Students clearing undergrowth
Volunteers from Imperial College Union during the Environmental Society’s annual Go Green Week.

Imperial College Union

The Imperial College Union Ethics and Environment Network is a supportive network within the student community aiming to create a greener campus for all. The Network supports and coordinates ethical and environmental campaigns across the College and engages in discussions with the Union and College on ethical and environmental policies. The Imperial College Union Environmental Society builds on this work, bringing together students with a common passion for the environment and engaging students with nature through the Society’s Secret Garden and beehives. The Society promotes a sustainable lifestyle for students all across campus through sustainability talks and workshops.

Student Switch Off Campaign

Our students have been reducing their impact on the climate crisis by taking personal action in halls through Imperial halls of residence Student Switch Off Campaign. In 2019–20, 831 students pledged their support for the campaign, with 22 training as ambassadors and a further 1,857 students participating in the National Climate Quiz. The campaign also achieved a 5.6% reduction in consumption of electricity compared to the baseline from 2017–18 and 2018–19 for the months of full occupancy in halls where data were recorded.

Imperial Insights

Imperial Insights is the College’s induction and welcome event for new staff. During the session, staff from a variety of departments provide an overview of Imperial and highlight important issues currently facing the College, including sustainability challenges. The College’s Estates Facilities team offer practical guidance on how staff can make greener choices at work through simple actions such as recycling, reusing containers and switching off their computer when not in use.

Alumni engagement

We are engaging through events, communications and volunteering opportunities. For students and recent graduates, the Alumni Insights event, Let’s Talk Green Careers, provided an opportunity for experienced alumni to share sector-specific advice to those new to, or interested in, a career within the green sector. The Alumni Relations team have also hosted an industry-level alumni panel discussion on sustainability and economic recovery and discussions on Imperial Plexus to facilitate further conversations outside the event. The team regularly collaborates with the Grantham Institute and Energy Futures Lab on events and are planning to host an alumni event around the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). The College’s sustainability news and events reach 80,000 alumni through monthly e-newsletters and there are plans to create a sustainability Professional Interest Network (PIN) led by alumni volunteers from the sector. PINs provide a forum for alumni and professionals working in a specific sector to share ideas, challenges and expertise, and address relevant topics of interest.