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28 February 2023

King's hosts the London Student Sustainability Conference 2023

Hosted at King’s, students from 10 London-based universities came together to present and learn about the work inspiring positive impacts around the world.

A group of students holding up SDG boards during the LSSC networking.

Over 200 people from across London came together in person and online for the London Student Sustainability Conference 2023 (LSSC) on Monday 20th February. This student-led conference highlighted research and projects that aim to make the world a more sustainable place. The conference gave a platform to 36 student presenters, 58 student poster exhibitions and workshops held by several London universities.

There is something particularly important about sustainability, and that is that no one will solve it on their own. By coming together as the students of London, you are bringing together a long tradition of student activism that leads to changes.

President & Principal, Shitij Kapur

LSSC was founded by City, University of London in 2019 to provide an opportunity for students from across London to share their sustainability research and extra-curricular projects and has rapidly expanded since.

King’s was the first university to join City in organising the conference in 2021 and decided to take a lead in hosting this year’s 5th edition. LSSC23 was an impressive collaboration between 10 London universities: King’s College London, City University of London, Glasgow Caledonian University London, Imperial College London, Kingston University, London School of Economics, London South Bank University, University College London, University of Greenwich, and University of Westminster.

The conference was an opportunity to demonstrate our shared commitment to embedding sustainability into our education, research, leadership, operations, and engagement activities and to spotlight the students who are the driving force behind this momentum.

The students here today are part of the change-making generation, a generation which got handed down a climate catastrophe but is rising to the challenge... This is our chance as the younger generation to be heard, listened to, and be at the heart of all decision-making going forward. It is now in our hands to make the unheard voices in the climate discourse ring out louder. We must push for a transition that will reach the sustainable development goals and leave no one behind.

Rosa Roe Garcia, Sustainability Project Assistant, LSSC23 Steering Group representative for King’s

Following on from last year’s success, a Student Delivery Group helped coordinate the conference and they were vital for feeding a student perspective into decisions including programming, speakers, workshops and promotion. King’s members included Chihiro Tsutsumi, Jaydeep Bansal, and Leo Zhang Zhuo. There was also a group of student volunteers helping to make sure everything ran smoothly on the day. You can read the observations about the conference from King's student volunteer Elisabeth Möhlenkamp here

The saying goes with problems come solutions; I think the most important step is to talk about it first. Having conversations, discussions, debates, where you inevitably agree to disagree, but agreeing regardless to reach a solution together. And suddenly the world doesn't seem like such a big and scary place anymore, especially for us.

Nurul Anissa Azrudyn, student at Imperial College London, member of the Student Delivery Group

Each of the 12 LSSC sessions and posters was mapped against the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals cover a range of environmental and social sustainability issues and are designed to achieve a fair and just society for all by 2030. From sustainable finance to bird-inspired aviation, a diverse range of complex challenges were discussed at the conference, with innovative solutions proposed by students.

Nikhail Vaswani holding up his award in front of his poster.
Nikhail Vaswani holding up his award in front of his poster.

King’s was represented at LSSC with 6 students presenting on diverse topics, including how to reduce emissions in the telecommunications industry, challenges around inclusive local development, the potential of green hydrogen, developing a sustainable automotive industry in China, energy efficiency, and arctic sustainability.

The poster competition was judged by a diverse selection panel. King’s International Management MSc student Nikhail Vaswani won the Award for the Most Original Concept for his research poster on Decolonisation, Corporate Activity and Arctic Sustainability.

Through my research, I was able to demonstrate how a decolonial approach to business strategy can help infuse indigenous knowledge into business solutions. In turn, this has the potential to yield more profitable, holistic, comprehensive and sustainable outcomes. I was honoured to have been awarded the Most Original Concept Award for this research. I consider moments like these as signposts that I am doing something right, and that this sustainable approach to business, politics and governance is in fact the way forward.

Nikhail Vaswani, International Marketing MSc student

Projects presented by King’s students at LSSC23

  • How the Telecommunications Industry Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Stakeholder Analysis of UK Telecom Companies (Yuanru Jia; King’s Business School) – presentation and poster
  • Sinfully Thriving? The Extent Volkswagen’s Foreign Direct Investment Project Brought Inclusive Local Development (Herong Cui, Jeong Yeon Cho, Inha Moon, Hrishikesh Dave, and Nikkovieri Yaqin; Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy) – presentation and poster
  • How Can the Development of the Automotive Industry and Environmental Sustainability Be Aligned in China? (Jing Guo; King’s Business School) – poster
  • Decolonisation, Corporate Activity and Arctic Sustainability (Nikhail Vaswani; King’s Business School) – poster
  • Green Hydrogen, The Future of Reindustrialization? (Helena Alises Rodriguez; Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences) – poster
  • Using Behavioural Change Interventions to Improve Energy Efficiency at King’s College London (Ben Ettridge, King’s Business School) – poster

Climate & sustainability action at King's

King’s is rapidly scaling our response to the climate emergency through transformative multidisciplinary research, by embedding sustainability into our teaching, partnerships and impact, and by ‘walking the talk’ in our operations and activities. King’s Climate & Sustainability Action Plan was developed by the university’s Sustainability team in consultation with students, staff, alumni and members of King’s Climate Action Network (King’s CAN). The plan outlines 13 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.

King’s success in delivering on the SDGs is demonstrated through our consistent performance in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which uses the SDGs as a framework for measuring the broader social impact of universities. King’s was proud to place 5th in the UK, 5th in Europe and 24th in the world in the 2022 THE Impact Rankings, recognising the positive social, environmental and economic contributions we are making within our local, national and international communities. In 2022, King’s also once again received a 1st class award in the People & Planet University League.

King’s belief in centering our student voice led King’s Sustainability team to co-create a new online module on sustainability & climate with students and staff from across the university. This module now provides everyone at King’s an opportunity to learn more about sustainability and how sustainable issues link to their course or job and personal lives.

In this story

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London

Ricardo Twumasi

Lecturer in Psychosis Studies