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Sustainability Team

LSE Estates Division
Houghton Street

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Sustainability Team
LSE Estates Division
1 Kingsway

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Page Contents >

Celebration of Sustainability 2015- 21 May

The annual Celebration event will take place on the 21 May this year, it is set to be another brilliant event. More details to follow soon.

Green Impact Auditor Training- 11 March

38 staff and students trained as Green Impact Auditors. All of whom received IEMA approved training and went on to audit the 42 teams who participated in Green Impact this year. Find out more about being a Green Impact Auditors, The Sustainability Team will be recruiting auditors again in January 2016.

LSE Green Week: 9 February- 13 February

A successful Green Week was held on 9-14th February to raise awareness of sustainability issues on campus and around the globe.

Highlights included a public lecture by Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, a sustainable fashion show, free cycle training, a food waste event run by LSE Catering, a Dr Bike maintenance session to mend those creaks and squeaks, and debates and film screenings. A whole three hours' worth of waste was displayed on Houghton Street to highlight topics around recycling and quantity of rubbish we produce. Staff and students were also invited to sign a new LSE beehive, with Craig Calhoun signing the hive and making his own green pledge.

Green Week was held by the Sustainability Team, LSESU, and a whole host of student societies, and was attended by over 500 people. Find out more about what went on by reading theSustainability blog. 

LSE achieves ISO 14001 re-certification - 28 July 2014 

 LSE’s environmental initiatives have retained ‘ISO  14001’ status for the third year running.  This is an international standard that recognises the School has systems in place that deliver continual environmental sustainability improvements.  

The external auditor, Dr Margaret Rooney, praised the School’s clear environmental governance and reporting structures, sustainability training and engagement programmes and the multi-award winning Saw Swee Hock Student Centre.

Julian Robinson, LSE Director of Estates, said:  “We’re delighted to retain ISO 14001 status.  This really shows that the School’s environmental projects and systems are rooted in consistent best practice, and continue to move from strength to strength.”

Celebration of Sustainability Event - 22 May 2014

Hundreds of recycled batteries, thousands of Fairtrade teabags and one or two electric heater amnesties later, Green Impact 2014 has come to an end. We celebrated in style at our annual awards ceremony.  Students and staff from across the School were awarded for their involvement in Green Impact and their many other achievements in improving the sustainability of the School. The event which was attended by over 60 people, was hosted by Susan Scholefield, the School’s secretary, there were also speeches given by NUS Project Officer Michelle Farrell, along with Dave Scott, the Head of the Maths department (currently on Sabbatical) who gave a fascinating talk on his sustainable beer brewing project. The awards were followed by a sustainable buffet and Green themed quiz.

LSE Green Week: 28 April - 2 May 2014

A week of  events was held on campus to promote sustainability, with each day dedicated to a different environmental theme.  There was a host of activities, including rides in a solar-powered Sinclair C5, a display of a whole morning’s waste on Houghton Street, a bike maintenance workshop, and an opportunity to taste some delicious LSE honey.  Despite the temperamental weather,  a great number students and staff and got involved and found out more about the school’s sustainability initiatives.

Climate Injustice: LSE public lecture - 13 March 2014

Are global power imbalances causing climate change to impact most harshly on marginalised groups who have done least to cause it?   

Professor Lord Nicolas Stern (LSE Grantham Institute), Mary Robinson (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and president of the Climate Justice Foundation), and a panel of discussants representing the 'innocent' (including the former UN ambassador of Grenada), discussed this complex issue in a fascinating and unique LSE public lecture.    

Fairtrade cotton panel discussion - 28 February 2014

The Estates Division was invited to speak about LSE's journey towards buying Fairtrade uniforms for staff members at a panel discussion on Fairtrade procurement in the public sector. Hosted by the Fairtrade Foundation on 28 February, the event highlighted case studies from LSE and other institutions and debated how to overcome legal, financial and organisational barriers to ethical procurement.

The School has also been nominated for an EU Fair Cotton Award (HE category), with the winners being announced at a ceremony in Bremen, Germany, on 26 March. Fingers crossed...

Sustainability runners-up in Guardian University Awards - 26 February 2014

LSE’s Sustainable Projects Fund came runner-up in the Sustainability Category of the prestigious Guardian University Awards.  Hosted by Victoria Coren-Mitchell, the awards ceremony was held in The Grand, London, and attended by Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Universities Minister.  It celebrated the achievements of universities from across the UK in areas as diverse as research, widening access and leadership. 

LSE were one of three universities shortlisted for the sustainability award, which was won by Loughborough University for their ‘Eat Your Campus’ food growing project. 

Click here for more info.

LSE wins sustainability engagement award - 18 February 2014

LSE has been recognised as the top university in the UK for promoting sustainability among its staff and students.

People & Planet, the student-led body which campaigns for universities to become more environmentally friendly, gave LSE the 'Student and Staff Engagement Award' for its 'excellent and innovative' work in a number of areas, including hosting high-profile public lectures with numerous world-renowned speakers on sustainability, including James Hansen, Kumi Naidoo and LSE's own Professor Lord Nicholas Stern.

Julian Robinson, Director of Estates, said: "We are delighted that LSE's work on sustainability engagement has been recognised. This award highlights not only the School's achievements but the commitment and enthusiasm of students and staff from across LSE. The continued involvement of the whole LSE community is essential to the School's on-going mission to become a more environmentally sustainable institution."

Sustainable Projects Fund winners announced - 13 February 2014

Six projects have been announced as winners of the Sustainable Projects Fund 2013-14. The winning bids include plans for sustainably-sourced magazine distribution stands to be used around campus, a bike share programme and a new green roof.

The Sustainable Projects Fund is a £20k prize-fund that supports students and staff led sustainability projects at LSE, and is managed by the student Sustainable Futures Society. This year it attracted a record 15 applications, which were judged by an independent panel of students, academics, Estates and Sustainability staff, and the PricewaterhouseCooper's Director of Sustainability and Climate Change. 

After considerable debate, six projects were awarded funds totalling £17,500, with an additional application requiring more details. These projects are for:

  • Sustainably-sourced magazine stands to be used around campus.
  • A bike share programme.
  • A study of LSE re-usable mugs.
  • A new green roof on the Old Building to complement existing biodiversity.
  • A drinking fountain that will be a major feature in the centre buildings redevelopment.
  • A survey of campus recycling behaviours.  

These projects will make a positive impact on campus, and will be delivered by the Sustainable Futures Society with support from the LSE Sustainability Team.

Saw Swee Hock Student Centre opening - 6 January 2014

Today saw the opening of LSE’s newest building:  the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre.  Purpose-built to house all LSE student services under one roof, it provides world-class facilities whilst being a beacon of design originality and sustainability.

The Saw Building was certified BREEAM Outstanding (Design Stage) in November 2011 – believed to be the first ‘Outstanding’ certificate awarded to a university developing a city centre site – and is currently on track to be awarded BREEAM Outstanding for construction in the near future. 

The building was designed to be as sustainable as possible in its construction and during its operational life, through:

Responsible sourcing of building materials, and with whole life costing considered over a 60-year timeframe.  

Low and zero carbon energy generation onsite

Natural ventilation, natural and low-energy lighting, and user-operated / automated building controls.

Reclaiming greywater and rainwater.

Click here to read more about the Saw’s sustainability features, and click here to see what the national press had to say about the building. 

Low-flush toilets - December 2013:

The revolutionary loo first installed in an Old Building gents toilets has multiplied! The Estates Division has now installed ten more Propelair® toilets in the women's toilets in the Peacock Theatre. Using a vacuum pump, these toilets flush with much less water, using just 1.5 litres as opposed to the conventional 9 litres.

Rt Hon. Stephen Timms MP, then chief secretary to the Treasury, has proclaimed the significance of this technology, saying "the Propelair® technology is an ingenious development. With levels of water demand a growing concern in the UK - not least in the Thames Gateway - as well as in many drier parts of the world, it could play a very important future role as an effective, economical solution."

Sustainability collaboration with Management Department – 14 November 2013

The Estates Sustainability Team worked with the Information Systems and Innovation Group in the Department of Management to integrate the theme of sustainability into an undergraduate elective course on Business Transformation and Project Management.

Dr Susan Scott and Dr Ela Klecun filmed practitioners from a range of public and private domains sharing insights into their experiences of different aspects of project management and the management of change. The films, produced by the Centre for Learning Technologies, were then posted on Moodle, LSE’s web-based learning environment, and served as the basis for interactive lectures with students.

Jon Emmett, LSE’s Sustainability Projects Officer, also contributed to a lecture on the course about integrating sustainability into projects and institutions. Using the roll-out of the LSE recycling bins as a case-study project, but also delving into an array of sustainability-related themes, the students were encouraged to consider how thinking holistically and working collaboratively can improve project outcomes, as well as environmental and social sustainability.

Jon Emmett's reflections on the collaboration can be read in the Sustainability at LSE blog here

Sustainability in Practice lecture:  Pooran Desai, OBE  -  12 November, 2013

Pooran Desai OBE, co-founder of the international BioRegional organisation, gave a Sustainability in Practice public lecture on 'Mainstreaming Sustainability: the last 20 years and the next 20 years'.  The talk was chaired by Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE Cities.

Having set up innovative projects such as Britain's first zero-energy housing developments in South London (BedZED) and another near Brighton, Pooran shared some useful insights into how the concept of sustainability has shaped society as well as where it might do so in future. He challenged us to think critically about standards which seemingly direct development towards sustainability, such as building standards.

Interestingly, Desai pointed out that often these standards are not considerably better than the status quo, indicating that they still permit over-consumption of resources. Instead, he argued that it is more useful to use the framework of 'One Planet Living', whereby resource use is considered in light of living within the means of the resources present on Earth. You can read more about the principles of One Planet Living here.

LSE elected onto committee for sustainability in UK education -   11 November 2013

Jon Emmett from the Sustainability Team has recently been elected onto the Member Advisory Council (MAC) of the national Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

The EAUC promotes sustainability in tertiary education by sharing expertise among its member institutions and representing the sector in national policy-making circles.

The MAC, formed of 11 representatives from UK universities and businesses, advises the EAUC board on policy matters and represents EAUC member interests. This gives LSE a stronger voice in environmental policy debates in the sector and at national level.

Honey tasting festival - 30 October 2013

The LSE Honey Harvest Festival celebrated this year’s bumper crop of honey from the LSE bees.  The event was held in Passfield Hall, where the bees had produced 69 jars of honey.  A honey-tasting session was enjoyed by all, as well as a fiendish bee-related quiz, and an entertaining talk from our resident bee expert Luke Dixon. 

Relove Fair:   3-4 October 2013

The annual Relove reuse event took place during Orientation Week. Held simultaneously on the LSE campus and at Bankside Hall, items donated by students moving out of Halls at the end of last year were purchased by new students.

Reuse saves valuable items from ending up in landfill, as well as providing a cheap source of items for new students joining LSE. Refrigerators proved a very popular item at Bankside Hall, along with the usual high demand for coat hangers! Thank you to all those who volunteered on the Relove stalls this year - we could not have done it without you.

The Relove scheme raised £1,500 for the Sustainable Projects Fund which provides funding for sustainability projects at the School

Sustainability welcome for new students - 30 September 2013

New students were introduced to sustainability at LSE, in an event hosted by the Sustainability Team and the School’s plethora of environmental societies.  It was a chance to find out what projects students and the School are working on, and how to involved. 

LSE achieves ISO 14001 re-certification – 4 July 2013

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard that demonstrates the School has robust systems in place to manage and continually improve its environmental impacts.  First certified in July 2012, the School underwent a robust external audit to verify its continuing ISO 14001 status this year.   Auditor Margaret Rooney from NQA commented in her report that it was “A very positive result”.

LSE achieves 5th 'First' in Green League  -  11 June 2013

LSE has been awarded a First in this year’s People & Planet Green League, which ranks all UK universities on their environmental and ethical performance.

This is the fifth year running that LSE has been awarded a First. The School came 22nd in this year’s league – a rise of 20 places from its 2012 ranking of 42nd. 

LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun said: “This is terrific news. It is always pleasing to rank well in league tables and our rise to 22nd most environmentally and ethically friendly university in the UK is a great accomplishment. As always, however, there is still much to do and we will not rest on our laurels. LSE still faces challenges in continuing to reduce its carbon use, but as our improved ranking shows, if the school community continues to work together we can achieve positive results.”

The Green League, which is published annually in the Guardian, is the UK’s only comprehensive and independent green ranking of universities. This year’s table ranks 143 higher education institutions across the UK. LSE is one of 43 to achieve a First this year.

For the full Green League, click here.

LSE Sustainability Blog launch – 5 June 2013

Introducing the LSE Sustainability Blog, which has become the latest of the family of LSE blogs.  Its mission is to ‘Situate LSE Sustainability within a global discourse’.  It will publish sustainability-related research, experiences and thoughts of LSE students and staff (from both academia and professional services).  It will also discuss campus-based projects that enhance the sustainability of the School itself, but with a focus on reflecting on these in a wider context. 

The first article is ‘What sustainability means to you’ by Meredith Whitten, a PhD candidate researching urban green space in the LSE Geography and Environment Department.

LSE Celebration of Sustainability - 10 May 2013: 

LSE recognised students and staff from across the School for their achievements in improving the sustainability of the School, in an annual awards ceremony.  Prizes were given for participation in Green Impact, Student Switch-Off, and other projects.  The event was hosted by Bob Ward, LSE Grantham Institute’s Director of Policy and Communications, and Susan Scholefield, the School Secretary.  The audience were treated to a delicious and specially sustainable spread of food and drink served by LSE Catering, whilst being entertained by the harmonious tones of the LSESU String Quartet.

Sustainable Futures win STARS award - 3 May 2013

The LSE Sustainable Futures student society won Silver at LSESU’s STARS Awards, for their outstanding achievements in managing the Sustainable Projects Fund, and promoting sustainability on campus. 

New queen bee - 25 April 2013

A new queen bee has moved into the beehive on the roof of Connaught House.  Selected specially from a variety of calm bees, she will reign over the newly installed second hive, into which half of the burgeoning population of the existing hive will be moved, to prevent overcrowding and swarming.    

World Water Day - 22 March 2013

LSE celebrated World Water Day by holding an awareness-raising stall on Houghton Street.  Students and passersby contributed their ideas to address water issues, from taking shorter  showers to alleviate local water stress, to global questions around access to clean, safe water and sanitation.  

Mayor’s Green Procurement Code:  Silver Award - 19 March 2013

LSE is a signatory to the Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code, which helps organisations in the Capital to buy goods and services in a more environmentally sustainable way.  The School was externally audited by the scheme, and achieved a Silver Award. 

Climate Week public lecture - 6 March 2013 

A panel of experts debated the role of the university in addressing climate change.  Bob Ward, LSE Grantham Institute’s Director of Policy and Communication, spoke of the importance for experts to communicate a clear message on the risks of climate change;  Dr Alice Bell (Sussex University) argued for stronger public engagement on the issue, and Dr Sam Randalls (UCL) stressed the significance of teaching the next generation of citizens.  The event was chaired by Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE Cities.

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league - February 2013 

LSE came top among Russell Group universities in the publication of the 2013 CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league table, which ranked the UK’s highest emitting organisations.

Sustainable Projects Fund awarded - 14 February 2013

The winners of the 2013 LSE Sustainable Projects Fund have been announced.  £14,000 was awarded to kick-start seven student and staff-led projects that will improve environmental sustainability within the LSE community. 

The winning entries were: 

A pilot for Maths modules to include environmentally themed worked problems (£3,000).

Bike service points in the NAB and the Towers  (£1,200).

A study of LSE recycling behaviours  (£390).

Enhancements to the gardens in Passfield Hall  (£6,000).

Student focus groups to identify options to improve sustainability communications networks (£500).

An online marketplace for LSE students and staff to exchange goods with each other  (£2,000).

Ethical costumes bought for Timeless, an LSE student theatre production  (£700).

11 applications were received from undergraduates, postgraduates and staff, tackling a wide range of issues, from waste, to biodiversity, to climate change.

The Sustainable Projects Fund is an LSE prize-fund for student and staff-led projects that enhance sustainability at LSE.  It is run by the LSESU Sustainable Futures Society.  The money comes from a 10p ‘tax’ on bottled water sold by LSE Catering.  Funds are awarded annually by an independent judging panel including students, senior academics and the Director of Estates.

One day’s waste on Houghton Street - 13 February 2013

A whole day’s waste from LSE was displayed on Houghton St, raising awareness among students and staff about our resource consumption, and the need for all of us to think carefully about what we chuck away. 

Sustainability in Practice public lecture:  John Elkington - 15 January 2013

John Elkington, sustainability pioneer and co-founder of Volans environmental consultants, gave a  Sustainability in Practice public lecture at LSE.  He spoke to a packed house about the need for the ‘Power of Zero’ to lead a global effort towards a sustainable ‘Breakthrough Capitalism’. 



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