We are committed to making our campuses as sustainable as possible
Professor Paul Lickiss, the Academic Leader in Sustainability
Imperial does a huge amount of valuable research in the area of sustainability and many of our staff and students are involved in businesses which promote sustainability.
On our own campuses progress has already been made by colleagues in Estates, Catering, and Greening Imperial to try and make our campuses more environmentally friendly. We have already stopped using plastic glasses and cutlery and made the switch to a sustainable energy supplier on all our campuses. Greening Imperial were also instrumental in my own post being created as this was something recommended in their report on sustainability across College.
I’m delighted that 35 labs are now participating in the LEAF project which aims to measure and improve their sustainability. The College has also achieved success in the Student Switch Off campaign and I thank all the students at Pembridge Hall who were awarded a national prize for taking the climate change quiz. Over 1,000 Imperial students took the quiz with over 500 pledging to save energy, water and recycle.
"Sustainability should run through the whole of College thinking and activity at all levels and across all campuses."
Professor Paul Lickiss, Academic Leader in Sustainability
Over the last few months, I have been meeting with members of our College community to gain an insight into existing sustainability initiatives at the College and where progress has already been made in this area. Now we are launching a College-wide conversation on making our campuses as environmentally friendly as possible, supported by a cross-College advisory group, and want to hear from you on how we can achieve this. Further details on how to get involved will be announced shortly.
Sustainability should run through the whole of College thinking and activity at all levels and across all campuses. We all have a role to play so I hope you will all join me in finding ways for the College to be more sustainable.
What we are doing
Four of our labs have already taken part in a pilot of Laboratory Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) which helps improve the sustainability of laboratories and features a checklist of actions that labs can undertake. The next phase of the project will commence in January 2020 – if you would like your lab to take part, please register your interest here.
From October 2019 100 per cent of bought-in electricity on all campuses comes from renewable sources and in 2017/18 our overall carbon emissions fell 27% below 2009 levels - the first year for which we recorded them.
Read the Carbon Management and Sustainability Activities Report 2017-2018 (PDF).
Sustainable food and drink
We are dedicated to ensuring the food and drink we serve on campus is sourced, distributed, served and disposed of in the most sustainable manner possible. We have introduced a levy on disposable cups, increased the availability of plant based options and we provide only wooden cutlery with take away options.
Working with business
Imperial is collaborating with startup Arborea in the iHub at White City to develop pioneering ‘BioSolar Leaf’ technology to improve air quality. The technology, which is the first of its kind in the world, purifies the air through the photosynthesis of microscopic plants, removing greenhouse gases from the environment whilst generating breathable oxygen.
Read our new Academic Strategy on how we are helping societies to become more sustainable.
You can also find out more about the work of the:
A Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Policy Working Group has been set up to look at how the Endowment funds are invested to achieve that goal while remaining true to the College mission.
Study sustainability at Imperial:
- MSc Sustainable Energy Futures
- MSc Climate Change Management and Finance
- MSc in Environmental Technology
- MRes in Green Chemistry: Energy and the Environment
Open online programmes
For undergraduates, the Change Maker field of Imperial Horizons offers a range of module options that challenge students to learn and work in diverse and often new ways in their approach to global issues and the wider world. Examples of module options which explicitly engage with Sustainable Development Goals:
13 November 2020New green materials could power smart devices using ambient light