King’s College London recognises the need for a drastic societal shift to combat the growing threat of climate change. We have set the target to be net zero carbon by 2025, and are a signatory of the SDG Accord Climate Emergency Letter.
Our intermediate target is to cut our carbon emissions by 43% by 2020, compared to our 2005-06 baseline. By 2025, we want to reach net zero carbon. We have made significant progress towards this, cutting our total carbon emissions by 41% by 2018-19 despite significant growth.
We have reduced our carbon intensity per £000 of income from 0.14 tonnes in 2005-06 to 0.03 tonnes in 2018-19, a reduction of 76%.
Further details on our progress on reducing carbon emissions are regularly published in our annual Environmental Sustainability Reports.
The university has a range of strategies to achieve our carbon targets. As a large research university, a significant part of our energy use comes from laboratories. Therefore we are continuously investing in more energy efficient equipment, and encouraging behavioural change, for example through our Sustainability Champions programme.
Since October 2017, all electricity directly purchased by King's has come from 100% UK wind energy backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates. When taking our purchasing of wind power into account, our carbon emissions have reduced by 62% between 2005-06 and 2018-19. In autumn 2019, King's was one of 20 universities to sign a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with onshore wind farms in Scotland and Wales, the first deal of its kind in the country. The certificate from our energy provider showing all our direclty purchased electricity comes from renewables for period of April 2020 to March 2021 can be found here.
The university is also investing in more sustainable and efficient energy sources. The new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute at Denmark Hill features a combined heat and power plant (CHP), supplying the surrounding buildings with heat and electricity. Two of our residences, Great Dover Street Apartments and Champion Hill, have solar panels on their, saving money and reducing King's impact. Read more about these .
The university's Carbon Management Plan 2010-2020 can be found here. Updates to this plan have been published in 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and for 2017-19. Energy targets, performance and saving opportunities are regularly reviewed by the Energy team and through the Environmental Management System.
We are now working towards a Climate Action Strategy to take us to our net zero carbon by 2025 strategy. This will be developed through the King's Climate Action Network, involving King's students, staff and alumni. More information on the network is available here.
Divesting from fossil fuels
King's also recognises the importance of divesting from fossil fuels. The university has made a committment to divest from all fossil fuels by the end of 2022, and to invest 40% of its funds in investments with socially responsible benefits by 2025. In October 2020, our exposure to fossil fuels was 0.9%, a significant decrease from 7.3% in July 2017. You can find out more about our ethical investment here, or in our annual Environmental Sustainability Reports.
At the end of each financial year, information on the university's investments is also published on the website. The FAQ on this page contains a breakdown of how the university's endowment is invested, as well as our exposure to fossil fuels and tobacco.