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  Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi      
  News      60 secs  

Green Impact goes from strength to strength

Green Impact is a key part of delivering the School's Environmental Policy. There are currently 47 Green Impact teams across LSE taking part, but if your team is not one of them, there is still time to sign up


LSE can make a difference by providing research and education in sustainable development, but we all have a part to play. Martin Bolton explains why LSE is working towards achieving the international environmental standard ISO14001 this year and how you can help


Sue Kirkbride

Sue, who is retiring after nearly 36 years at LSE,  

thinks it is inspiring how LSE has taken up the mantle of good sustainable practices, would like to see the oceans cleaned up and thinks the combustion engine is probably the worst thing ever invented

  news   notices   60 secs  
  13 March 2012  



LSE achieves BREEAM Outstanding rating for New Students' Centre

The London School of Economics and Political Science's (LSE) £24 million New Students' Centre has achieved a BREEAM design rating of Outstanding, becoming only the 17th building worldwide, the first in higher education in London and the second establishment in higher education to achieve such a high standard of sustainability.

Test body BRE Global assessed the interim stage of the development and rated the New Students' Centre with a score of 86.45 per cent, giving it the rating of Outstanding and exceeding LSE's original specification to achieve BREEAM Excellent.

The New Students' Centre is being constructed on the site of the old St Philips building on Sheffield Street and will house the Students' Union – including a venue, pub, learning café, exercise studio, roof terrace coffee/juice bar, fitness centre, media centre, activities space, advice and representation centres, an Inter Faith Prayer centre and the LSE Careers Service for the university's 9,000 students.

Julian Robinson, director of estates at LSE, said: 'We are delighted that the New Students' Centre has been recognised as BREEAM Outstanding, which is the result of a lot of hard work from everyone involved in the project. Sustainability has been a key factor for the School from the very start of this project so it is pleasing to have achieved our aim of creating not only a suitable home for our Students' Union, but one of the 'greenest' buildings on campus." More


Green Impact goes from strength to strength

Forty-seven Green Impact teams are currently taking green action at LSE. Twenty-two support divisions, 13 academic departments, five research centres and seven halls have signed up to Green Impact so far, and over 120 staff and students are directly involved.

Among those involved are LSE Enterprise, which has taken the lead in sourcing quality eco-friendly paper for all their publications, Estates, which is doing a great job of mentoring new team LSE Cities, and Elizabeth Venning from Accounting, who is just one of the new Sustainability Champions this year. Green Impact can cover a wide range of activities, as ODAR's Fairtrade bake-off, which was organised as part of Fairtrade Fortnight and Green Impact, shows. For more on the bake-off, see below.

Green Impact is a key part of delivering the School's Environmental Policy and in fulfilling LSE's pledge in the Strategic Plan to show 'respect for the environment'. Green Impact helps to facilitate the 'transition to manage the School's resources in ways that meet the needs of the present without compromising the options of future generations'. Our aim to expand the project across the School has the full support of Director Judith Rees.

It's not too late for your department to join the rest of LSE and take practical actions in cutting the School's carbon emissions. Who knows, your department could be next in line for an award at our Celebration of Sustainability in May. For more information, contact greener living assistant Louise Laker at, visit the Green Impact webpages or come to the weekly Green Impact drop-in session on Thursdays at 1-2pm in TW1.4.MR1.


Going wild at the Sportsground

Tucked away in leafy Kingston, the LSE Sportsground is a place that many staff and students won't have had cause to visit during their time at the School. So it may come as a surprise to some that it contains far more than just a finely kept set of football and cricket pitches - it's also home to a rich array of wildlife.

A few dozen parakeets (one pictured) call the Sportsground their home and there have also been recent sightings of a little owl and a little egret, a wading bird that eats fish and insects in the adjacent Hogsmill River.

All of these have been caught on camera by head groundsman Steve Butter. Part of the reason for the flora and fauna thriving at the Sportsground is its proximity to the river and nearby woodland. But a big factor is the way that the land is managed, with well-maintained hedgerows and wild areas and the low use of pesticides and harmful chemicals.

Steve Butter says: 'It's a real pleasure to manage the Sportsground in a way that not only keeps the sports pitches in good condition but contributes to improving local biodiversity and has a positive effect on the local environment.'

Steve has plenty more projects planned, including piling up wood chopped from overgrown trees to create insect habitats, filling in hedgerows and replacing dead trees, and sowing mixed seeds to start a wildflower meadow. With all these developments in store, we look forward to bringing you more wildlife updates from the Sportsground in the summer edition of Green News.


Green Fund announces backing for student awareness project

The Sustainable Futures society is pleased to announce the winning applicants for the Sustainable Project Fund. The successful proposals are the ImpACT Award and Awareness project, which will target student environmental behaviours, and a pilot project for greening the LSESU gym.

Towards the end of last year Sustainable Futures invited staff and students to apply for grants of up to £12,000 to increase the sustainability of LSE. The results were announced on Monday to coincide with the start of Go Green Week.

The overall winner is the ImpACT Award and Awareness project, which requested money to help increase awareness about environmentally harmful activities. To help implement the project, the search is on for catchy phrases and logos around sustainable behaviours, which will be displayed and circulated within LSE in a long-lasting way. For the chance to get involved (and win prizes!) please get in touch with Andrew Sudmant by emailing

The second project to gain support was a proposal to green the gym in the New Students' Centre by re-using the electricity generated by the machines. They have been asked to develop a plan for a pilot programme in the current East Building gym.

For more information about the Sustainable Project Fund or the activities of Sustainable Futures, please visit or email


Janine Eagling on why she is Going Dutch for London!

"When I first started cycling to work, a colleague gave me a London Cycling Campaign (LCC) magazine and suggested I sign up. Feeling a little nervous on London's streets, and thinking I could do with all the help I could get, I took that advice and didn't look back. Over the years I've often joined in with LCC events and campaigning activities.

"Now LCC has launched its biggest, most wide-reaching campaign ever, Love London, Go Dutch, targeting the 2012 mayoral election. We believe in a city where everyone can cycle and walk safely wherever they want - a London that's a  more pleasant place to live and work. That's why we want the mayoral candidates to pledge to make London more liveable for everyone by making our streets as safe and inviting for cycling as they are in Holland.

"In Holland 25 per cent of journeys are made by bike and they have the safest roads in Europe for cyclists. Traffic congestion and air pollution are lower and the economy has benefited.

"London's mayor can have an enormous impact on transport. We want to be able to demonstrate to the newly elected mayor that there is a strong body of support for a more liveable London. If you love London but wish you could walk and cycle around more safely, then support our campaign - please sign the petition and help London to Go Dutch!"

Janine Eagling is senior project manager in IT Services.


Go Green Week at LSE a success

This year's LSE Go Green Week was held from Monday 6 to Friday 10 February with a variety of events for staff and students across campus. Relove, Dr Bike, the cycle cinema and a Feel Good Food Day were just a few of the exciting events held over the week, which was a great opportunity to see what sustainability projects are happening at the School.

In the midst of the People & Planet Go Green Week, LSE staff and students were treated to an afternoon of free Love Food, Hate Waste training given by Emma Barnett from WRAP, an organisation that works with partners to prevent waste, promote recycling and develop markets for valuable products. The training explored the causes, consequences and potential solutions for the UK's £12 billion worth of avoidable food waste generated each year.

Gemma Levy, Green Impact team leader from LSE Enterprise, said: "The training was great and I have loads of information now to pass on to people here. I am going to bring in snacks and baked goods made from 'leftovers' and things that are normally wasted to encourage people to be imaginative in their cooking to prevent food waste." For more, see

On Go Green Week's Waste Not Wednesday, LSE Catering, led by Sustainability Champion Karen Agate-Hilton, hosted its first Feel Good Food Day. Working in collaboration with Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, LSE Catering drew attention to the negative impacts of meat consumption and illustrated how eating less meat can benefit the individual, the environment and the animals the products come from. These feel good days are now a regular feature in the Catering calendar so watch out for more and be sure to give catering (and our planet) your support.


Spring is in the air at LSE's roof gardens

It's nearly springtime! Time to dust the cobwebs off those gardening gloves and get our roof gardens flourishing again. LSE currently has roof gardens on St Clement's Building, the East Building and the Shaw Library balcony, and last year the Shaw Library team set up an LSE Roof Gardens blog that they hope to use to keep people up to date with their work. 

With new wooden raised beds soon to be installed, there is more opportunity than ever to come along and muck in - whether you're a gardening newcomer or a seasoned greenfingers.

All roof garden volunteers get to take home a portion of the harvest so your hard work will pay off come the autumn. There will be a taster session in the next couple of months where you can come along and meet the other growers, and hopefully plant some veg.

To find out more, contact Jane Secker in the Centre for Learning Technology at


How many bats live at LSE?

Nobody knows... but we're about to find out as London based ecologist Huma Pearce will be investigating how many of the furry insect-eaters come to feed at the campus.

Huma will monitor the School's green roofs and the bat boxes on the roof of the NAB - did you know we've got bat boxes on the NAB? - by detecting their echo-locating calls every night for a week in May. This forms part of a project to investigate the value of 40 urban green roofs to bat populations in London.

We will have an update on the LSE bats in the June edition of Green News so watch this space...

For more info on Huma's research project, click here.

    Fairtrade bake off held as part of Green Impact

On Monday 5 March, ODAR held its first Fairtrade bake off, with the aim of raising awareness of the type of baking ingredients that could and could not be found in Fairtrade and raising money for the LSE Annual Fund. The multitude of keen bakers in the office ensured the competition was fierce, with Adam Gale from IT Support and Lesley Causley from the fourth floor restaurant judging each offering. All entries had to contain at least one Fairtrade ingredient and were awarded extra points for each ingredient that was Fairtrade.

There were 12 entries over four categories in total, and the winners were: Felicity Jones for her tea loaf, James Driscoll for his innovative Cookie Monster muffins (pictured), Asiya Islam for her tart au citron and Justine Rose for her ginger cookies. Asiya was also the overall winner with the most points out of any of the category winners.

All cakes were then sold, with ODAR raising over £60 for the LSE Annual Fund. If anyone is thinking of holding such an event please feel free to contact Justine in ODAR for templates and advice at




Waste contamination

LSE is experiencing unprecedented levels of waste contamination. Staff and students are reminded that the majority of waste goes in the mixed recycling and that only polystyrene, crisp packets and sweet wrappers are general waste. Please look carefully at the sign on each bin which shows which items go where.

If in doubt, mixed recycle.




If you have been inspired by Janine's story (see above news section) and want to cycle in to the School, there are 208 open access and 102 indoor cycle parking spaces available with access restricted to LSE students and staff. These facilities are monitored by CCTV.

There is also the option of signing up to the London cycle hire scheme which is a public bicycle sharing scheme for short journeys in and around central London. There are three cycle hire stations on the campus: Houghton Street, Sardinia Street and Portugal Street.

LSE also runs a tax-free salary sacrifice scheme for the purchase of bikes for members of staff, cyclescheme. Savings under this scheme vary from 23 per cent to 41 per cent, depending on your personal tax band. 

The Students' Union also holds termly second hand bike sales in the Underground of the East Building. Email for details of the next sale.

    Make a difference
One meat free day a week could make all the difference

Did you know that animal farming globally causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, lorries and planes in the world put together? The effect is increasing as demand for meat and dairy products grows but by making only small changes to your diet, such as having a meat free day once a week, you can make a positive impact.    


 Direct view


Martin Bolton

LSE is not only at the forefront of research into the economics of climate change but is also a leading organisation on climate change action. Being based in one of the few countries with legally binding greenhouse gas targets, the School has the opportunity to make a huge difference by providing credible research to influence international and national policy, and by providing excellent education to its students, especially in sustainable development.

Equally important as our research, however, is the fact that we can all affect change through our individual actions. To this end, the School has developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) and is working towards achieving the International Environmental Standards ISO14001 in June this year. The Sustainability Team is leading this work, but the School will only achieve this award if it can show that staff and students are collectively working to reduce our environmental impact.

So how can LSE meet its carbon reduction targets? Carbon is very important but the real question is, how can we reduce our ecological footprint, of which carbon is a very important element. The School's Environmental Policy highlights what LSE will focus on to reduce its footprint, and while certain aspects, such as the installation of renewable energy technology, are the responsibility of certain departments, we all have our part to play. Putting rubbish in the right bin has allowed the School to achieve zero waste to landfill, which is a huge success, but which needs each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own actions. Printing less and turning monitors and computers off may all seem like small steps, but collectively they can make a big difference.

As well as taking the small steps mentioned above, we are also encouraging people to get involved by starting or participating in the Green Impact programme, where individuals organise themselves into teams and focus on the actions which most interest them and find their own ways of implementing them. There is also the School's Sustainable Projects Fund which has been created through the 10p tax the School places on all bottled water. The Fund will be used to bring about further environmental projects at the School and is open to all students and staff to pitch their ideas for funding. For more information, please contact  


 Residences roundup


LSE students Switch Off

LSE now has 290 Eco-Power Rangers signed up to the Student Switch Off campaign and over 100 students have taken part in the climate quiz.

Students have been winning prizes, like NUS extra cards and nights out, by uploading photos of their energy saving actions onto our Facebook group. The hall of residence which saves the most energy this year wins a celebratory party for the residents.

If you live in halls and want to get more involved, you can also become a Residences Sustainability Champion. Champions work together towards the shared vision of a sustainable society. There are between two and six Sustainability Champions in each hall of residence, each committed to improving the environmental and social performance of their hall during their stay. Champions benefit by gaining experience of environmental projects, putting good sustainability ideas into practice, awareness raising and event organisation.

For more information about Student Switch Off and other sustainability projects happening at LSE, visit Degrees Cooler or


Halls of Residences to get the LSE bin treatment

Over the next three months, all of the nine halls of residences managed by the School will be equipped to increase their recycling rate with the installation of new bins. The bins are being implemented alongside training sessions to ensure students know how to make sure their recycling and waste end up in the right place. 

This is all part of a push to end the cross-contamination of waste happening across LSE. Sustainable waste officer Richard Allen is implementing clear and precise signage and training staff, students and contractors to make us all experts. Contact Richard Allen at with any questions or to request training for your department.  


 Green alumni


In this regular column we catch up with alumni involved in sustainable activities and find out how their time at LSE shaped their interest in sustainability. 

Olya Skotareva (MSc Environment and Development, 2009) is currently on a fellowship programme at Practical Action Consulting in Lima, Peru.

What were you studying while at LSE and what sustainable activities were you involved with while at the School?

I did my master's in Environment and Development, focusing on social change and ecological management in urban environments. As part of one of my courses I developed an integrated environmental and social improvement plan for a recreation area in Croydon. I was also a member of the LSESU Environmental Society and promoted the idea of donation of printouts and copies of course materials to be re-used by next year's students.

How has this interest in sustainability carried on since leaving LSE?

I truly enjoyed the educational environment at LSE, which triggered my interest in communication and education in sustainable development. One of the activities I carried out after completing my master's at LSE was conducting environmental lessons at a school in the south of Russia. As part of the fellowship programme that I am doing at Practical Action Consulting in Lima, Peru, I am involved in the implementation of a project called ELLA - Evidences and Lessons from Latin America. ELLA is a knowledge sharing and learning platform on selected economic, environmental and governance issues that systematises and analyses the Latin American experience, turning it into valuable knowledge for research and policymaking in Africa and Asia. One of my responsibilities, for example, includes assisting in the development of modules of the ELLA free eight-month learning programme on Climate Change Adaptation in Semi-arid and Arid Regions.

Did your time at LSE shape or support your work in sustainable development?

LSE is known for its educational and research expertise in social sciences and is definitely a place to explore and advance your understanding of interconnections between social and environmental aspects of sustainable development. The time I spent at LSE re-shaped my professional focus from industrial ecology, health and safety towards social dimensions of sustainability, such as stakeholder engagement, sustainable communities, social impact assessment and resettlement management.

If you were to make one recommendation to current students and/or staff at LSE on sustainability, what would it be?

Whatever you do in life do it with the thought of the people and environment around you, as well as future generations. Sustainability is not only made with the help of technologies and policies. It is, first of all, in our heads and everyday actions.  


 LSE people 





Farewell to Victoria Hands, by Allan Blair

Dr Victoria Hands joined LSE in 2002 as a PhD student researching how sustainable development is embedded in institutions. She started work in 2005 and a decade later has left us as LSE's well known head of environmental sustainability to become director of the Sustainability Hub at Kingston University.

Victoria leaves a strong legacy behind her. During her time here she embedded sustainability as a key concern for LSE; established a Sustainability Team and an environmental management system, which we hope will achieve external accreditation to ISO14001 this summer; secured first class awards in the national People & Planet Green League; ensured the School's success in delivering a series of projects which minimised environmental impact; gained external recognition in awards too numerous to mention here, such as the Green Gown Awards and the National Recycling Awards; empowered students to establish Sustainable Futures, now an SU Society responsible for the Sustainable Projects Fund; and supported staff in green office practices, now part of the School's Green Impact project.

It is thanks to Victoria's hard work and commitment that LSE is now leading the way in sustainability in the HE sector. She continues in her role as the chair of the London Universities Environment Group and as one of the Mayor's London Leaders for sustainability.

We wish her all the best for her new role at Kingston. Victoria will be at LSE for a celebration on 23 March if colleagues would like to come to bid her farewell at 1.30-2.30pm in the Shaw Library.

Welcome to new members of the Sustainability Team





Martin Bolton 

Martin joined LSE in January as its new interim head of environmental sustainability and will be carrying on Victoria's good work, with a particular focus on LSE achieving ISO14001.

Martin's formal training is in environmental management and after his studies he spent a few years working overseas on conservation projects, including a stint at the Wolong Panda Reserve in China. As an environmental professional Martin has spent the last 10 years with the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) delivering the regional economic strategy and focusing in particular on assisting the transition of the South East to a low carbon economy. Prior to joining SEEDA, he established and ran an environmental services company and later joined the BioRegional Development Group who built the world’s first zero carbon development (bedZED). He also acted as the corporate sustainability manager establishing the Agency’s Environmental Management System (EMS) and achieving the international environmental standard ISO14001 accreditation. Martin sets out why the EMS is so important for the School in the Direct View above.


Richard Allen

Richard joined LSE in September 2010 as building services manager and took over the role of sustainable waste manager from Chantal Beaudoin in January 2012. Alongside managing the waste contract Richard will be working to install the new waste bins in all residences. Before he arrived at LSE Richard was facilities manager at Solicitors Indemnity Fund for eight years and prior to that he worked for Standard Chartered Bank for 22 years. 




Miriam Grossmanova

Miriam joined the team as a part time sustainability officer in November and her main task was to compile the Estates Management Statistics data on waste processes at LSE. Currently she is working on the submission of the LSE report for the People & Planet Green League Survey 2012.

Miriam holds a master's degree in Environment and Development from LSE and has been providing support to the LSE Sustainability Team since 2006. Her main parttime post is in the Economics Department, where she works on an international educational project between LSE and ICEF Moscow.


 60 Second Interview


with.....  Sue Kirkbride

I am currently economectrics administrator in the Economics Department but after a long career at the School will be retiring this year. 

During your time with LSE, what is the most significant change that you have seen in your department with regards to sustainable good practice?

Having worked in the Economics Department for close to 36 years I have seen many, many changes over those decades. To my mind, the most inspiring change that has happened has been in the last few years, and a subject very close to my heart. It is how strongly LSE has taken up the mantle of good sustainable practices and its capacity in improving its environmental performance year on year. When I joined Green Impact a few years ago I immediately started to raise awareness of sustainable good practice in the department - such as reducing waste, recycling, using less energy, buying furniture and equipment in a sustainable way, roof gardening etc. I hope this will continue to grow after I retire this year.

What would you do if you were LSE director for one day?

I would bring back the camaraderie of working at LSE. I would put into place more street parties, more involvement of support staff in decision-making and the reintroduction of tea ladies coming round in the afternoons with their trolleys laden with sticky buns and doughnuts.

Do you prefer the town or the country and why?

I grew up in Pembrokeshire and moved to London when I was 18. I still remember going for long walks around the coastline during the summer, or climbing the many hills and mountains in Wales, and do miss the fresh air and the sound of the sea. So I am still a country person at heart and I am hoping to move in 2013 to somewhere away from cities and closer to the countryside and the sea again.

What is your favourite biscuit?

Mmm, I'm not really a biscuit fan, but given a choice I would go for custard creams, with Jaffa Cakes a close second. Are they classed as biscuits?

What change would you most like to see in the world in 50-100 years' time?

Oh it's hard to choose just one as I have so many ideas of what I hope will change in the future. I could say I would like to see the complete ban on killing whales, sharks and dolphins for any scientific research or food related reasons. The cleaning up of the oceans of plastic wrapping and nets. And the complete ban on tourism to Antarctica, with no drilling for oil or other materials - it should be kept pristine and away from human greed.

I studied environmental science for quite a few years so it may surprise you that I am not a great believer in man-made global warming...except when it comes to traffic pollution, which is decimating wildlife in cities. So I do believe the combustion engine is probably the worst thing ever invented, and my choice would be to see a reduction in multi-car ownership, an increase in public transport and less-polluting fuels to drive them.




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.