its inception earlier this year (122 completed the module!). From the seminars organised alongside the module to the quizzes and interactive elements of the module; it showed everyone how broad and intersectional sustainability truly is.  

Staff feedback from the SDG Mapping session also showed that ESD is something that they are wanting to actively incorporate into teaching and learning within modules and the faculty. As a team we are actively looking for opportunities to help staff and students embed sustainability into their module; it’s not something that sits separately but needs to be weaved into everything. Everything can be tied to sustainability whether it is social justice, the climate crisis or looking at circular economies.  

This was followed by an in-person day with poster presentations and further workshops. I presented the key findings of the SDG Mapping which included how colleagues could look at working in ESD to their own teaching as well as wider commitments from the college. It was great seeing everyone and  being able to network with colleagues who wanted to work together to further sustainability and inclusivity.  

All this work furthers on from a previous ESD report that we did in 2014 and we have seen and made progress since then. Many students themselves have led societies with specific sustainable education areas and colleagues have been including sustainability within their curricula from English to Dentistry. We are hoping we can connect and work with more students and staff to help them embed and develop sustainability within learning.  

Listen to the second series of the King’s Spotlight on Sustainability podcast

The full second series of the King’s Spotlight on Sustainability podcast is now live! This podcast aims to draw attention to sustainability at King’s and beyond. The goal is to get you thinking about some of the issues and challenges we face regarding climate change and the natural world by highlighting some of the excellent work surrounding sustainability happening at King’s and on a local, national and global level.  

Series 2 focuses on building sustainable communities, with the following episodes:

  • Episode 1: How can universities be more inclusive to migrants? With Ria Patel
  • Episode 2: Why does Equality, Diversity and Inclusion matter? With Sarah Guerra
  • Episode 3: What is the Climate Action Network? With Maria Rabanser
  • Episode 4. What is decolonisation and why is it important? With Dr Ricardo Twumasi
  • Episode 5. How can you take action to build and empower sustainable communities? With Abigail Oyedele 

Listen now.  

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.”

Mental health and sustainability – what’s the link?

This blog post has been adapted from a post written last year by Helena Fazeli for Mental Health Awareness Week. Trigger warning – this blog discusses mental health and suicide.


Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May 2022) is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems. The theme this year is loneliness and the week aims to raise awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to address it.

How do mental health and sustainability intersect?

#1 SDG 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all

One of Sustainable Development Goal Three’s (SDG 3) targets is to “reduce by one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being”. Awareness of the importance of addressing mental health has increased in recent years, and rightly so: depression represents one of the leading causes of disability, suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst 15-29-year-olds, and people with severe mental health conditions are at risk of premature death due to preventable physical conditions (WHO, 2021). Additionally, individuals with mental health conditions may face stigma, discrimination and human rights violations. 

While SDG 3 focuses explicitly on mental health, achieving this target requires progress across all 17 SDGs. Mental health and wellbeing are intricately linked to challenges such as poverty, inequality, work, education, gender, infrastructure, air pollution, access to quality green spaces, peace etc. Not only do these factors increase the risk of poor mental health, but they also impact the accessibility and quality of mental health services. 

One example is emergency contexts, including natural disasters, conflict and forced migrationduring which many individuals will face temporary distress. In the longer term, the prevalence of common mental disorders generally doubles in a humanitarian crisis due to increased poverty, lack of security, separation from family, community and home, and trauma. Overall, it has been estimated that 1 in 5 people living in an area affected by conflict will have a common mental health condition. Finally, it is important to note that climate change is expected to exacerbate many of these issues, thus causing greater and wider distress, which leads us to our next topic… 

#2 Climate change and mental health

When you think about climate change, mental health might not be the first thing that comes to mind. We often discuss climate change on a global scale, in terms of physical processes and tangible, measurable impacts. However, it both directly and indirectly impacts individuals’ and communities’ mental health and psychological well-being. 

Indeed, climate change and its associated impacts (rising sea levels, changing temperatures, extreme weather patterns, wildfires, droughts, food and water insecurity, etc.) put at risk a range of phenomena that people and communities value and rely on in their daily lives, both material and non-material, from homes, landscapes and ecosystems to cultural traditions, livelihoods, identities and social cohesion… From forced displacement to gradual changes in an environment, feelings of loss – loss of place, loss of identity, decreased sense of self – can arise. And, as mentioned above, these impacts are more acutely felt in communities and populations where climate change intersects with pre-existing health conditions, socioeconomic inequities and unequal power dynamics. 

#3 The rise of eco-anxiety 

As with many crises, the climate crisis is causing (justifiably) strong emotional responses, in people and communities around the world. Amongst inspiration and hope for change, feelings of anger, hopelessness, guilt and fear are common and natural. 

Eco-anxiety refers to the stress caused by “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold” or the “feelings of helplessness, anger, […] panic and guilt toward the climate and ecological crisis”Force of Nature has been studying the occurrence of eco-anxiety amongst youth globally. They found that amongst 500 respondents, over 70% had experienced feelings of hopelessness in the face of climate change. 

In recognition of the interconnectedness between the health of our minds, bodies and planet, last year’s Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme was indeed nature. This demonstrates how sustainability refers not only to environmental sustainability but also to social sustainability.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the immensity of the climate crisis, be kind to yourself, and connect with your loved ones and your community. However, if symptoms of anxiety are interfering with your ability to function well and feel good, we encourage you to seek professional help. Here are some ways you can find support at King’s: KCLSU’s wellbeing eventsPositive PeersCounselling and Mental Health supportBlack Students TalkOut-of-hours counselling. You can also find resources here and here

Get involved this Mental Health Awareness Week

Join the Mental Health & Climate Change seminar (13 May)

What are the links between mental health and climate change? What is eco-anxiety? And how can we go about overcoming this?

To mark the UK mental health awareness week, King’s Sustainability will be joined by neuroscientist Dr Kris De Meyer for a lean-forward seminar on mental health & climate change. According to Kris, the best way to combat eco-anxiety is opening up pathways to action, to give the sense that we are not powerless and that we can indeed do something that is meaningful and can make a difference.

Kris will briefly explain the brain basis of eco-anxiety before diving into interesting break-out room activities exploring how to cope with it. Join this interactive seminar led by an expert on eco-anxiety to build your own eco-anxiety “toolkit” by identifying what your personal pathway to action might be in a safe, positive environment.

Kris is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s Department of Neuroimaging and the Director of the UCL Climate Action Unit.

This seminar is part of a series that runs monthly between October ‘21 and June ’22 covering some of the biggest topics in sustainability. If you would like to stay in the loop about upcoming seminars, please sign up here. These seminars are linked to the KEATS Sustainability module which we are piloting this year. You can enrol on the module here.

KCLSU’s Take Time Out (3-20 May)

Take Time Out is taking place until the 20th of May and aims to encourage you to schedule in some time, away from your studies, to boost your wellbeing, take a break and connect with the King’s community. See all events here.

More opportunities at King’s

This coming week, King’s wants to focus on what we can do individually and as a community to foster connections and support each other. Access King’s gyms and BeActive programme for free and join the events on journaling, connecting with charities, a virtual coffee morning, or one of the mindfulness sessions. Find out more here.


Some further reading on the topic

Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems: How everyone can flourish equally

Mental Health and our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance 

The case for systems thinking about climate change and mental health 

Caring for the environment helps to care for your mental health 

Mental health and the environment 

Mental health and wellbeing in the Sustainable Development Goals 

The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development 

This Must Be the Place: Underrepresentation of Identity and Meaning in Climate Change DecisionMaking

Place identity and climate change adaptation: a synthesis and framework for understanding

“From this place and of this place:” Climate change, sense of place, and health in Nunatsiavut, Canada

Examining relationships between climate change and mental health in the Circumpolar North 

King’s among top 5 UK universities for environmental and social impact

King’s has placed 5th in the UK and 24th in the world in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, the only global league table that measures universities’ contributions to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). King’s also retained the top position in this ranking among London universities for the fourth consecutive year.

“At King’s, we believe ‘Our Deeds Define Us’ and we are delighted to see this recognised by a position amongst the top 25 universities in the world in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. This achievement would not be possible without the dedication of the King’s community who fulfil this commitment in a number of inspirational ways.”

– Professor Evelyn Welch, Senior Vice President (Service, People & Planning)

Our highest SDG in the 2022 Impact Rankings is for ‘Life on land’ (SDG 15), for which we ranked joint eighth in the world, an increase of 31 positions from last year. This places King’s among the top 10 universities in the world for research and education that serves to protect and preserve land ecosystems. Our two other top contributing SDGs were ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’ (SDG 11), and ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ (SDG 12).

King’s improved our score on 13 out of the 17 SDGs, ranking among the top 50 universities in the world for 13 SDGs, which demonstrates the breadth of the university’s environmental and social impact. King’s also jumped over 65 places for ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’ (SDG 7), and more than 40 places for ‘Gender Equality’ (SDG 5) and ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ (SDG 6).

Find out more here.

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. 

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.

The Careers & Employability Festival starts next week!

How does sustainability tie into a career in healthcare or arts & entertainment? What jobs lie in the environmental sector?

Join this Careers & Employability Festival to hear from professionals who studied subjects from clinical medicine to museum studies to geography and are now part of the Greener NHS Programme, own sustainable fashion businesses, work in climate finance, renewable energy, and more. They will be discussing how they incorporated sustainability into their careers.

Sound intriguing? Find more information and sign up here.

12 April: Be a sustainability changemaker in any and every career.
14 April: Assessing your future organisation’s commitment to sustainability.
26 April: Build your employability for a sustainability career.

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