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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
  Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi   Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi    
  News   News   60 secs  

Sustainable Projects Fund winners announced
Six projects have been chosen to benefit from the Sustainable Projects Fund, with suggestions including a bike share programme and new green roof. 

  Green Impact update
This year's Green Impact teams submitted their workbooks last week and now eagerly await auditing - LSE's Celebration of Sustainability awards will be held in May, so good luck to all involved!
  Elena Rivilla-Lutterkort, LSE's new Sustainability Officer decided she was going to be a 'naturist' when she was a child, and would instigate a spring clean day for all if she was LSE Director for the day.  
  news   notices   60 secs  
  18 March 2014  




  LSE wins Green University Award

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

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

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

LSE's Sustainable Projects Fund was also a runner up for the Best Sustainability Project in the prestigious Guardian University Awards, hosted by Victoria Coren-Mitchell. More


Green roof on the Library Plaza Cafe, installed in 2012 with support from the Fund.

  Sustainable Projects Fund winners announced

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

The Sustainable Projects Fund supports students and staff led sustainability projects at LSE. The £20k prize-fund is managed by the student Sustainable Futures Society. The 2013-14 fund attracted a record 15 applications, which were judged in January by an independent panel of students, academics, Estates and Sustainability staff and PricewaterhouseCooper's Director of Sustainability and Climate Change. 

After considerable debate, six projects were awarded funds totalling £17,456.98, with an additional application requiring more details. These projects are for:

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

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

    Fairtrade Fortnight a success

Many will have tasted LSE Catering's delicious promotion of Fairtrade Fortnight last week, with extra Fairtrade products on sale and information on making ethical choices when buying food being displayed.

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

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

    Sustainability teaching collaboration

Dr Kira Matus (pictured left), Assistant Professor in Public Policy and Management, teaches an undergraduate module, Sustainability Science and Policy, which analyses policies designed to address sustainability challenges.

Dr Matus invited Jon Emmett from the Estates Sustainability Team to help develop a class assignment based on the real-life challenge of creating a student engagement programme to feed into the development of an LSE Sustainability Strategy.

The students presented some excellent policy proposals in class last week, including lunchtime debates, a farmer's market, industry partnerships and more. We look forward to mulling over these suggestions when we develop the School's sustainability engagement strategy over the coming months.


The LSE bees hard at work. Photo by Dan Reeves

  Springtime for LSE's bees 

LSE's bees have spent the winter months huddled up to keep themselves warm in a slightly breezy location on the roof of Connaught House. They have been tucking into a back-up snack of fondant icing to see them through what has been declared as the wettest winter in 250 years - not ideal flying conditions by any stretch of the imagination!

In recent weeks, the bees have been seen actively flying in and out and foraging for pollen. Evidence of this has been found in the wooden 'drip trays' at the bottom of the hive that we check along with their back-up food levels. 

The bees appear to be producing more honey in cells and you can feel the weight of the honey comb frames increasing as they top up their larders. Spring is nearly upon us and activity will pick up considerably over the coming months.

If you want to get involved, do contact the LSE Bees Society and do your bit to support biodiversity on campus and in London. More

The UK is close to meeting its battery recycling target, which is to collect 30 per cent of batteries sold during the three previous years. LSE has played its part, and during 2012-13, LSE recycled almost half a tonne of batteries!

Look out for our special recycling containers for batteries, mobile phones, ink cartridges, stamps and CDs/DVDs in campus and halls.

  Estates energy efficiency improvements

Estates have been beavering away to continuously improve the School's energy efficiency.

The Maintenance Team has upgraded lighting in the Library, increasing the light levels whilst reducing energy consumption to save over 3,390 kWh per year. That's over 20,000 cups of tea!

Green Impact update

Green Impact has been as active as ever this year, with teams working hard to 'green' their offices. We are especially enthused by four brand new teams joining.

It’s now time for the auditing process which takes place on 19 March, in time for the wonderful finale at the Celebration of Sustainability event on 22 May, which all students and staff are invited to attend.



    Green buildings at LSE - sustainability workshop

The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW) opened in January to high acclaim, both within LSE and in the national press - not least for its impressive sustainability features. Following hot on its heels, the Centre Buildings redevelopment continues apace.

Last week saw a sustainability workshop to discuss how to make the Global Centre for Social Sciences even greener than the SAW. Facilitated by sustainable construction specialists Max Fordham, it brought together LSE Estates staff with academics, architects, landscape designers and others. They exchanged expertise and brainstormed approaches to minimise the ecological impact of the building, both during its construction and over its lifespan. Watch this space…

    'Green' your event!

Seven top practical tips to 'green' your event. Here are our seven steps to help you enjoy yourself and limit the 'impact' to the morning after...

1. Planning: order only the amount of food and drink you need to avoid waste! Ask cleaning staff or halls front of house staff for recycling bags.

2. Purchasing: does your drinks/food supplier apply any environmental or ethical criteria (eg. Fairtrade, local or tasty seasonal produce)?

3. 'Reveal' your food and drink in stages. This stops the hoarding of drinks and food and reduces leftovers and wastage.

4. Unplug me: don't leave equipment standing - save electricity by not leaving PA equipment and lighting on after events.

5. Slop bucket: this encourages dregs to be emptied and aids the recycling of aluminium cans.

6. Place recycling bins visibly: to ensure that aluminium cans, glass bottles and plastic cups are recycled. Scrape plates of food for compost.

7. Use digital media: Facebook invites are better than paper flyers and posters for the environment, and if you do decide to print invitations, then recycle them afterwards!


 Recycling round up

    The trouble with crabs... 

A recap on LSE's waste bins:

  • Most items go into the green recycling bins.
  • Food waste goes in the brown lidded compost bins.
  • Only chewing gum, polystyrene, crisp packets and sweet wrappers go in the grey non-recyclables bin.

If you have any giant coconut crabs (see left), please do not dispose of as waste - contact the Estates Helpdesk for further assistance. Then run away.

    Make a difference

Each year more than 8,000 tonnes of waste is generated just from Easter egg packaging.

This Easter, try to cut your egg-cessive waste by buying an eco-egg. For example, Divine Chocolate or Booja Booja's range, which were recently voted as the most sustainable Easter eggs on the market taking into account packaging and ingredients.


 Residences round-up



The Student Switch-Off team
in action


Springing into action

LSE's residences have been busy working on their Environmental Action Plans and tackling initial six 'easy wins' across the southern, central and northern clusters of residences. Most actions have now been completed. The next set of 'easy win's will be tackled shortly, so as to continually improve sustainability within the residences.

LSE's bees at Passfield Hall are doing well. Later in the year the existing hive will be split to repopulate the vacant hive. The Passfield Garden, which is funded by the Sustainable Projects Fund, is also taking root, and has been populated with plants to support the bees as well as herbs and strawberry plants for residents. 

The Student Switch-Off energy-saving competition continues to drive up energy efficiency in halls. Last year it reduced energy consumption by 6 per cent, saving 78 tonnes of CO2 and £11,500 in energy bills across eight halls. This year we have attracted three times the number of Switch-Off Ambassadors, which indicates great potential for savings, both financially and environmentally, across the residences. 

Keep up the good work!


 60 Second Interview

      with.....Elena Rivilla-Lutterkort, LSE's new Sustainability Officer

Tell us a bit about yourself  

I have been at LSE nearly a month now as the new Sustainability Officer, dealing with Sustainable Waste Management and Responsible Procurement. Before that I worked for the Metropolitan Police Service. I could tell you about it but then I would have to eliminate the evidence (joking). I'm originally from a small town in central-south Spain, middle of nowhere. Climate change has really affected the area, for some years it looked as if it would become a desert, but now after three years of rain the wetlands have recovered and host flamingos nearly all year round.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Exactly what I am now - an environment and sustainability professional. I saw a news story on TV when I was eight about the Amazon forest being burnt and slashed and told my parents I was going to be a 'naturist' that protected nature. Little did I know what the word meant or that protecting nature would involve making organisations more sustainable.

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

Not sure I would want to be in their shoes! I guess I would set a spring clean day for all, a work-free day other than ensuring that people clear up their desks, kitchens, cupboards, shared name it. The improvement would be staggering.

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

Health, a winning lottery ticket and more time (wouldn't mind having one of those timepieces Hermione had in Harry Potter).

What is the strangest food you've ever eaten?

There is a fruit in Mexico that looks like a squashed green tomato, except the insides have the taste and texture of black plum jam. The locals called it 'sapote', which literally translates as 'large toad', but it is delicious!




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.