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  News   Notices   60 secs  

Win £25k to develop your green idea

The Sustainable Projects Fund is now open for submissions for 2012-13, with up to £25,000 available to implement innovative projects.


LSE awarded international recognition for its EMS

The School's Environmental Management System has been awarded the internationally-recognised ISO 14001 status.


Robin Ray, president of the Sustainable Futures Society, has a passion for Agatha Christie novels and would lead the school on a walk through the parks of London if she was director for the day.

  news   notices   60 secs  
  11 December 2012  



Win £25k to develop your green idea

The 2012-13 Sustainable Projects Fund (SPF) is now open for applications, with up to £25,000 available to winning applicants.

The SPF awards money to student and staff-led environmental projects on campus. It is financed with the 10p 'tax' on bottled water sold across LSE catering outlets.

Past winners have included a team of students who installed a green roof on the Plaza Cafe outside the Library, and another group who installed beehives on the roof of Connaught House.

The Fund is run by the Sustainable Futures Society, which also supports entrants to develop their sparks of inspiration into a fully fledged project proposal. The funding is allocated by an independent panel representing a cross section of the School, including students and senior academics.

Click here for details on how to apply to the Fund.


LSE gets 'double first' for environmental achievements

LSE's Environmental Management System has been awarded the internationally-recognised ISO 14001 status. In addition, the School has obtained a ‘Platinum’ award, the highest level of certification under the Higher Education-specific ‘Eco Campus’ system.

The School’s Environmental Management System (EMS) allows it to strategically manage its environmental impacts, by embedding sustainability policy into working practice across the campus, and monitoring progress to demonstrate continual improvement in performance.

LSE was assessed by an independent external auditor, Dr Margaret Rooney from consultants NQA. In recommending the School for certification, Dr Rooney commented in her audit report that: “Everyone interviewed during the four day audit was extremely enthusiastic and helpful. Commitment at senior levels is very clear, with... increasing emphasis on strategy and leadership in relation to the EMS.”

Martin Bolton, head of sustainability at LSE, said: “Respect for the environment is one of LSE's ten institutional values and commitments and it has been especially gratifying to see how colleagues across the School have worked hard to minimise our environmental impact and ensure we have robust auditing systems in place for the future.” More


LSE at the Green Gown Awards 2012

LSE received a ‘Highly Commended’ Green Gown Award in a ceremony held on 5th November at the University of Birmingham.

The Green Gowns are the most prestigious recognition of environmental achievement in the Higher and Further Education sector. The School’s entry was the ‘Sustainable Projects Fund’, which funds student and staff-led environmental projects on campus with a 10p ‘tax’ on bottled water sold at LSE catering outlets, and is run by the LSE Sustainable Futures Society.

The judges commented: “This is an innovative and well administered funding model… Successful student applicants to the Fund gain a wide range of experience through managing the implementation of their ideas.”

All students are encouraged to apply to the Sustainable Projects Fund, which is now open. There is up to £25k to be won to develop your environmental project on campus (more below) - so get your green thinking caps on!

Click here to find out more about the Green Gown Awards. Click here to find out more about the winning entries.


Camden Climate Change Award goes to LSE

LSE won the Environmental Excellence for Camden Organisations (EECO) award for 'Advancing Renewable Energy Generation', in a ceremony held at the Wellcome Trust on 25 October.

The awards are held by the Camden Climate Change Alliance - a network of Camden organisations that are committed to tackling climate change and working together to share knowledge and skills to reduce their energy consumption.

The award recognised not only the School's installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on three of its four buildings in Camden, but the fact that their energy output has far exceeded expectations and that they are not an isolated ad hoc project but form part of the strategic and robustly planned vision of the LSE Carbon Management Plan.

Ines Carvalho, chair of the judging panel, said: "LSE were worthy winners of the 'Advancing Energy Generation' award... LSE's approach is a textbook example of calculating payback periods and costs to produce an overwhelming buisiness case in favour of going green."


High sustainability standards for 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields

32 Lincoln's Inn Fields (LIF) is the latest LSE building to meet high sustainability standards.

During the refit existing timber, metals and plastics (among other materials) were segregated for recycling. Old ceiling and carpet tiles were removed and cleaned for re-use, along with ZIP boilers, mirrors, fire extinguishers and many other spare parts.

Over 1,000 light fittings from 32 LIF were used to replace old inefficient lights in some offices in Cowdray House, Sardinia House, Columbia House and Carr Saunders hall of residence, saving £100,000.

Dave Scott, Mathematics department manager, said: 'As part of its involvement in the Green Impact project at LSE, the Department of Mathematics approached Estates about the possibility of improving our lighting in terms of quality and energy efficiency. As a result we were able to replace our aging, dim and wasteful T8 tube lighting with re-used modern T5 tube lighting taken out of 32 LIF. Not only was this a triumph of re-use but it also means that my department is more brightly lit and using less energy. I want to thank Paul Franklin, Pat Causley and their team for all their help with this initiative.'

32 LIF has achieved a BREEAM 'very good rating' and is due to be opened for use at the beginning of 2013 and, as a final stroke of energy efficiency, will be generating its own electricity from the Photovoltaic (PV) Panels installed on the roof.


Cutting costs without cutting corners

Margaret Newson (pictured), LSE purchasing manager, knows more than most people about how to spot a bargain, and best of all she's willing to share her knowledge with the rest of the School. One of the things that Margaret will tell you is that cheapest isn't necessarily best when it comes to buying equipment or services for LSE.

The Introduction to Purchasing Guide has been updated in accordance with the School’s Financial Regulations 2012 to assist staff in their responsibilities in spending the School’s money wisely. The guide also has an environmental checklist that will ensure LSE moves towards a more sustainable purchasing policy.

Margaret said: ‘We have produced this simple guide to help staff get the best out of their budgets. There are six of us in the purchasing section and we are always willing to steer people through the regulations and to get value for money for the School.'

The purchasing guide is available online here. For any other purchasing related queries, contact the purchasing team at


Start of term ReLove success

The annual LSE ReLove Fair made a great return to Houghton Street and Bankside Hall of Residence this term on the 4 and 5 October. Items donated by students in halls last year were sold to raise a spectacular £2,129 for the Sustainable Projects Fund.

ReLove results in many items that would have ended up in landfill being given a 'second life', minimising their environmental impact by reducing waste at source and providing affordable items on side for students to reuse throughout their time at the School. The range of items on offer was diverse, with coat hangers and mini fridges at Bankside proving irresistible to many! 

The Sustainability Team worked with the Students' Union, who helped design posters and provided additional items dropped off by students at their offices.

Dan Reeves, residences sustainability officer, said: "A big thank you to the 40 volunteers at Houghton Street and 20 volunteers at Bankside over the two days who provided a massive help in setting up and running the events - we couldn't have done it without you!"

If you want to get involved with sustainability projects at LSE, please contact a member of the Sustainability Team.


Furniture Reuse project saves thousands of pounds in 2011-12

LSE's Furniture Reuse service has saved £36,000 and an equivalent of 21,886kg CO2e in the last academic year. This is the same as driving 79,469 miles in a 1.4 litre car.

A huge 1,114 items of reuse have been supplied to departments since April 2012 and 85 per cent of furniture requests have been fulfilled by reuse stock.

The cooperation and support of the whole School is needed to ensure we keep reusing and making even greater savings. To use the Furniture Request Service please submit a Service Request Form to the Estates Help Desk.

We are working on an online e-shop system to improve our service, which we hope to have ready soon.


LSE honey

The first honey from the LSE bees was tasted on Monday 10 December, and turned out to be delicious!

The LSE Beekeeping Society has been nurturing the hives on the roof of Connaught House since March 2012. After this tantalising taste, the rest of the honey will be left in the hives for the bees to sustain themselves over the winter. This will enable them to thrive next year and hopefully produce enough honey to harvest.

It was announced on the same afternoon that a second beehive will be installed on the Connaught House roof with money generously granted by the Annual Fund - so we hope that 2013 will see the bees will go from strength to strength.


LSE rooftop gardens - an update

The School's rooftop gardens continue to grow from strength to strength, with a diverse range of plants, from potatoes and tomatoes to sunflowers, having now flowered. The 18 staff involved in the three sites have been enjoying the new wooden planters generously funded by the LSE Annual Fund. Disused plastic containers have also been installed, and are being used as storage boxes across the sites for hand tools and other gardening essentials.

The roof gardens held a successful rooftop garden tour day on the 23 October across the sites, where tips were swapped and growing skills developed. A crop 'harvest' on the 6 November on the lower east building roof garden produced seven bags of crops, including potatoes, mixed salad and some LSE carrots. With the last of the summer vines cleared, the winter gardens are firmly under way. The garlic is eagerly awaited, along with the onion sets, and the rhubarb promises a nice crumble from the roof of St Clements.

Keep up with the action on the LSE Gardens twitter feed - @LSEGardens - and Roof Garden blog, at


From overgrown brambles to an explosion of colour - the latest from the Sportsground

This picture (left) of LSE's Sportsground was taken earlier this summer (remember the summer?) by head groundsman Steve Butter. Here Steve talks about how he turned a patch of brambles in the corner of a field into an explosion of colour.

"We have been trying to enhance the biodiversity at the sportsground through various means, including new hedges, trees and, of course, this wildflower area.

"The area used to be overgrown with brambles and weeds about eight feet high. We cut it all down and then rotivated every couple of months, for a year, to clear it because we didn't want to use any weed killer. We then seeded down the area in springtime and sat back and watched the results.

"It comes through in waves of colour. It started off blue, went pink and now it's ended up yellow. The wildflower area has been attracting all kinds of wildlife like bees and butterflies. I understand that these are in decline in this country - though they certainly were not short in numbers in our garden!

"One bonus of this project is that as a married man I am always in the good books as I have a constant supply of flowers for my wife all summer long!"




Green Impact launches with the support of LSE Director Craig Calhoun

Professor Craig Calhoun was pleased to give his support to Green Impact as the project enters its fourth year at LSE.

Green Impact is a departmental environmental accreditation scheme that plays a key part in ensuring the daily activities of staff and students contribute to meeting LSE's environmental goals.

The Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment set the research agenda and influence policymakers working in sustainability while the School takes practical steps to engage we set an example as a sustainable organisation. But for LSE to remain a leader in sustainability in the higher education sector, and to meet its 54 per cent carbon reduction target by 2020, it needs all staff and students to engage with the sustainability agenda. Green Impact provides a tangible framework for achieving this.

To have every department at LSE participating in Green News would be a sector first, and would give students the opportunity to enhance their learning and gain a sense of environmental responsibility to take out into the world after graduation.

Fifty departments signed up in 2011-12 - now is the time to make sure your department does not get left behind.

If you would like to lead a Green Impact team and join LSE's network of Sustainability Champions, contact your department manager or sustainability assistant Louise Laker at


Biodiversity survey

The London Wildlife Trust paid the School a visit back in September to survey the range of wildlife habitats on the LSE campus and assess the opportunities to enhance them.

While we didn't unearth any new species of orchid on the Lakatos Building, we did form a picture of future development possibilities, including green roofs and walls, bat boxes, house martin and swift boxes and increased connectivity between existing biodiverse sites. The next steps will be to assess which improvements are feasible to implement over the next few years.

A similar survey is planned for the Sportground in spring 2013. Given the riot of wildlife photographed in the article, this is expected to produce some promising results. Watch this space...




Keep off the extra pounds over winter and save £££ on a new bike

LSE are part of a nationwide initiative Cyclescheme that aims to get the country's workforce out of their cars and onto the saddle. The salary sacrifice scheme allows salaried LSE employees (click here for eligibility criteria) to take advantage of the Green Transport Plan Initiative and save tax on the purchase of a new bike.

Cyclescheme customers are not limited to any particular bike or accessory brands and can therefore choose the best for quality and value-for-money. So why not join the LSE bicycle commuter community and:

  • Visit your local participating bicycle shop to choose your equipment and obtain a written quote.

  • Go to the Cyclescheme website and request your Cyclescheme certificate.

  • Complete and sign the Hire Agreement (which will be sent to you) and return it to Dominic Burchnall in HR (

  • Collect your secure voucher from HR

  • Redeem your voucher at the bike shop and collect your goods. You must provide your LSE card to do this.

  • Start to pay back your loan from gross salary, via salary sacrifice. Your first payment will be deducted from your salary in the month that you receive your voucher.

If you are interested in reducing your carbon footprint, toning up and saving some money, then visit or see the HR Cyclescheme pages online.

Roughly 83 square km of wrapping paper and an estimated one billion Christmas cards will end up in the UK bins at the end of the holiday season. Please remember to recycle your festive waste and consider sending electronic Christmas cards to friends and family.



LSE needs your waste sorting skills to increase recycling rates

Larger apertures have been fitted on campus mixed recycling bins in response to feedback from staff and students. Waste streams in halls of residences are also being improved and new recycling bins have been installed at Bankside, Butlers Wharf, Carr-Saunders, Passfield and Rosebery. High Holborn, Grosvenor House and Northumberland House are due to be completed soon.

As soon as the new bins are in place, waste officer Richard Allen will be delivering training to cleaners in halls and carrying out audits to check up on residents' recycling skills.

The bulk of waste should go in the Mixed Recycling bins, with only polystyrene, crisp packets and sweet wrappers going in the Non-recyclables bins (grey topped bins).

As soon as staff and students have mastered the art of putting waste in the right bin, waste collection schedules can be altered to include more collections of mixed recycling and less collections of waste to energy. Putting recycling into the recycling bin is a really simple way to reduce the carbon footprint of your waste, and LSE is relying on you!

If you have any queries about waste, or would like to organise refresher recycling training for your department, please contact waste officer Richard Allen at


 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. 

Ekhosuehi Iyahen (MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation, 2008) is vice president of client relations, Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd, Barbados.

What sustainable activities were you involved with while at the School?

I actively participated in the ongoing recycling programme at the Halls of Residence where I resided and also the School's general recycling programme. In addition to this, one of the courses which I took during my time at LSE involved undertaking an environmental audit in support of the School's environmental management system and towards ISO certification. This was a particularly useful exercise.

Apart from the aforementioned, I also tired to be very conscious of my consumption habits on a daily basis. This ranged from being acutely aware of my energy use to limiting my purchases to only necessary items. This was of course largely supported by the fact that I was on a students' budget!

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

My interest in sustainability has grown. I continue to try to exercise similar discipline in terms of the choices I make on a daily basis and my consumption habits and patterns. It is, of course, also equally important for me to share information with people I come in contact with to build awareness. My job is also another area where I continue to be actively engaged on the issue of sustainability.

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

Yes it did. While at LSE I was most fascinated by how ideas  can be moved through the agenda setting and policy making process, this being right from the articulation of an issue/concept through to its implementation as a policy. Within this space I was more specifically interested in the nexus between the public and private sector in driving these ideas and processes forward. My dissertation in fact examined this very issue within the context of the Caribbean small island developing states and the emergence of innovative risk transfer mechanisms to address natural catastrophe exposures as part of adaptation efforts to climate change.

When I graduated from LSE I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to work directly on some of the very issues I had examined in my dissertation and continue to do so to this day. This has involved providing catastrophe risk management services to clients, ranging from governments to private companies to individuals. The issue of catastrophe risk management is of course relevant to sustainability given the increasing awareness of climate change and its impacts and the need to identify ways to adapt and manage these risks as much as possible.

This has proven to be an extremely complex yet fulfilling engagement and I have been fortunate to undertake projects in a number of countries in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia and also learn a lot more than I ever anticipated about sustainability. LSE provided the foundation for my engagement in this field and therefore played a critical part in this journey.

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

Continue to be actively engaged on the issue of sustainability and, by extension, environmental issues. I would also recommend the need to continue to encourage critical thinking and challenging assumptions and the status quo. That is where new ideas and solutions are born.  

    Make a difference
Over the festive season around 230,000 tonnes of food worth around £275m is thrown away across the UK.

See what you can do with your leftovers at Love Food Hate Waste website, a selection of recipes can be found here.


 Residences round-up


Annual battle commences

The annual battle between halls to save energy have already begun so do watch out for forthcoming 'Lights Out' competitions. The competition between LSE managed halls is run by the National Student Switch Off programme who are also running the new Inter-Kitchen Recycling Competitions, which is taking place to coincide with the roll-out of new improved recycling bins across the residences. Kitchens will compete on the quality of segregation of waste within kitchens which has a huge impact on how much waste is recycled and reused when removed from the School.

For the chance to win exclusive prizes from club tickets to Ben and Jerry's ice cream, 'like' the LSE Student Switch Off Facebook page. Carr-Saunders have won the energy saving competition two years in a row (see last year's rankings below), but who will win this year?

LSE Student Switch Off Energy Saving Competition results 2011-12

  • Carr-Saunders: 1.61 kwh change per student per day

  • Sidney Webb: 1.01 kwh change per student per day

  • Rosebery, 0.90 kwh change per student per day

  • Northumberland, 0.49 kwh change per student per day

  • Bankside, 0.46 kwh change per student per day

  • Passfield, 0.33 kwh change per student per day

  • Butlers, 0.31 kwh change per student per day

  • High Holborn, 0.11 kwh change per student per day

  • Grosvenor, -0.16 kwh change per student per day.

Get actively involved with the help of your Hall's Residences sustainability champions or Student Switch Off project officer Kash Naik at


 60 Second Interview


with.....Robin Ray

I am studying for an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation and am also the new president of the Sustainable Futures Society. Before LSE I studied environmental science and policy in the US in California. I also recently worked with the Alliance to Save Energy to increase energy efficiency on my previous campus at Humboldt State University. I am now here across the pond, still studying environmental policy. I became involved with the Sustainable Futures Society because I saw that the society provided students with amazing potential to learn about sustainability issues as well as how to address them.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

If granted three wishes, I would ask for effective climate change legislation, the ability for everyone in the world to come visit the Redwood trees where I grew up (without ecological damage of course) and for a way to travel around the world without emitting carbon.

What book are you reading at the moment?

It may be already passé, but I am just now getting around to reading The Spirit Level: why equality is better for everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. Great read. But I do have a secret passion for Agatha Christie novels!

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

If I were LSE director for one day, I would lead the school on a walk through the parks of London! Let's get outside our offices and classrooms and reconnect with our planet - face to face. That, and institute a compulsory environmental course for all freshers.

What's your favourite biscuit?

I adore ginger biscuits.

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

I would certainly like to see an improved human relationship with 'nature' - and genuine progress toward, and improved understanding of, sustainability.  




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.