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  News   Notices   60 secs  

Green Impact launches its fifth year at LSE
Last year, over 1,800 actions were taken to improve LSE's overall sustainability and it's not too late to gather a team and get involved in this year's challenge.

  How would you use £20k to improve environmental sustainability at LSE?
The 2013-14 Sustainable Projects Fund (SPF) is now open for applications, with up to £20,000 available to the winning applicants.
  Oliver Lysaght, a second year undergraduate studying Environment and Development, would want everyone he loves to come together so he could express his thanks and hug them all, if he had three wishes.  
  news   notices   60 secs  
  10 December 2013  





Students start the year off green

On 30 September the Sustainability Team welcomed new students by hosting the event 'Sustainable LSE: Get Involved'.

The team partnered with student sustainability societies including Sustainable Futures, the Energy Society, Sustainable Development Network and Oikos to share information about the myriad ways LSE students can learn about and improve our collective sustainability during the 2013-14 academic year.

The event made quite a splash, generating new enthusiasm for sustainability at the School, inspiring new leaders of these student societies and providing a chance for environmentally-oriented students to meet each other.

    Green Impact launches its fifth year at LSE

Green Impact was officially launched on Thursday 7 November. Chief Financial Officer Andy Farrell encouraged full participation of staff in the scheme, which provides staff members with an opportunity to improve LSE's overall sustainability by providing a workbook which reduces the impact of small daily tasks.

Last year, over 1,800 actions were taken in areas like energy use, procurement and waste, potentially saving over 100 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted (using Carbon Trust calculations). This year, workbooks are due to be completed on 14 March 2014, so it's not too late to gather a team and sign up your office. For more information on how to get started, please contact LSE Sustainability Assistant Vyvyan Evans at

    LSE elected onto committee for sustainability in UK education 

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.


  Sustainability collaboration with Management Department

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 (MG208).

Dr Susan Scott (pictured, above) and Dr Ela Klecun (pictured, below) 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.


LSE student finds a skull stapler at Relove

  Relove Fair: 3-4 October

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. Currently the fund has £20,000 up for grabs in the coming year, so if you have an idea for a sustainability project please do make an application soon. Don't forget to donate your 'nearly new' items at the Relove collection points in the halls of residences at the end of the year in July.

    Sustainability in Practice lecture 

On 12 November, LSE was lucky enough to host Pooran Desai, OBE. Co-founder of the international organisation BioRegional, Pooran gave an interesting talk titled 'Mainstreaming Sustainability: the last 20 years and the next 20 years'. This lecture was the first in line of the LSE Sustainability Team's 2013-14 Sustainability in Practice, which 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, Pooran 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.

    ISO 14001 re-certification for LSE

LSE's Environmental Management System (EMS) was re-certified for ISO 14001 status back in July. This is a world-recognised standard that demonstrates the School has robust systems in place to continually improve its environmental impacts.

The external auditor, Dr Margaret Rooney, commented in her report, 'The EMS continues to be very well integrated into LSE's overall commitment to sustainability...This is a very positive result." Click here to read the School's Environmental Sustainability Policy.



    How would you use £20k to improve environmental sustainability at LSE?

The 2013-14 Sustainable Projects Fund (SPF) is now open for applications, with up to £20,000 available to winning applicants.

The SPF is used to finance student and staff-led projects that enhance sustainability on the LSE campus. Now in its fifth year, the fund has been an innovative way to draw attention to priority areas of sustainability, such as carbon management, biodiversity, waste reduction, energy, water use and education/awareness. Previous projects include the green roof on top of the Plaza Cafe (pictured), LSE beehives, greening of core maths courses, a garden at Passfield Hall, bike maintenance stations and many more.

Sustainable Futures Society will once again pair up with the School's Sustainability Team to assist interested staff and students with project idea development and implementation. Look out for upcoming workshops put on by the society, where more information can be found about how to best start a project.

This year, £20,000 is up for grabs. The competition is open to LSE students and staff and all projects must take place on the LSE campus or halls of residence. To apply, visit The deadline for applications is 3 February 2014.

    First annual environmental sustainability report due soon

The LSE Sustainability Team is happy to announce that the first ever annual Sustainability Report is near completion. It will highlight the School's 2012-13 progress against its Environmental Sustainability Policy, and document LSE's leadership in, and commitment to, environmental sustainability.

There are many successes to report from the last academic year, so make sure you get a copy, which should be available online and in print in February 2014. 

    Expanding LSE's toilet revolution

The revolutionary loo 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 nine 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 fo the world, it could play a very important future role as an effective, economical solution."

LSE is a leader in toilet modernisation, being one of the first London universities to install these low water-consumption loos. The Estates Division needs your feedback in order to expand LSE's toilet revolution. So ladies, please take the time to visit the loo in the Peacock Theatre, and gents, please take the time to visit the one in OLD.B15. You can send your feedback to Estates at  


 Recycling round up

Why does correct sorting matter? In October, LSE was fined £150 for contaminating the recycling compactor with food waste that had incorrectly been put in a mixed recycling bin. As well as the unnecessary cost, this meant that the waste could not be recycled and had to be sent to an energy-from-waste plant instead, meaning that the waste had to be transported twice and thereby increasing the amount of fuel, and as a result, carbon emissions.
  Reducing waste stream contamination

The start of term at LSE is a great time to think about correct waste sorting and reduced waste contamination on campus.

To bring attention to waste issues at the School, a three-day waste-sorting challenge was held in the Library Escape area, with prizes on offer including Fairtrade chocolate and water-powered clocks. Students were challenged to see who could sort a selection of waste into correct bins in the quickest time.

This allowed members of the Sustainability Team to talk to students about putting waste in correct streams and to dispel some common myths about where certain types of waste go in our highly-sophisticated bins. In particular, it was highlighted that there is a big difference between polystyrene and paper cups - paper cups can always be recycled if free from food or beverage. Overall, the LSE students proved to be a smart bunch, since waste sorting among students was of a high standard. However, this needs to continue on a daily basis. All it takes is for everyone to take a little time to put waste in the correct bin, so please take care when sorting waste.



Catering suppliers take back what they bring

Richard Allen (pictured), Facilities Manager, has been working with Jacqui Beazley, Deputy Head of Catering, and her team to reduce the amount of packaging waste that arrives from catering suppliers.

Over the last two months, two suppliers have come on board with greening our supply chain. Vegetable supplier Fresh & Fruity are collecting and re-using the large boxes they deliver, and Simple Simon (chilled food) now do the same. In Jacqui's own words, "onwards and upwards!" LSE is now looking for other suppliers to follow the lead of these two companies in working together to cut costs, cut waste and green their supply chains.  


 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. 

Rupesh Madlani (BSc Economics, 1999)

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I run a firm that provides advice to governments, corporates and high net worth individuals on sustainability. We are currently supporting the launch of a EUR200m climate smart agriculture fund, one of the first of its kind with dedicated sustainability metrics. The fund manager has on average two decades of operating experience, with a global perspective.

How has your time at LSE led to your current research interests?

My theoretical work at LSE on carbon management demonstrated to me that there were market-based solutions to climate issues, something that I carried with me into my professional career. At the time though it was the internet, not sustainability, that captured the imagination of many students.

LSE was the foundation to my joining PriceWaterhouseCoopers and joining their corporate finance business. Once I had completed my professional training as a chartered accountant that then led me to investment banking at Lehman brothers, where the opportunity to get into sustainability and raising money for corporates first began.

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

During my banking career I was involved in raising $4bn for companies in the sector and ranking first in the 2013 institutional investor survey of asset managers. A lot of the intellectual and personal skills that I developed at LSE were significant drivers for the success that my team and I achieved.

If you could offer one piece of advice to LSE staff and students, what would it be?

LSE is one of the world's finest educational establishments and the experiences and friends you make will shape your career and your future. LSE graduates through social entrepreneurship really have the capacity to change the world, so make the most of every second!

    Make a difference

Recycle your food packaging, old electrical equipment, batteries - you can even compost Christmas trees. 

Love your food, hate your waste. Getting creative with leftovers will keep food wastage to a minimum and save money.

Second hand is green. Try buying second hand or reusing old presents for others (careful with this one!).


 Residences round-up





  Student Switch-Off 2013-14

The annual inter-hall battle that is Student Switch Off is well under way. This year a record number of students attended the Ambassador training event given by Michelle Farrell from the NUS and LSE Residences Sustainability Officer Dan Reeves. Michelle and Dan also visited halls to engage students in adopting energy-saving activities.

If you live in halls of residence, you can save yourself some time, and the School some energy, by simply using a lid when you cook food on the hob. Unnecessary electric heating and appliances like extra printers and desk lamps are a thing of the past, so please switch off lights when you're not in the room.

Enter photos of you and your friends saving energy in halls to win NUS Extra cards and Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Get a movement going in your hall and you could be this year's winner of the biggest energy reduction. Winners receive the coveted plaque and a cash prise for their Common Room. Join hundreds of other LSE students as they try to beat last year's six per cent energy savings!




  Rosebery awarded funding for bio-diversity project

Four hundred pounds has been generously donated to sustainability projects in LSE residences by Gailarde Ltd, who supply bedding and crockery to LSE halls. Of this, £160 has been allocated to enhance the garden at Rosebery Hall, where native plants and hanging baskets will be planted to improve the area for students and staff, and contribute to local biodiversity. The work will be led by green-fingered Rosa Gil, Front of House Manager at Rosebery Hall, Angelo Garcia, the hall's gardener (both pictured) and Dr Julie McCandless, hall warden.

The fund still has approximately £240 left to be allocated for sustainability initiatives in halls of residence so if you have a proposal in need of funding please contact Residences Sustainability Officer Dan Reeves at    




  Greening halls procurement

Gailarde supply LSE residences with thousands of pounds of bedding and crockery each year, and therefore have a significant role in halls procurement and waste generation. To investigate how LSE might green its supply chain, Dan Reeves, Residences Sustainability Officer, Davindra Ratra, Northumberland House Manager, and Mark Papworth, Purchasing, visited Gailarde in July.

During negotiations with Gailarde's suppliers, a range of measures were agreed to reduce the waste produced by their student bedding and crockery packs in the future. These include a reduction in the number of 'boxes in boxes' at the manufacturing stage for 2014-15 student packs, new printed wording on the boxes to encourage recycling of all materials in the existing LSE waste streams, and messages on their new website and in emails to student customers reminding them to recycle all packaging in the residences recycling bins.

While this effort makes loads of progress to reducing futures waste at LSE, don't forget there is also space in each hall of residence to collect and reuse gently-used items, as part of the LSE Relove scheme. 


 60 Second Interview

      with..... Oliver Lysaght, winner of the 2013 Sustainable Project Funding for the bike maintenance stations

I am a second year undergraduate studying Environment and Development. I was born in London and love the city a lot.

What would you do if you were LSE Director for a day?

Big party in the NAB, inviting the homeless in who congregate around Lincoln's Inn Fields for food on the fourth floor.

What would be your ideal holiday?

Wandering wherever I fancy, equipped with an American Express Black Card.

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

A level of cooperation on issues such as climate change and water rights transcending political disagreements.

What is your favourite biscuit?

Don't know. Bananas.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Hawaii. Great standard of life, close to nature, sun, sea.

What is your favourite film?

'Home'. Being played at LSE by the Oikos Society in the coming weeks so look out for the posters. (This is usually played by the LSESU Oikos Society each term - check it out).

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

To have a clear idea of what I want. Not to be on a computer so much. Have everyone in my life who I love in one room at one moment to express my love to them, thank them, and hug them all.




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 Green Impact Leaders who take active roles in the School's work in this area.