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Chris Connelley
 
         
  Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi      
           
  News   News   60 secs  
 

• Green awards
LSE has picked up a range of awards this year for its environmental work, including a prestigious Green Gown Award for its new course LSE100, and a London Green 500 Platinum Award.

 

• Welcome to this first issue of Green News, a termly newsletter on the many environmental initiatives across the School. In this issue Director Howard Davies sets out the importance of cutting carbon emissions.

 

• Dr Victoria Hands 

Victoria, environmental and sustainability manager at LSE, wanted to be an interpreter when she grew up - but sees her LSE work in sustainability as requiring similar skills.

 
             
  news   notices   60 secs  
             
  29 June 2010  

 News

 
   
 
   

• Deadline approaching for LSE's registration to Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme

LSE is in the process of registering for the government's CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment). The scheme is a mandatory, energy saving and carbon emissions reduction scheme for the UK and the School is legally required to have registered by September.

A requirement of the CRC is that LSE must reduce its emissions in three categories: Scope 1 and 2 relate to direct emissions from LSE buildings, furnaces, electricity generation etc; and Scope 3 covers all other indirect emissions that are a consequence of the activities of the organisation such as travel.

From 2011, LSE will be required to monitor its emissions and purchase allowances to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of the EU Emission Trading Scheme. The more CO2 LSE emits, the more allowances it will need to purchase. The School is estimated to have emitted 15,606 tonnes over the past 12 months compared to a 2005-06 baseline of 14,853 tonnes.

Carbon credits are expected to cost £12/tonne until 2013 when free trading will begin. LSE’s financial commitment in the first trading year, now April 2011 to March 2012, is likely to be in the region of £142,560.

At the moment the School is in a strong position compared with many other participants as when it comes to reporting requirements most of the buildings have Automated Meter Reading. For more on the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme click here or see Howard Davies' Direct View below.
 

 

 

   
CO2 vs CO2e - what's the difference?

You'll see that we refer to both CO2 and CO2e in this newsletter.

CO2 refers to carbon dioxide while CO2e means carbon dioxide equivalents. It is standard practice to report the main greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane, using the functionally equivalent amount or concentration of Carbon Dioxide as the reference. For further information please click here

 
 
   

• LSE100 wins Green Gown Award 2010 

LSE100: understanding the causes of things, a compulsory course for all undergraduate students that was launched by the School in January 2010, has won a prestigious Green Gown Award.

The Green Gown Awards, which were presented at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sector across the UK. LSE100 The LSE Course: understanding the causes of things, was pronounced the winner in the Courses category. The School was commended by the judges for its ‘exciting and bold whole institution approach. Reflecting a clear commitment and willingness to lead, LSE has created for its students an invaluable trans-disciplinary space.’ More
 

 
   

• School maintains Platinum Award for Green 500 

LSE has maintained a Platinum Award from the Green 500, the annual Mayor of London Green Awards which bring London's leading 500 companies together to reduce carbon emissions.

The award was presented at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on 8 June by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The School was commended for having 'diligently worked towards managing and reducing carbon emissions associated with the School's own activities. From setting challenging BREEAM policy targets and installing advanced lighting technology to having its own onsite weather station, the School has demonstrated continuous improvement in mitigating its associated climate change impacts.'
 

 
   

• LSE awarded a First for its environmental work

The School has been awarded a First for its environmental performance for the second year running by the People & Planet Green League published in the Times Higher Education.

The School is ranked as the top university in Central London and comes joint first, with Kingston University, for greater London institutions. LSE is placed 15 nationally out of the 133 UK institutions ranked.

The People & Planet Green League 2010 is based on 11 environmental policy and performance-related criteria, including carbon emissions per head, waste recycling rates, new criteria measuring each institution's efforts to engage students and staff, and sustainable catering. For the first time ever, the Green League 2010 compared the scope and ambition of universities' carbon reduction plans against sector-wide climate targets introduced earlier this year by HEFCE. More
 

 
   

• Tweets from the roof gardens  

The twitter account - LSEGardens - has now attracted over 100 followers. It was set up by the Communications team to enable all those involved in LSE's food-growing roof gardens to share information and pictures. It means we can tweet the news that the Design Unit strawberries are almost ready to be picked and the Library potatoes almost ready to be dug up. Staff have also taken their children to the gardens and the pictures can be seen at LSEGardens.

The gardens are part of the Capital Growth campaign, which aims to help Londoners transform the capital by creating 2,012 new community food growing spaces by the end of 2012. The twitter account will also allow LSE to convey the more serious messages about LSE's commitment to carbon reduction. Did you know, for example, that the Mayor's Climate Change Action Plan features LSE and commits the capital to a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020? Sign up to LSEGardens here
 

 
   

• Travel Survey 2010 results

Earlier this year all staff and students were asked to fill in a Travel Survey with their details about their daily travel to and from LSE as well as any longer-distance School related travel for 2008-09.

The results showed that 95 per cent of staff and students commute to work either by public transport or through walking or cycling. This equates to a nominal 7 tonnes of CO2 emitted by staff and student commutes. 

Using the results, LSE has calculated that almost 10,000 tonnes of CO2 were emitted as a result of all School-related travel. The survey revealed that 5 per cent was from land based travel for business; 21 per cent from air travel for business; and 74 per cent of emissions came from student air travel to attend LSE.

The results will allow LSE to see if there are ways that the School can provide support for the different travel requirements of staff and students. As part of future funding requirements the data will contribute to updates of the LSE Carbon Management Plan which intends to reduce total emissions.
 

 
   

• LSE achieves EcoCampus Silver status 

LSE moved a step closer to achieving its aim of becoming an ISO140001 certified organisation this April, by achieving the EcoCampus Silver Award. 

ISO140001 is the international standard for environmental management systems. EcoCampus is the HEFCE funded, sector-specific, phased approach to ISO140001.

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a tool for managing the impacts of an organisation's activities on the environment. It provides the School with a structured approach for continuously planning, implementing, reviewing and improving on environment protection measures and working towards environmental sustainability. The EcoCampus Silver Award relates to the implementation of an EMS. LSE had to identify relevant environmental legislation and regulations; assess the significance of environmental aspects, and set objectives and targets for these.

The School is now working towards the Gold Award, which will involve communication of the EMS across the School, and for people whose role has an environmental impact to understand how their role relates to the EMS. It is hoped LSE will achieve Platinum status in the summer of 2011 after which a conversion to ISO140001 can take place. For more information, please contact: Victoria Hands, on 020 7955 6618 or email v.e.hands@lse.ac.uk

 
 
     

 Green challenge

 
   
 
 
In 2008-09 the LSE campus generated 817 tonnes of waste. That’s around 68kg, or 817 tonnes for each student and member of staff. Much of this was diverted from landfill either via recycling, reuse, composting or waste-to-energy.  The 4th Floor Restaurant currently composts about six tonnes of food waste per annum, saving one tonne of CO2e.
 

•  The 90 per cent recycling challenge

You may have noticed that communal areas are being are being upgraded with the provision of communal recycling stations that allow staff to segregate and recycle the majority of their waste and do away with the individual deskside bins whose content goes to landfill.

In the NAB this approach has resulted in recycling rates of up to 90 per cent, while across campus recycling rates are only at 37 per cent. It also minimises the disposal of thousands of plastic bin liners each year.

Although some staff are attached to their deskside bins, we're encouraging everyone to use the communal recycling stations. We aim to roll this system out across the School by the end of the year and increase recycling on the rest of campus to our 90 per cent targets. Are you up for the challenge?

 
 
     

 Notices

 
   
 
 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

• Give your old things a new lease of life

LSE's Re-love campaign collects reusable items from halls and campus at the end of term. If you have unwanted, unused or unloved items, please don't send them to landfill, give them the chance to be reloved by another.

Bring your clean and reusable items to LSE halls of residence or the Students' Union reception in the East Building. Items such as bedding, books and stationery, cleaning products, clothes and shoes, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans and other kitchen equipment, DVDs and CDs, electrical items, mobile phones, non-perishable sealed and canned food and small furniture can all find a new home.

Reuse on campus
On campus, LSE diverted over 21 tonnes of reusable furniture at the end of term last year. Some of this was reused internally via the Estates Stores and departments can take advantage of this furniture reuse service by contacting Ron Dale at r.dale@lse.ac.uk.

The LSE Students' Union shop now houses a new Relove section where you can acquire discounted reused items.

Reuse in halls
The reuse scheme is one way that LSE is working to reduce its environmental impact and extend service provision to students in halls. Students can divert unwanted items from landfill and donate for further reuse internally or with local charities.

For the end of term last year, LSE halls of residence diverted over 20 tonnes of reusable items. The best performance came from Butler's Wharf, which diverted 32kg per student, followed by Carr-Saunders and Bankside at just under 10kg per student. We hope that even more items can be diverted from landfill and kept in use this end of term.
 

 
   

• Reuse on film

LSE's reuse activities are featured in a short LSE film that will be posted on LSE's Video and Audio website shortly.

The 10 minute film demonstrates the business and sustainability case for reuse and seeks to inspire action and leadership on implementing or expanding reuse schemes and moving towards zero waste. The film, which is targeted at university and college senior management teams, identifies the simple steps for delivering successful reuse schemes in halls of residence.

Look out soon for further films on climate change, carbon reduction and zero waste in the Capital, including an interview with Professor Lord Nick Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, on the Video and Audio website.
 

 
   

• Library and IT Services staff are invited to Go Green!

Go Green! is the second annual environmental awareness event organised by members of the Library & IT Services Environmental Management Working Group. The event, which is open to all staff from the Library and IT Services, will showcase environmental initiatives carried out by the Library and IT Services, and provide tops tips on sustainable living.

There will be a swapshop board and a Recycling Challenge, and a Green Award will be presented to the member of Library or IT Services staff deemed to be doing the most to contribute to an environmentally sustainable LSE.

The event is open to all staff from the Library and IT Services who can turn up anytime between 12-2pm, Wednesday 30 June in the Library, R301.
 

 
   

• Green Audit of Northumberland House

Northumberland House will be audited in early August for the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Bronze Award as part of LSE's work towards its Environmental Policy as well as 'greening up' the halls prior to the 2012 Olympics.  

The GTBS is the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. There are over 150 criteria, which focus on 10 different areas, including energy, waste, water, purchasing, social involvement and communication.

 
     
    Make a difference
Turning your thermostat just three degrees lower would save one tonne of CO2 - and could also save 25 per cent on your bills!

Please don't forget to use the reusable internal envelopes when sending mail within LSE. These can be obtained from the Post Room and reused up to 40 times.

 
 
     

 Green calendar

 
   
 
   

• Still time to get involved in Green Impact 

Green Impact had a successful first year with 20 Green Impact Teams signing up from across the School. But there is still time to sign up your department or division this year as teams will be asked to complete the Green Impact Workbook and implement practical ideas over the Michaelmas Term. More



 

 
   

• Guerrilla gardening

Richard Reynolds, guerrilla gardener and a London Sustainable Development Commission 'London Leader', will give a talk about guerrilla gardening on Friday 2 July, from 1-2pm in the NAB, room 2.14.

Richard Reynolds has been cultivating neglected patches of land in his neighbourhood of the Elephant & Castle for six years. He said: 'Driven by a life-long love of gardening, a lack of a garden, and the fun of doing it in public I found easy opportunities in the abandoned flower beds, neglected traffic islands and tree pits near me. Since then I’ve gardened alongside hundreds of others and met a lot of inspiring people who are doing the same thing as me in corners of their community all around the world. It’s my hobby, my passion and I’m keen to get more people gardening like this.'

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required but please RSVP to f.conteh@lse.ac.uk. For more on guerrilla gardening, see www.guerrillagardening.org
 

 
   

• And there's more to come...

To stay up to date with forthcoming events from the Sustainability Team at LSE sign up to be a Staff Sustainability Champion or visit the Sustainable LSE website.

Forthcoming dates to keep in mind are:

 
 
     

 Residences round-up

 
   
 
   

•  LSE Eco-Power Rangers help switch off the lights

Over 200 students, 12 per cent of the residents of the ten participating halls of residence, signed up to become Eco-Power Rangers as part of the Student Switch Off Campaign for the last academic year. These advocates pledged to use energy carefully and encourage their friends to do the same.

The four month campaign resulted in an average of seven per cent reductions in electricity usage compared to the year before. The 263,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity saved equates to 126 tonnes of CO2.

High Holborn tops the LSE leader board, with an average reduction of 1.12 kWh per student per day. Northumberland comes second with reductions of 0.88 kWh, followed closely by Carr Sanders at 0.86 kWh.
 

 
   

• It's a bee-autiful life

Passfield Hall welcomes some new guests this year, but rather than being asked for a room deposit, these will pay their rent in honey. In June, Passfield Hall installed its first of two hives on the first floor flat roof of Taviton. The hall hopes to have a formal welcoming of the bees in early July. 

Passfield Hall is one of the first halls of residence in the UK to keep honeybees. It is hoped that these hives will not only give some bees a new home, but will help raise awareness about biodiversity and the plight of the bee amongst staff, students and vacation guests. And of course, allow LSE to produce its very own Passfield Hall Honey.

The flat roof housing the hives was chosen for its low-wind and sunny position where the bee flight path is sufficiently out of the way of residents and close enough to food sources. The hives are managed by professional beekeeper Dr Luke Dixon, who is an expert in rooftop and urban beekeeping and a member of the British Beekeeping Association. More
 

 
   

• Waste not want not

The School has been assessing how much waste is produced in its halls of residence as one of its aims is to support the reduction of waste. An audit of all halls of residence waste for 2008-09 found that the students of Northumberland, Bankside and Passfield halls produced the least waste over the academic year.

The audit revealed that Northumberland disposed of an average of 403kg of waste per student, Bankside an average of 416kg per student and Passfield an average of 550kg per student. The halls producing the most waste - and therefore the least environmentally friendly - was Anson and Carleton Road Flats, with an average of 2,074kg waste per student over the academic year. If you have ideas on how we can reduce these figures then do get in touch.  

 
 
     

 Direct view

 
   
 
   

• Howard Davies

In all the excitement of the election, few noticed that in April the first stage of the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme came into force. It placed a legal obligation on all institutions using more than a certain amount of metered electricity a year to buy carbon credits to cover their carbon emissions.

However, this is just the first step. What the Carbon Reduction Commitment ultimately means for all universities is that over the coming years they will be legally required to reduce emissions to contribute to meeting the UK Climate Change Act. These reductions were laid out for the sector by HEFCE in February of this year. Put simply, they mean that by 2010 LSE will be required to cuts its emissions by 48 per cent against a 2005 baseline. Universities that fail to achieve these cuts will be fined.

At LSE we take this work extremely seriously, and the aim of this newsletter is to let you know how we plan to achieve this and how you can help. I will begin with just two pointers.

Margaret Newson, purchasing manager at LSE, is working on how to make LSE's procurement more sustainable. Staff will be asked to consider whether they can reuse items and ensure that new purchases are made from sustainable providers. This will mean that we'll ask you to re-use desks and office furniture, and require you to use centrally-approved suppliers.

Students will have noticed that last year 850 shower heads were replaced with low-flow heads. This proved a little controversial for some but has resulted in a significant reduction in carbon emissions, and an annual saving of approximately £95,000 in gas and water expenditure.

It will be through thousands of small actions, such as more economical showers and more consideration to sustainable purchasing, that we will all make a difference. Future newsletters will also bring you news of the big changes the School will make.

I look forward to making progress on this together.

 
 
     

 60 Second Interview

 
   
     
     
     

with..... Dr Victoria Hands

I came to the Geography Department at LSE in 2002 when I won an ESRC CASE Award. This was for doctoral research collaborating with the London Borough of Southwark to find out how sustainable development enters planning policy in the UK. I started working part-time for LSE on sustainability in 2005 and went full time in 2007. Then in March of this year I was excited to be appointed a London Leader, working with the London Sustainable Development Commission to demonstrate what is possible 'on the ground' at LSE - and therefore other London-based higher education institutions - and to promote the spread of positive action to realise the vision of London as a benchmark sustainable city.

To date, what has been the most successful of the sustainability initiatives at LSE?
I would have to say the most successful of the sustainability initiatives at LSE is the Moving Towards Zero Waste activities and in particular the end of term reuse schemes. The model has developed at LSE and with HEFCE funding has expanded to most halls of residence in the UK - we tracked that eight universities diverted 85 tonnes of items from landfill in 2008, saving 650 tonnes CO2e.

Which countries do better than we do as green champions and is there anything we could learn from them?
Costa Rica came top in the Happy Planet Index 2009, calculated by the New Economics Foundation, whereas the UK was 74th. It measures how much of the Earth's resources a nation uses and how long and happy a life their citizens enjoy. The thing to learn from this is that we are ultimately dependent on the environment for our economics and with this year being International Year of Biodiversity perhaps we'll develop new ways of doing economics whilst respecting ourselves and our environment.

Where is your favourite place on the LSE campus?
My favourite place is on the rooftops - where we are now urban- food growing!

What gives you the most satisfaction?
I love putting systems in place which will develop and continue into the future.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an interpreter. I used to translate my younger sister's baby language to my parents and on our first holiday in France, when I was about ten, the French kids asked 'tu parles francais'. I was so proud to reply 'un petit pois'. I didn’t realise I'd made a mistake but that wasn’t the point - we were having fun trying! I later studied economics at business school in the South of France. I learned Spanish too and more recently Italian - my favourite. I see my work in sustainability as being an interpreter too. Its just a matter of finding the common language for mutual benefit.

If you were marooned on a desert island, which LSE department/division/student society would you take with you?
I think the Anthropology Department would come in handy.

What advice would you give to new students coming to LSE?
Smile, make friends and question everything - that’s why LSE exists in the first place! Rerum cognoscere causas!

What is your favourite type of music?
Any genre so long as it has spirit - I love Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra, listen and watch it on Ted Talks

 
 
     

  Advice

 
   
 
   

• Want to know more?

If you have any questions about the sustainability work going on around campus or would like to become involved, why not contact one of the many Sustainability Champions who take active roles in the School's work in this area. A list of Staff Sustainability Champions is online here.