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King's recognises the need for a drastic societal shift to combat the growing threat of climate change, and is a signatory of the SDG Accord Climate Emergency Letter.

Our targets and plans

We have set the target to be a net zero carbon institution by 2030, and to reduce our absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 50% by 2030.

These ambitious targets, as well as our plans to work towards are outlined in our Climate & Sustainability Action Plan, which has been co-created with students and staff in King's Climate Action Network.

Our actions and progress

Our Climate & Sustainability Action Plan sets out our actions towards achieving our ambitious targets on reducing scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

We continuously work on improving energy efficiency on campus, and report on progress as part of our Environmental Sustainability Report. In 2020-21, we commissioned a Heat Decarbonisation Plan, which aimed to identify how King's can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions from heating our buildings.

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 behaviour change, for example, through our Sustainability Champions programme.

Alongside increasing energy efficiency through technology upgrades and behaviour change, we are decarbonising our electricity supply. In 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. We are also investing in more sustainable energy sources on campus. Both Great Dover Street Apartments and Champion Hill have solar panels on their roofs, providing King's with low-carbon electricity. We continue to investigate other buildings where we can install solar panels.

Energy at King's is governed through the Energy Risk Management Committee, which reports into the Real Estate Operations Board. Energy targets, performance and saving opportunities are regularly reviewed by the Energy team and through our Environmental Management System.

Our journey so far

Progress on our carbon and energy targets and projects is published in our annual Environmental Sustainability Report.

Our new ambitious carbon targets replace our previous target to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 43% between 2005-6 to 2020. We achieved this in 2019-20, reducing our emissions by 53% from our baseline. All of this happened while King's estate size was growing, and our student numbers and research volume was increasing.

We reduced our carbon intensity per £000 of income from 0.14 tonnes in 2005-6 to 0.03 tonnes in 2018-19, a reduction of 76%.

These reductions were the result of continuous work to increase energy efficiency, as well as decarbonisation of the UK electricity grid.

Read our previous Carbon Management Plans for 2020-23, 2010-202017-19, 2015-16, 2014-15 and 2013-14.

Recognising the importance of how we invest our endowment, King's divested from all fossil fuels in early 2021. Learn more about our divestment commitment and progress.

More about climate and sustainability at King's