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13 March 2024

King's announces progress and ambitious targets with updated Climate & Sustainability Action Plan

King’s is delighted to publish the second iteration of our Climate & Sustainability Action Plan to set out our ambitions to address the climate emergency

CSAP front cover image

The climate crisis is one of the most important challenges facing the world today, calling for a fundamental shift in how universities (and the wider world) are run. King’s is delighted to publish the second iteration of our Climate & Sustainability Action Plan, as part of King’s Climate & Sustainability Month (February 2024), to set out our ambitions to address the climate emergency.

The Climate & Sustainability Action Plan was first published in February 2023. It has since been updated as part of an annual review undertaken in late 2023 and early 2024, managed by the King’s Climate & Sustainability team.

King’s Climate & Sustainability is a 3-year transformation programme focused on embedding climate and sustainability across the University’s operations and uniting the King’s community to pool their skills and knowledge together to take action.

This is the second iteration of the plan after undergoing a thorough stakeholder review. There has been progress in some areas, and we are on track with some of our targets; however in many others we are behind. We feel that it is important to be transparent and reflective about these realities, and while we have made good progress in many areas, we acknowledge that there is plenty of work still to be done. It is important that we set ambitious targets to drive the change that is needed. Some of these targets require extremely complex undertakings across many aspects of the University, and we are working towards true interdisciplinary and collaborative action to create actual change.

The Climate & Sustainability Action Plan is a live document, and will be continually monitored, and the targets within will be reviewed and updated accordingly. The plan sets out 14 key impact areas to guide the University’s approach to sustainability and climate change, informed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), which set targets for holistic and sustainable global development by 2030. Key deliverables include:

  • At least a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, across energy use, business travel, our supply chain, commuting and waste
  • Ensuring sustainability and climate education is embedded into all King’s degree programmes by 2026
  • A four-fold increase in climate and sustainability research activity by 2029
  • Increasing investments with socially responsible benefits to 40% by 2025

A structured annual review process has been established along with continuous community input to ensure that objectives, targets and KPIs are up to date and our principles on climate and sustainability are embedded effectively in activities across King’s.

The Climate & Sustainability Action Plan has been reviewed alongside other key documents across the University to ensure alignment across all plans and integration of relevant targets.

Progress has been monitored across all sections of the Climate & Sustainability Action Plan and substantial advancements have been made in certain key areas, including establishing a thorough climate & sustainability governance structure with a Steering Group and a number of different Working Groups.

Changes mostly focus on reorganisation and updating outdated target dates, and key changes include the introduction of a model for Education for Sustainability at King’s, updates to incorporate the ongoing sustainable travel policy review and the development of a net zero operations business case.

King’s key targets (including emissions, water and waste reduction) remain a priority area of focus and are due to undergo a thorough review and analysis in 2024-25 to assess whether we remain on track to meet our ambitions, followed by a regular review of the overall net-zero targets for the University. Developing an institutional approach to carbon offsetting will also be an important area of focus for the year ahead, as well as the development of guidance on internal carbon pricing, to ensure we can better align financial decision-making criteria with King’s climate action goals. A new working group, the Carbon Offsetting Working Group, has now been formed and will meet twice a semester to foster discussion and develop strategy in this field. 

The Climate & Sustainability Action Plan will continue to be reviewed throughout the year as part of the annual review process, and a third iteration will be published in February 2025. We are always open to feedback and comments on our plans. Let’s #MakeChangeTogether!

If you would like to raise new ideas, challenge or collaborate with us, please contact us at