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20 July 2023

Celebrating the King's community driving forward sustainability

Staff, students and alumni came together at the King’s Climate & Sustainability Awards 2023 to celebrate the efforts of those helping to make King’s a more sustainable place.

Group photo taken at the sustainability awards 2023 showing about 100 people holding up SDG boards.

King’s Climate & Sustainability Awards 2023 recognised the commitment and passion of members of the King’s community who are accelerating climate action across the university.

The event marked 10 years since the staff Sustainability Champions programme began at King’s with 17 participants in 2013. Since then, the programme has grown to 370 members who are implementing actions to make their offices and labs more sustainable and working towards Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards.

This annual awards ceremony is a way to thank and congratulate you for your dedication and commitment to championing sustainability. Thanks to your work, we have made strong progress to embed sustainability into our operations. Now we seek to rapidly scale our response to the climate emergency through embedding sustainability more deeply into our teaching, research, partnerships and impact.

Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal

This year, 39 teams entered the annual awards, with more than half awarded gold standard and many building on their previous bronze and silver levels.   

Sustainability Champions are the heart and soul of action on climate and sustainability at King’s. Through their commitment, advocacy and inventiveness, they demonstrate every day how we can change the way we do things to achieve our sustainability ambitions. The awards ceremony is a joyful celebration of all this work going on throughout the university.

Professor Frans Berkhout, Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability)

Sustainability at King’s has seen significant engagement from students and staff over the past year with more than 8,000 volunteering hours logged through King’s Climate Action Network, the KEATS Sustainability & Climate module and other sustainability programmes.

An impressive 2,000 people have joined sustainability events throughout the year, including bringing 10 of the capital's universities to King’s for the London Student Sustainability Conference in February.

These awards signal that within King’s we have a constituency of people who are already leading sustainable ways of working, ways of doing and ways of being. Now by coming together in response to the challenge of climate change, we can shift the thinking and knowledge production that can enable a more equitable and just society.

Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President (International, Engagement and Service)

Sustainability Awards

Sustainability Champions teams across King’s received Sustainability Awards for actions which took steps to reduce their personal and departmental carbon, enhance biodiversity, as well as increasing accessibility, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and widening participation.

13 office teams and 26 laboratory teams across King’s submitted their work and their awards reflect their impact on sustainable change to date. Eight Bronze, six Silver and 24 Gold awards were presented, with one team receiving the Climate & Sustainability Foundation award.

Special Awards

Staff, students, and teams who have successfully embedded sustainability across operations, teaching and the wider King’s community were recognised in the Special Awards category:

  • Nikhail Vaswani – King’s Master's student studying International Management who co-hosted the forthcoming series of the Spotlight on Sustainability podcast 
  • Kindness Ezekwe – King’s student finishing a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance who helped coordinate the forthcoming series of the Spotlight on Sustainability podcast
  • Katherine Horsham – Operations Manager at King’s Entrepreneurship Institute who supported the launch of the Climate & Sustainability networking series 
  • Elena Wilson – Head of Strategic Communications who has supported King’s Climate & Sustainability team and shone a light on climate action across the university
  • King’s Food – for embedding sustainability into all our food outlets and were recently shortlisted for the Green Gown Awards
  • King’s Culture team’s Culture Climate Collective – for supporting students’ arts, creativity and storytelling in response to the climate emergency

38 volunteers from the King’s Climate Action Network, 13 from the KEATS Sustainability & Climate module Take Action team and 281 students and staff who completed the module also received awards for their contribution to King’s sustainability projects.

Sustainable action in numbers (2022-23)

  • 366 Sustainability Champions and 39 teams receiving awards (24 Gold)
  • 8,460 hours of volunteering on sustainability projects
  • 39 events in Climate and Sustainability Month
  • 2 stars awarded to King’s in the Fairtrade University Award
  • 433 students, staff, and alumni in the King’s Climate Action Network
  • 194 hours of events offered, reaching 2,178 people
  • 40% of King's funds invested in projects with socially responsible benefits
  • 6,204 views on a sustainability short video Reel on Instagram
  • 997 students, staff, and alumni enrolled on the KEATS Sustainability & Climate module
  • £200,000 awarded in the first round of King’s Climate & Sustainability Seed Fund
  • King’s Food awarded 3 stars by the Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • 100+ modules on climate and sustainability topics
  • £1m committed by King’s to improve the sustainability of the cold storage and biobanking infrastructure
  • 40 old freezers recycled and energy consumption reduced by 200,000 kWh in the first year of the Freezer Exchange Scheme

Read our annual Sustainability Report to learn more about our community's progress in driving sustainability at King’s.

In this story

'Funmi  Olonisakin

Vice President (International, Engagement & Service)

Frans Berkhout

Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability)

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London

Ellie Wilson

Associate Director, London Engagement