SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...

 
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
SUSTAINABILITY
STRATEGY
2021–2026
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
FOREWORD

FOREWORD
                      We are living in a rapidly evolving world.
                      Societal vulnerability in the face of climate and
                      environmental change is serious and undeniable.
                      The UK government has committed to an ambitious target of 2050 for net zero carbon
                      emissions. The societal, economic and technological consequences of this challenge
                      cannot be overstated, and it is universities like ours that must step up to provide the
                      solutions, collaborations and skills necessary to help us get there. If this challenge wasn’t
                      enough, we have the equally serious transition to make society fair and equitable.
                      As we launch our strategy for the next five years, we must bear in mind that the world
                      will change in unexpected ways, as we found this past year. We must have a clear vision,
                      and be prepared to adapt and be agile.

                      Science and technology, and their translation to business, the public and decision makers,
                      are critical to achieving net zero carbon and building a resilient and equitable society.
                      The development and deployment of technical solutions to respond to changes in the
                      natural world is based on our ability to continually monitor the environment. Rolling
                      out new approaches in every sector demands smart application of science and clear
                      assessments of impact. We also must equip the next generation with the skills and
                      knowledge needed to make informed decisions that will drive the necessary action.

                      Imperial College London is already at the forefront of research and learning on many
                      of the most pressing challenges we face. The challenge is great, yet we can go further
                      and do more. Our new sustainability strategy places the transition to zero pollution at the
                      heart of what we will achieve in the coming years in research, training and innovation.
                      We will also focus resources to transform our campus and communities into a testbed
                      for new ways of working and living. Our strategy marks an important step for the College.
                      It builds on the progress we have made through ‘Greening Imperial’ and the work of our
                      Estates team to improve the sustainability of our campuses, and through our outstanding
                      multidisciplinary research centres such as the Grantham Institute for Climate Change
                      and the Environment and the Energy Futures Lab.

                      Framing a strategy is merely the first step. We are launching our strategy at a time when
                      our attention is directed to managing through a global pandemic and it might be tempting
                      to downgrade or delay commitments to other things. We know we must instead seize the
                      opportunity to accelerate our progress on climate action. Experience tells us that Imperial
                      responds well to challenges and I am convinced that 2020 will prove to be a turning point
                      in our collective endeavours and will see the College as a leading driver for the enormous
                      changes that must come.

                      I look forward to working with the extended Imperial community and our partners as we set
                      out to achieve this ambitious set of objectives, and to sharing our progress with you.
LEFT: Undergraduate
Ecology students
at the Silwood Park   Professor Ian Walmsley FRS
Campus.               Provost, Imperial College London
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
OUR VISION                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           OUR VISION

OUR VISION:
THE ROADMAP TO                                                                                                                                                                                                                           We must continue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to be a vocal, visible

2026 AND BEYOND                                                                                                                                                                                                                          advocate for technology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and policy for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         sustainability, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         a solutions provider
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to business
Sustainability will shape Imperial’s plans        Our overall, long-term goal is to be a                                                                                                                                                 Finding sustainable solutions together
and activities at all levels and across all       sustainable and net zero carbon institution                                                                                                                                            We will build on our extensive
campuses. The College’s Sustainability            by 2040. In addition, we anticipate that at                                                                                                                                            sustainability curriculum to ensure that
Strategy Advisory Group was established           the end of this current five-year strategy,                                                                                                                                            all Imperial students can access the skills
in 2020 to ensure that we turn this notion        this date will be brought forward as we                                                                                                                                                and knowledge they need to lead positive
into reality and, in the context of our           achieve efficiencies within the College                                                                                                                                                change. We will reshape our research
considerable but finite resources, set a          and take advantage of the evolving energy                                                                                                                                              portfolio, with a growing focus on the
credible roadmap for its delivery.                landscape in the UK. Our overarching                                                                                                                                                   science, technology and policy solutions
                                                  responsibility is to manage the impact                                                                                                                                                 needed for a just and equitable transition
Guiding the Advisory Group’s work is              of the decisions we make such that they                                                                                                                                                to a sustainable net zero carbon society.
our ambition to ensure that as well as            are neither detrimental to the environment                                                                                                                                             We will empower our external stakeholders
Imperial leading the world on science and         nor to society, and still enable the College                                                                                                                                           and the wider public to find and implement
policy for sustainability, we also embed          to thrive in the future.                                                                                                                                                               sustainable solutions together.
sector-leading sustainable practice
throughout our research, teaching and             Focusing on what matters                                                                                                                                                               In the pages that follow, we set out
operational activities. This ambition is          Building on the work of the 2017                                                                                                                                                       our plans, within the framework
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Our long-term goal is
captured in our vision: to advance our            Greening Imperial study, we interviewed                                                                                                                        to be a sustainable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         of three themes, that collectively
world leading sustainability research             stakeholders inside and outside the                                                                                                                            and net zero carbon     will deliver our strategic priorities.
and education, and to apply what                  organisation, including academic and                                                                                                                           institution by 2040.    Our three themes are:
Imperial excels at to our own activities          technical staff, union representatives,
and to the new challenges facing the              student bodies, and business partners.                                                                                                                                                 ● Resource Management
world. Our strategy brings together the           We also launched an online survey with         to be a vocal, visible advocate for           the College’s decisions on the               with our complementary plan to address       ● Academic Excellence
work underway in estate infrastructure,           the College community to identify themes       technology and policy for sustainability,     procurement of buildings, services,          the broader UN Sustainable Development       ● Engagement
research and teaching through a single            where expectations are high and where we       and a solutions-provider to business.         travel and equipment;                        Goals: www.imperial.ac.uk/global-
framework for sustainability. Goals               have the greatest potential to contribute.     Everything we do must be underpinned        ● we ensure that all teaching and research   development-hub/imperial-and-the-sdgs.       We are constantly evolving our Strategy,
will guide our action to 2026 and                                                                by the resourcing and governance that         is carried out in a sustainable way;                                                      and expect to add further activities,
beyond, and ensure that we maximise               What we heard is that sustainability           will bring the different strands of work    ● students are equipped with                 Our Goals                                    science-based targets and measures
the College’s contribution to the UN’s            presents a great opportunity for the           underway together and drive change.           sustainability skills and knowledge          Demonstrate sustainability                   as our work as an institution gathers
Sustainable Development Goals.                    College – our sustainability research and                                                    for the future;                              in practice                                  further momentum in this area. Please
                                                  education is world leading and we should       Clear priorities for action for both        ● governance, management and                 We will transform our campuses,              get in touch if you have any comments or
                                                  do more to implement on campus what            the College community and our                 resourcing of sustainability, including      bringing sustainability principles to bear   suggestions, or would like to contribute to
                                                  we learn and teach. Imperial students          stakeholders emerged from our                 our approach to investment, is at            in our decision-making and investment        the work, on sustainable@imperial.ac.uk.
                                                  represent a huge resource for change           findings. These are that:                     the forefront of the College’s plans         in buildings, grounds, transport,
                                                  and influence – now and as future              ● the complex interplay between climate     and ambitions.                               procurement and partnerships. We will
                                                  leaders – and we will ensure they have           change, energy generation and human                                                      showcase Imperial’s research in action,                                Professor
                                                  the skills and knowledge that leadership         activity requires long-term coordinated   Sustainability’s ‘social dimensions’,          turning our campuses into testbeds for                                 Paul Lickiss
                                                  for sustainability demands. Our                  planning by the College;                  including human rights, diversity and          sustainability. Underpinning this goal is                              Academic Leader
                                                  campuses will become testbeds for our          ● we monitor the use of all our           inclusion are integral to our activities.      our commitment to operate responsibly,                                 in Sustainability,
                                                  policy, technology and innovation work,          resources and use them efficiently        This strategy is focused primarily on the      including our approach to governance,                                  Imperial College
                                                  and showcase partnership, collaboration          to minimise waste;                        environmental and governance aspects           communications and investment                                          London
We will build on our sustainability curriculum.   and engagement. We must continue               ● sustainability is integral to          of sustainability, and goes hand-in-hand       for sustainability.

04 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sustainability Strategy ❘ 05
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

RESOURCE                                                   ENERGY USE
MANAGEMENT                                                 Aim:
                                                           To achieve carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2
                                                           emissions by 2040, minimising Scope 3 emissions
                                                           where possible, while at the same time ensuring
                                                                                                                                                                  Laboratory Efficiency
                                                                                                                                                                  Assessment
                                                                                                                                                                  Framework (LEAF)
                                                                                                                                                                  Research groups and
                                                           that the College continues to provide world class                                                      facilities from seven
                                                                                                                                                                  departments across
Responsible management of resources is integral            facilities to support its overall strategy of                                                          Imperial took part in the
to Imperial’s aims of achieving a sustainable, healthy,    achieving enduring excellence.                                                                         national LEAF scheme in
                                                                                                                                                                  2019–20. Teams made
resilient and smart society. Our campuses should                                                                                                                  use of the sustainability
also reflect this vision for society, providing a clean                                                                                                           guidance in the LEAF
and healthy environment in which the wellbeing                                                                                                                    Workbook to address
                                                                                                                                                                  energy efficiency, waste
of our staff and students is a priority.
                                                                                                                                      32%
                                                                                                                                                                  management, sharing
                                                                                                                                                                  resources and ensuring
We are committing to generating science-based targets                                                                           Percentage reduction
                                                                                                                                  in combined scope
                                                                                                                                                                  that good induction and
                                                                                                                                                                  leaving procedures were
and improvements in all areas, from energy use, water                                                                              1 and 2 emissions              in place. Despite the
                                                                                                                                per FTE over the period
management, waste reduction and catering, to active                                                                              2014–15 to 2018–19               challenges presented
travel, sustainable procurement and biodiversity.                                                                                                                 by the coronavirus
                                                                                                                                                                  lockdown, many teams
                                                                                                                                                                  managed to submit
With these commitments built into the College’s                                                                                                                   calculations on the
wider mission, all our staff and students will not only                                                                                                           savings accrued from their
                                                                                                                                                                  LEAF actions: typically
be aware of the changes they can make as individuals,                                                                                                             £1,000–£10,000 per year
but also be enabled to make these changes as part of                                                                                                              for each group. Improved
the College community to create a sustainable future.                                                                                                             management of fume
                                                                                                                                                                  cupboards, freezers and
                                                                                                                                                                  waste led to the highest
Underpinning these commitments is our aim to create        We will:                                        enhance data gathering through                         savings and reduced the
a shared vision for sustainability. We will achieve this   ●reduce total Scope 1 and 2 carbon
                                                               emissions arising from energy
                                                                                                           our building management systems;
                                                                                                        ● continue to upgrade and enhance
                                                                                                                                                                  environmental impact
                                                                                                                                                                  of research. The results
not only through governance and management, building           consumption by 15% by 2025–26                existing building services infrastructure             were impressive – our
capacity, and demonstrating leadership by example, but         against the baseline year 2018–19;           to improve sustainability and                         laboratories were awarded
also by empowering and inspiring our community and         ● assess the options available to
                                                               increase on-campus renewable
                                                                                                            energy performance;
                                                                                                        ● identify and seek funding for building
                                                                                                                                                                  six silver and 15 bronze
                                                                                                                                                                  LEAF certificates. The LEAF
facilitating change within all levels of the College.          energy generation;                           fabric improvement such as façades,                   scheme will run again in
                                                           ●develop a roadmap towards                     glazing and insulation that are more                  2021 in an expanded form
                                                               a carbon neutral south site of               efficient and will effect the reduction               across more laboratories.
                                                               our White City Campus;                       of energy consumption.
                                                           ● continue to procure 100% of our
                                                               bought-in electricity through a
                                                               Renewable Energy Guarantees Origin
                                                                                                                                                                 6
                                                               (REGO) backed tariff (this significant     Measures of progress:                           Silver certificates
                                                                                                                                                              awarded to
                                                               step in reducing the College carbon        Reduction in total carbon                        laboratories for
                                                               emissions was taken in October 2019);      emissions from energy use:                      energy efficiency
                                                           ● undertake work to establish                ● Total (tonnes CO2e); by staff and
                                                               science-based targets to be used               students (tonnes CO2e/FTE);
                                                               across all campuses;                       ● By total income (tonnes CO2e/£);
                                                           ● improve the control of all building        ● By building area (tonnes CO2e/m2).
                                                               infrastructure and energy use and

                                                                                                                                                                        Sustainability Strategy ❘ 07
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                 RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

WASTE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                       WATER MANAGEMENT
Aim:                                                                                                                   Aim:
To ensure the responsible management of all waste                                         WARPit                       To ensure the responsible management of water
                                                                                          Imperial participates
streams arising from our activities, using innovative                                     in the WARPit scheme,        resources, reducing our consumption and preventing
solutions to reduce our consumption of single-use                                         a redistribution network     pollution of the natural environment.
items, to reuse materials and recycle waste produced                                      allowing individuals and
                                                                                          departments alike to give
as much as possible.                                                                      away or loan items they
                                                                                          no longer require, but
                                                                                          which others may have
                                                                                          a use for. For example,                                                                                                        Reducing water use
                                                                                          space undergoing a                                                                                                             in our labs
                                                                          28.77           refurbishment can be
                                                                                          furnished through WARPit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Laboratories use large
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         amounts of water for
                                                                         tonnes of CO2e   with perfectly serviceable                                                                                                     cooling both equipment
                                                                         saved through    items. WARPit brings the                                                                                                       and chemical reactions
                                                                         WARPit scheme
                                                                           in 2018–19
                                                                                          unused into use, saves                                                                                                         via condensers. Use of
                                                                                          money, frees up space,                                                                                                         waterless condensers in
                                                                                          diverts resources from                                                                                                         the first year Chemistry
                                                                                          landfill, reduces carbon                                                                                                       laboratory has recently
                                                                                          emissions and saves on                                                                                                         resulted in a saving of
                                                                                          the costs of removal and                                                                                                       approximately 20m3
                                                                                          disposal. In the 2018–19                                                                                                       of water over a single
                                                                                          academic year the scheme                                                                                                       term. Use of waterless
                                                                                          had 205 transactions                                                                                                           condensers is being
                                                                                          (a 6% increase on the                                                                                                          introduced across further
                                                                                          previous year), saving                                                                                                         teaching courses, and
                                                                                          28.77 tonnes of carbon                                                                                                         in research laboratories,
                                                                                          emissions and reusing                                                                                                          chemists have found that
                                                                                          4.72 tonnes of potential       Use of recirculating                                                                            an individual may save
                                                                                          waste materials.               coolant instead of                                                                              5m3 of water per week.
                                                                                                                         flowing water helps                                                                             A reduction in running
                                                                                                                         to reduce water
                                                                                          Electrical waste                                                                                                               water in laboratories
                                                                                                                         consumption in
                                                                                          All Waste Electrical and       laboratories across                                                                             also reduces the risk
                                                                                          Electronic Equipment           the College.                                                                                    of floods within buildings.
We will:                                                                                  (WEEE) produced by                                                                                                             Use of recirculating
● reduce waste sent to landfill from        Measures of progress:                       the College, for example                                                                                                       coolant systems is being
    all College sources by being efficient    ● Reduction in total amount of             computers, fridges and       We will:                                     does not rely on water in laboratories,              increasingly used with
    in use of our resources and in reusing       various wastes sent for recycling        laboratory equipment is      ● work to reduce total and per person      for example waterless condensers;                    laboratory equipment
    and recycling unwanted materials;            compared to waste going to               collected by an external         water consumption and continue to     ● increase the use of recirculating coolant           such as rotary evaporators
● investigate further the reduction,           general landfill (tonnes per year);      contractor: items still of       use the UK government’s Aquafund          systems in laboratories and enhance                 and spectrometers.
    reuse and recycling of varied materials   ● Reduction in emissions from              use are then resold, and         framework to carry out detailed           building infrastructure to enable water             In the Department of
    used in laboratories that are currently      our waste related activities             equipment that cannot            audits of our water use;                  savings to be made;                                 Civil and Environmental
    sent to landfill or for incineration;        (tonnes of CO2e per year);               be remarketed is stripped    ● install water control devices and     ● install gray water and rainwater                    Engineering, this change
● increase the use of WARPit to reuse       ● Increase in number of equipment          to recover materials for         more automated meters to better           harvesting systems where possible.                             has saved over
    College equipment and furniture;             and furniture reuse transactions via     recycling and reuse.             understand trends in water usage                                                                             250m3 of
● promote student recycling schemes
    for unwanted bedding and other items
                                                 WARPit, waste and emissions saved
                                                 (tonnes waste/CO2e per year);
                                                                                                                           and to enable benchmarking,
                                                                                                                           monitoring and target-setting;          Measures of progress:                           20m         3          water per
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           year.
    to be given to charities.                 ● Increase in quantity of food,                                         ● work with laboratory managers to        ● Reduction in total College use               Water saved
                                                 bedding and other unwanted goods                                          promote the use of the Laboratory           of water (m3 per year);                   over a single term
                                                                                                                                                                   ● Reduction in water usage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  in 2018–19 in a
                                                 collected from students for donation                                      Efficiency Assessment Framework
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  single teaching
                                                 to charity (tonnes per year).                                             (LEAF) to reduce water consumption;         per person (m3 per year).                     laboratory
                                                                                                                       ● trial alternative equipment that

08 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sustainability Strategy ❘ 09
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                         RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT                                                                                                           SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION
Aim:
To use our influence with our suppliers and partners to
                                                                                                                                  AND REFURBISHMENT
procure environmentally-friendly supplies and services,                                                                           Aim:
to reduce consumption and, where possible, purchase                                                                               To consider sustainability at all stages of refurbishment
goods and services which may be manufactured, used                                                                                and new building planning, and to work with architects
and disposed of in an environmentally-responsible way.                                                                            and contractors to minimise the environmental impact
                                                                                                                                  of construction.
                                                                                                  Collaborative
                                                                                                  purchasing
                                                                                                  A recent project running                                                                      The Molecular Sciences
                                                                                                                                                                                                Research Hub is certified
                                                                                                  from 2018–20 to                                                                               BREEAM Excellent and has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Molecular Sciences
                                                                                                  replace old autoclaves                                                                        won an S-LAB Award for           Research Hub
                                                                                                  (steam sterilisation                                                                          its safe, successful and         The Molecular Sciences
                                                                                                  equipment) took a holistic                                                                    sustainable laboratories.        Research Hub (MSRH),
                                                                                                  approach with input at                                                                                                         the new research home
                                                                                                  departmental and faculty                                                                                                       for the Department of
                                                                                                  level and worked with our                                                                                                      Chemistry, was awarded
                                                                                                  Purchasing Project and                                                                                                         BREEAM Excellent
                                                                                                  Estates teams. Running                                                                                                         Certification for its overall
                                                                                                  costs of electricity, steam,                                                                                                   environmental and
                                                                                                  water consumption,                                                                                                             operational performance.
                                                                                                  maintenance and service                                                                                                        BREEAM sets best
                                                                                                  contracts on plant, as                                                                                                         practice standards for the
                                                                                                  well as the autoclaves                                                                                                         environmental performance
                                                                                                  themselves were                                                                                                                of buildings through
                                                                                                  considered, together            We will:                                      ambitious external environmental                 design, specification,
                                                                                                  with insurance inspections,     ●plan for our next academic building,       performance certifications, for example          construction and operation.
                                                                                                  the staffing costs to run           The School of Public Health,              the Building Research Establishment              In 2019, the MSRH was
                                                                                                  the facility and the                on the White City Campus to be            Environmental Assessment Method                  also awarded the S-Lab
                                                                                                  upfront cost of their initial       BREEAM excellent;                         (BREEAM) and the Royal Institution               (Safe, Successful,
                                                                                                  purchase. Overall, this         ● design buildings and infrastructure       of Chartered Surveyors SKA Rating                Sustainable Laboratories)
                                                                                                  led to a reduction in the           with low-cost, low-frequency              for Higher Education.                            Award in the Refurbished
                                                                                                  number of autoclaves                maintenance and easy access to                                                             Buildings and Spaces
                                                                                                  needing to be purchased,            space, plant and equipment;                                                                category. The S-Lab Awards
                                                                                                  and introduced greater          ● optimise passive design features,                                                          are recognised around the
                                                                                                  energy efficiencies.                such as increasing daylight and                                                            world as the benchmark
                                                                                                                                      natural ventilation and reducing          Measures of progress:                            for good laboratory
We will:                                         the supplier base to reduce the                                                      heating and mechanical cooling,           ● Increase in percentage of new                design, operation
● develop appropriate metrics to measure
   progress in influencing our suppliers and
                                                 College’s carbon footprint;
                                               ● support staff to understand the
                                                                                          30%                                         and increase the wellbeing of students,
                                                                                                                                      staff and visitors through improved
                                                                                                                                                                                    buildings of new buildings that are
                                                                                                                                                                                    certified at least BREEAM Excellent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and management.

   partners to procure environmentally-           environmental impact of purchases,      reduction in                                building design;                              or equivalent;
                                                                                           number of
   friendly supplies and services;                considering the whole life cycle cost                                           ● maximise low and zero carbon              ● Increase in percentage of
● assess all potential suppliers on their        of equipment and services.
                                                                                           autoclaves
                                                                                           purchased                                  technologies such as solar photovoltaic       refurbishment projects that             BREEAM
   environmental policies such as BS7750,
   EMAS and ISO 14001, and continually
                                                                                                                                      and ground source heat pumps;
                                                                                                                                  ● carry out life cycle cost analysis of
                                                                                                                                                                                    are certified at least BREEAM
                                                                                                                                                                                    Very Good or equivalent;                Excellent
   monitor our major suppliers on their          Measures of progress:                                                                construction and refurbishment on all     ● External awards for sustainable         The MSRH in top 10%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               of UK new non-
   environmental policies and practices;         ● Increase in percentage of                                                        projects to ensure that sustainability        construction and design;                 domestic buildings
● work with major suppliers to                    purchases from environmentally                                                     considerations are taken into account;    ● Improvements in building
   develop and share, where appropriate,           responsible suppliers.                                                         ● benchmark all construction and                energy efficiency.
   environmental policies and minimise                                                                                                refurbishment projects against

10 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sustainability Strategy ❘ 11
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                        RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

CATERING                                                                                                                       BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEMS
Aim:                                                                                                                           Aim:
To work with our suppliers to ensure that food and drink                                                                       To raise awareness of the College’s natural environment                                       The Secret Garden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The Secret Garden is a
are sourced responsibly, food miles are minimised and                                                                          and promote biodiversity across the College estate,                                           haven amidst the South
the effects on the wider environment are taken into                                                                            act as stewards to safeguard and conserve natural                                             Kensington Campus open
account, and to increase consumer awareness of the                                                                             ecosystems, and where possible, ensure construction                                           to all staff and students.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             It is home to the Imperial
environmental impact of food and drink.                                                                                        or refurbishment work undertaken by the College and                                           Apiary Project, run by the
                                                                                                                               contractors has a net positive impact on biodiversity.                                        College’s Environmental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Society, which produces
                                                                                                 Plantworks                                                                                                                  significant amounts
                                                                                                 Launched in April 2019                                                                                                      of honey. Waste piles
                                                                                                 on the South Kensington                                                                                                     are shredded, left to
                                                                                                 Campus, Plantworks is                                                                                                       biodegrade and the
                                                                                                 Imperial’s first entirely                                                                                                   resulting compost used
                                                                                                 plant-based and vegan                                                                                                       on lawns and planted
                                                                                                 catering outlet. Plantworks                                                                                                 areas.
                                                                                                 features a bespoke and
                                                                                                 fresh menu of plant-                                                                                                        Biodiversity
                                                                                                 based foods and drinks,                                                                                                     at Silwood Park
                                                                                                 encouraging staff and                                                                                                       Our Silwood Park Campus
                                                                                                 students to choose                                                                                                          provides important
                                                                                                 a healthier option at                                                                                                       habitats including
                                                                                                 lunchtime and make their                                                                                                    wet woodlands, acid
                                                                                                 diet more sustainable                                                                                                       grasslands, traditional
                                                                                                 for the planet.                                                                                                             orchards and parklands.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             These provide havens for
                                                                                                 Drink, Refill, Repeat                                                                                                       a wide range of wildlife
                                                                                                 The Drink, Refill, Repeat                                                                                                   such as ancient trees
                                                                                                 campaign, a collaboration                                                                                                   which support many
                                                                                                 between Campus Services                                                                                                     rare species of insects,
                                                                                                                                  The Secret Garden
                                                                                                 and Greening Imperial,           is open to all staff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             lichens and fungi. Some
                                                                                                 encourages students and          and students.                                                                              of these habitats and
                                                                                                 staff to transition from                                                                                                    species are considered
                                                                                                 disposable drinks bottles                                                                                                   scarce, vulnerable, or in
                                                                                                 and toward reusable           We will:                                       ● utilise and enhance natural resources      need of protection under
                                                                                                 containers. To support        ● map biodiversity on all College                 like the Secret Garden at the South        national and international
We will:                                       ● introduce more water fountains                this, we have introduced          campuses and monitor its health                Kensington Campus;                         conservation schemes.
● work to develop and implement                and encourage the use of refillable             new water fountains               and growth;                                ● encourage and equip staff and students
     a sustainable food policy;                  drinks containers.                              across our campuses and       ● where possible, increase the number             to become stewards of green space          Green roofs
● use innovative menus and promote                                                            removed plastic cups from         of green walls, roofs and spaces to            on campus and beyond.                      Green roofs are habitats
     meat-free meals to reduce the amount                                                        water stations, saving            maximise benefit from Imperial’s limited                                                  for wildlife, absorb
     of meat used in College catering;          Measures of progress:                            approximately 850,000             urban campuses;                                                                           rainwater, help to improve
● work with our suppliers to reduce the       ● Reduction in plastic and single-use          plastic cups per year.        ● continue to enhance the ecology,                                                          wellbeing and help to
     use of unsustainable catering supplies;        items used and sold through College                                            conservation and environmental                                                            mitigate against the heat
● work with suppliers to ensure that              catering outlets;                                                              work carried out at Silwood Park,            Measures of progress:                        island effect. Green roofs
     all fish served in College catering        ● Reduction in waste produced from                                               the College’s rural campus;                  ● Increase in area of roofs, walls         can be found on the South
     outlets is Marine Stewardship
     Council certified;
                                                    catering operations;
                                                ● Reduction in amount of meat used
                                                                                          850,000                              ● make biodiversity considerations
                                                                                                                                   integral to planning;
                                                                                                                                                                                    and other spaces with improved
                                                                                                                                                                                    biodiversity;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Kensington Campus and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             at the White City Campus
                                                                                          number of plastic
● continue to replace plastic and                 in College catering;                    cups saved                         ● increase planting of trees and drought       ● Increase in number and variety           on the new MSRH and
     single-use items throughout catering       ● Reduction in amount of palm oil         in 2018–19                             resistant plants to create a greener             of wildlife species recorded as          I-HUB buildings.
     operations, for example by continuing          used from non-sustainable sources.                                             environment and improve wellbeing                present on our campuses.
     the disposable cup levy;                                                                                                      of staff and students;

12 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sustainability Strategy ❘ 13
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                 RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

TRAVEL                                                                                                                        GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
Aim:                                                                                                                          Aim:
To promote climate conscious travel among staff and                                              Profs Who Fly                To provide oversight, direction and focus to
                                                                                                 Profs Who Fly is a
students in order to reduce the environmental impact                                             socially responsible         the College’s actions on sustainability and climate
of College-related travel.                                                                       carbon offsetting system     change. This will be done by creating a shared vision
                                                                                                 where Climate Damage         for sustainability; building capacity; empowering
                                                                                                 Mitigation Certificates
                                                                                                 are purchased. The           and inspiring staff, students and College leaders;
                                                                                                 income generated directly    facilitating change within the College at all levels
                                                                                                 supports sustainable         and demonstrating leadership by example.
                                                                                                 development projects                                                                                                    Developing the
                                                                                                 around the world that                                                                                                   Sustainability
                                                                                                 remove carbon from the       We will influence decision making across the College                                       Strategy
                                                                                                 atmosphere through           so that every aspect of the College’s work is compatible                                   In November 2019,
                                                                                                 biological sequestration.                                                                                               Professor Paul Lickiss,
                                                                                                 Originally developed         with the Sustainability Strategy.                                                          the College’s first
                                                                                                 by our Centre for                                                                                                       Academic Leader for
                                                                                                 Environmental Policy,                                                                                                   Sustainability was
                                                                                                 offsets can now be                                                                                                      appointed with a remit to
                                                A Dr Bike mechanic checks a student’s bicycle.   purchased by any member                                                                                                 develop a Sustainability
                                                                                                 of staff through the                                                                                                    Strategy for the College.
                                                                                                 College’s procurement                                                                                                      The Sustainability
We will:                                           opportunities for improvements to             systems and charged to                                                                                                  Strategy Advisory Group
● develop a sustainable travel policy            active transport options between              projects, departmental                                                                                                  advised on key matters
  by 2022;                                         and around our campuses;                      codes or research                                                                                                       relating to environmental
● provide staff and students                  ● replace existing College petrol or           support accounts.                                                                                                       sustainability and
    with innovative virtual and video               diesel vehicles with electric or hydrogen                                                                                                                            considered progress made
    conferencing tools to advance                   alternatives where possible for use on       Active travel                                                                                                           and best practice across
    collaboration and increase conference           campus and between campuses;                 Move Imperial aims                                                                                                      the higher education, and
    participation, while reducing the           ● introduce solutions to enable College        to support staff and                                                                                                    College-level challenges.
    need to travel;                                 members to move from being owners to         students in making their                                                                                                Both internal and external
● develop appropriate mechanisms                  being users of the means of transport;       transport to campus –                                                                                                   stakeholders were
    to encourage less air travel (such as       ● reduce the number of vehicles on             and across London –                                                                                                     interviewed to inform the
    a carbon tax or frequent flyer levy)            campus as far as possible and increase       more active. From route                                                                                                 scope of the strategy and
    and mitigate some of the impact                 electric vehicle charging points for         maps to financial support,                                                                                              feedback from a College-
    of necessary air travel (for example            staff and visitors.                          staff and students can                                                                                                  wide survey in June 2020
    by carbon offsetting), taking care                                                           find guidance on the                                                                                                    fed into its development.
    that reductions in aviation emissions                                                        College’s Active Travel
    are distributed fairly across the             Measures of progress:                          website to transform their
    Imperial community;                           ● Reduction in carbon emissions              commute into one that is
● provide incentives for low-carbon
    travel, for example participating in the
                                                       from air travel by 25% by 2026
                                                      against the baseline year 2017–18
                                                                                                 healthier for themselves
                                                                                                 and the environment.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1,155
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sustainable
    government’s Cycle to Work Scheme                 (tonnes of CO2e per person                 Move Imperial also           We will:                                     at all levels, including long-term       Imperial survey
    and permitting slow travel days for               per year);                                 provides information         ● establish a Sustainability Advisory      academic and financial planning;            responses
    greener modes of transport;                   ● Increase in sustainable modes              for staff applying to the        Board under the direction of the      ● empower the College community
● improve data collection on staff                  of commuting both to and from              government Cycle to Work         Academic Leader for Sustainability;       to engage widely in action on climate
    and student travel, particularly by air,          College and between campuses               scheme, which can help       ● strengthen and build on existing          change and sustainability, working
    to benchmark and develop accurate                 (methods for assessing per capita          save up to 39% on the            evaluation processes, and ensure          in partnership with each other and
    targets for the future;                           carbon emissions from air travel and       cost of a new bike.              that annual reports are developed         with senior leadership;
● promote the use of public transport               travel surveys are being investigated                                       to assist in monitoring progress      ● benchmark our sustainability
    and active travel to and from campuses,           by the College to enable more                                               and decision-making;                      performance against national and
    including improving cycle facilities, and         detailed KPIs to be developed).                                         ● ensure that sustainability is an          international institutions.
    engage with local councils to identify                                                                                        integral part of decision-making

14 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                   Sustainability Strategy ❘ 15
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

ACADEMIC                                                     ACADEMIC
                                                             EXCELLENCE
EXCELLENCE
Our goals to demonstrate sustainability in practice          Tackling global challenges
and share our learning with the world focus us on the        Imperial’s pioneering research in
                                                             sustainability is helping to shape
impact of teaching and research – the ‘handprint’ of         a cleaner future for all. Through our
Imperial that goes well beyond our operational footprint.    highly-collaborative and multidisciplinary
Capturing and reporting the progress we are making           approaches, the College contributes
                                                             significantly to the science, policy
through our core activities is more complicated,             and innovation guiding the transition
but our aim is to be more systematic and effective           to a more sustainable society. From
in harnessing the great research and teaching that           fundamental discoveries about our
                                                             planet’s climate system, to development
goes on at the College in the quest for solutions            of low-carbon technologies, the ground-
to the challenges ahead.                                     breaking research undertaken in our
                                                             faculties, centres, networks and Global
                                                             Challenge Institutes will allow us to
The College’s Learning and Teaching Strategy sets out        develop new insights and knowledge
our commitment to ensuring that an Imperial education        to help make sustainable change. The
is recognised as globally outstanding in the fields of       Grantham Institute for Climate Change
                                                             and the Environment sits at the heart
science, engineering, medicine and business, with a          of our work on climate change and the
focus on the skills needed to address current and future     environment and is one of six Global          Professor Jason Hallett from the Department of Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on how
global challenges. Our portfolio of sustainability courses   Institutes established to promote inter-
                                                             disciplinary working and to meet some of
                                                                                                           ionic liquids could be used to in biofuels, sustainable chemical feedstocks and recycling.

is designed to equip our students with the knowledge         the greatest challenges faced by society.     evidence-based research that addresses
and understanding to become leaders in their fields.         The Energy Futures Lab is another of          the key economic, social, environmental
We now plan to build on this foundation by making            our institutes which aims to tackle major
                                                             sustainability challenges by promoting
                                                                                                           and technological challenges facing
                                                                                                           organisations today. We are also creating
knowledge and skills for sustainability increasingly         energy innovation and advancing               a Centre for Climate Change Innovation
central to all learning at Imperial.                         systemic solutions for a sustainable          which will bring together a critical mass
                                                             energy future. The Environmental              of expertise around climate change
                                                             Research Group, part of the School of         solutions technology to catalyse the
                                                             Public Health, is a leading provider of       development of a world leading climate
                                                             air quality information and research in       change innovation cluster. All these efforts
                                                             the UK, combining air pollution science,      bring together the science, engineering,           that sustainability questions will
                                                             toxicology and epidemiology to determine      medicine, business and policy expertise            dominate their careers, whatever
                                                             the impacts of air pollution on health.       at the College and foster collaboration            professional path they take – including
                                                             In the Imperial College Business School,      with a wide variety of external partners.          those destined for leadership roles
                                                             the Leonardo Centre for Sustainable                                                              in industry, the public sector and civil
                                                             Business envisions a society where            Teaching the leaders                               society. We will respond to student
                                                             companies pursue profit for societal          of the future                                      and societal needs both by building
                                                             impact, exploring and experimenting with      We know students are looking for a better          sustainability into the curriculum and
                                                             the transition to sustainable and inclusive   understanding of the many challenges               increasing the number of sustainability
                                                             logics of enterprise. The Centre for          we face and of the solutions coming                courses. This will also provide access
                                                             Responsible Leadership at the Business        on-stream, many of which are being                 to relevant modules and courses to all
                                                             School will help businesses redefine          developed through our own research.                students, and increase our focus on the
                                                             their approach to leadership through          A growing number of students recognise             skills required to lead and drive change.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sustainability Strategy ❘ 17
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY 2021-2026 - Imperial College ...
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LEFT: Undergraduate students
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dario Mongiardi and Jedidiah
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheung from Team CleanSea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        working on their idea for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Faculty of Natural Sciences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Make a Difference competition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The team developed a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        technology that could filter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hazardous microplastics from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wastewater before they enter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the ocean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as BIO-F Solutions have benefited from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enterprise Lab support to advance their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        aim of transforming the way our food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        is produced by developing eco-friendly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fertilisers. Welcoming new sustainability
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        startups to the Imperial White City
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Incubator community also enables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        our entrepreneurial activity to drive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        our ambition for a sustainable society.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A number of startups have joined the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Incubator community to advance their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        technologies for renewable energy and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sustainable food industries. Multus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Media, formed by Imperial students,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        is developing next-generation growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        media to enable the cultivated meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        industry to scale production and make
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        more affordable products; RFC Power
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        is developing a low-cost, long-duration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        battery with the aim of facilitating the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        transition to 100% renewable energy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The College is committed to working with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        industry for a greener future, exerting
   Our diverse offering of courses             Change. We are also training future           to engage and learn more about                from across Imperial to bring together           heart of the Centre for Environmental       our influence by engaging with wider
includes the BSc in Ecology and                leaders in the sustainability field through   sustainability research at the College.       expertise from their respective fields           Policy’s mission to provide a unique        society through key stakeholders.
Environmental Biology which enables            courses such as our MSc in Sustainable                                                      to address environmental problems                and interdisciplinary research interface        The Endowment and other
students to focus their study on important     Energy Futures and our MSc in Climate         Engaging with policymakers                    and support evidence-informed policy             between science and technology, and         investments are a key part of the College.
ecological and environmental topics            Change, Management and Finance.               The Forum, Imperial’s policy engagement       development. The Ocean Plastic Solutions         the economic and policy context in          They support the mission through the
such as climate change, biodiversity           The application of scientific knowledge,      programme, has been helping Imperial          Network, for example, contributes to the         which it is developed and applied.          income they generate and act consistently
and conservation. The Silwood Park             policy and engineering to solve               researchers contribute to key public          Greener Plastic Future project, which aims                                                   with, and as part of, the College’s vision,
Campus – our global centre for research        environmental problems and address            policy debates around sustainability.         to create a technical, socio-economic            Sustainable enterprise                      mission and values. The College’s Socially
and teaching in ecology, evolution,            sustainability is also a focus of our MSc     On the topic of air quality, The Forum        and policy roadmap for how the UK can            Promoting the next generation of            Responsible Investment (SRI) Policy will
and conservation – is home to a variety        in Environmental Technology, through          organised for two researchers to brief        prevent waste plastics from entering             entrepreneurs through our Enterprise        ensure that any investment decisions
of postgraduate courses such as the            which students acquire a diverse range        Department for Transport officials and        the environment. A focus on evidence-            Lab programmes is just one of the many      take into account the same social,
MRes in Ecosystem and Environmental            of discipline-specific problem-solving        the Chief Scientific Adviser, and supported   based policy making is also at the               ways in which the College supports          environmental and governance concerns
                                               frameworks for tackling contemporary          the Environmental Research Group in the                                                        the development of sustainable              as the College, including pursuing an
                                               environmental issues. These specialist        School of Public Health to respond to the                                                      enterprise. Flagship programmes such        active approach to engagement with
                                               courses are complemented by a wide            House of Commons Environment, Food                                                             as WE Innovate, which champions             its investments in all asset classes.
                                               range of undergraduate and postgraduate       and Rural Affairs Select Committee inquiry                                                     female entrepreneurs, and the Venture       This proactive approach is at the core
                                               opportunities to learn more about             into air quality. The Forum also organises                                                     Catalyst Challenge provide unique           of the College’s mission and an SRI
                                               sustainability through additional             bespoke workshops for civil servants to                                                        opportunities for Imperial students and     Engagement Group has been established
                                               module options, such as our I-Explore         hear about Imperial research on various                                                        alumni to develop innovative ideas for      to develop and implement methods
                                               STEMM modules on Climate Change –             topics, including the circular economy,                                                        commercialisation. The Faculty of Natural   to monitor and assess progress we are
                                               Science and Solutions, and the Horizons       city fires, plastics, and water management                                                     Sciences Make-a-Difference competition      making to influence fossil fuel companies
                                               Programme for undergraduates. Our suite       and flooding.                                                                                  brings together undergraduate students      through our research, collaborations
WE Innovate winner, Olivia Ahn has developed   of free online courses, including our edX         The College’s multi-faculty networks      A workshop for the College’s policy engagement   in teams to develop low-cost technology     and education programmes and as
Planera, a flushable sanitary pad.             courses, encourage our wider community        provide an opportunity for researchers        programme, The Forum.                            for societal benefit. Companies such        a world leading university.

18 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sustainability Strategy ❘ 19
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE                                                                                                                                                                                                         ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

RESEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE                                                                                                           EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT                                                                                                                        DEVELOPMENT
Aim:                                                                                                                               Aim:
To expand sustainability and climate change                                                                                        To provide all students with learning opportunities to                                    Horizons Programme –
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             My World:
research, helping societies to become healthier,                                                                                   develop their understanding of sustainability and equip                                   Be Sustainable
smarter and more resilient. We will ensure                                                                                         them with the skills and resources needed to apply                                        Imperial Horizons
our operational activities will be informed                                                                                        their learning to contribute to a more sustainable society.                               is the Centre for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Languages, Culture
by our world-leading research.                                                                                                                                                                                               and Communication’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             flagship programme for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             undergraduates. Horizons
                                                                                                    Transition to                                                                                                            offers students a wide
                                                                                                    Zero Pollution                                                                                                           range of modules they
                                                                                                    One of the first initiatives                                                                                             can take alongside their
                                                                                                    arising from the College’s                                                                                               degree to stimulate their
                                                                                                    new Academic Strategy                                                                                                    personal, professional
                                                                                                    is the launch of Transition                                                                                              and intellectual growth.
                                                                                                    to Zero Pollution,                                                                                                       The Horizons module
                                                                                                    a transdisciplinary                                                                                                      ‘My World: Be Sustainable’
                                                                                                    approach to tackling all                                                                                                 offers students the
                                                                                                    forms of pollution in a                                                                                                  opportunity to work
                                                                                                    holistic way. This involves                                                                                              together to explore their
                                                                                                    collaboration across all                                                                                                 own sustainability footprint
                                                                                                    aspects of College research                                                                                              and design and test
                                                                                                    including, engineering,                                                                                                  sustainability innovations
                                                                                                                                      A final year Biochemistry student
                                                                                                    healthcare, business              working on a research project                                                          to limit their impact on
                                                                                                    policy and fundamental            exploring plant physiology.                                                            the environment.
                                                                                                    science to address both
                                                                                                    local and global needs                                                                                                   The Science
                                                                                                    and to realise our vision      We will:                                     ● develop the leaders of tomorrow,         and Solutions for
                                                                                                    of a zero pollution future.    ● continue to be have a positive             ensuring they have the knowledge           a Changing Planet
  Dr Apostolos Voulgarakis discusses the impact of wildfires on air pollution and                   Mary Robinson, former              impact on society through our              and skills they will need to drive         Doctoral Training
  cloud formation with PhD students Alexander Kuhn-Regnier and Yawei Qu.                            UN High Commissioner               world leading education;                   change for a better world.                 Partnership
                                                                                                    for Human Rights and a         ● train future leaders in sustainability                                                This unique and
                                                                                                    renowned global climate            and equip our students with the                                                       prestigious doctoral
We will:                                              for example, through the Global               justice campaigner, gave           resources to act sustainably;             Measures of progress:                       training opportunity,
● continue to drive the sustainability              Development Hub www.imperial.ac.uk/           a keynote address at the       ● review the current curricula (with        ● Increase in number of departments       funded by the Natural
    and climate change agenda through                 global-development-hub;                       online launch, arguing             support from programme and module             to have an Education for                Environment Research
    our world leading research;                     ●expand our portfolio of research and         for climate justice and            leads) to suggest ways to incorporate         Sustainable Development                 Council (NERC), and
● foster collaboration between                       innovation activities that have a positive   highlighting that: “Zero           more sustainability and action on             curriculum plan to incorporate          based at the Grantham
    operational and research-led activities            environmental impact.                        pollution is a timely and          climate change;                               more sustainability into their          Institute, integrates six
    to develop our campuses as                                                                      valuable holistic concept      ● incorporate sustainability into               modules and degree programmes;          host partners and private
    ‘living labs’, applying research                                                                to guide policy makers as          induction programmes for every            ● Increase in number of courses and       and public sector partners
    to our everyday operations;                       Measures of progress:                         the world tries to develop         new student and member of staff;              departments that have sustainability    to train and inspire
● facilitate network-building across                ● Increase in number of researchers         a viable and sustainable       ● engage with alumni in positions               integrated into inductions and          a new generation of
    our research community in the field                   engaged in projects related to            post-pandemic recovery.”           of impact related to sustainability           throughout the degree course;           environmental experts
    of sustainability and climate change;                 sustainability and climate change;                                           and climate change;                       ● Increase in number of Imperial          and leaders to tackle
● develop our communications to                     ● Increase in funding for our portfolio                                    ● review teaching laboratory                    alumni driving sustainability           some of the toughest
    provide a clear source of information                 of research in sustainability                                                infrastructure and operations to              via senior positions in business,       challenges of our time.
    on our research activity for both our                 and climate change.                                                          make them more sustainable,                   government and civil society.
    internal and external community,                                                                                                   e.g. by reducing solvent use;

20 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sustainability Strategy ❘ 21
ENGAGEMENT

                                                          ENGAGING WITH OUR
                                                          COLLEGE COMMUNITY
ENGAGEMENT
Students, staff, our local partners and the communities   Imperial College Union
                                                                                                           Volunteers from
where we are based all have a stake in sustainability     The Imperial College Union Ethics and
                                                          Environment Network is a supportive
                                                                                                           Imperial College

at Imperial and we are committed to working with          network within the student community
                                                                                                           Union during the
                                                                                                           Environmental
them to drive change on the ground. We know from          aiming to create a greener campus for all.       Society’s annual
                                                                                                           Go Green Week.
surveys that Imperial students, alumni and staff have     The Network supports and coordinates
                                                          ethical and environmental campaigns
high expectations of the College – particularly in        across the College and engages in
implementing what we learn and teach, and in the          discussions with the Union and College
way we operate our campuses – and our community           on ethical and environmental policies.
                                                          The Imperial College Union Environmental
are keen to support with action.                          Society builds on this work, bringing
                                                          together students with a common passion
The London Boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea,            for the environment and engaging
                                                          students with nature through the Society’s
Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster are               Secret Garden and beehives. The Society
important partners in the management and development      promotes a sustainable lifestyle for
of our main sites and the links between them. We also     students all across campus through
                                                          sustainability talks and workshops.
share their objectives on many themes from tackling
climate change and air pollution, to improving the        Student Switch Off Campaign
quality of life of people living and working in the       Our students have been reducing their
                                                          impact on the climate crisis by taking
area and creating more opportunities for our              personal action in halls through Imperial
local community.                                          halls of residence Student Switch Off
                                                          Campaign. In 2019–20, 831 students
                                                          pledged their support for the campaign,
Our many partners in business are also central to         with 22 training as ambassadors and a
delivering our research and educational ambitions.        further 1,857 students participating in
Imperial is also part of the global community acting to   the National Climate Quiz. The campaign
                                                          also achieved a 5.6% reduction in
                                                                                                         staff can make greener choices at work
                                                                                                         through simple actions such as recycling,
                                                                                                                                                          and discussions on Imperial Plexus to
                                                                                                                                                          facilitate further conversations outside
achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development       consumption of electricity compared to         reusing containers and switching off their       the event. The team regularly collaborates
Goals, which connect our research and teaching            the baseline from 2017–18 and 2018–19          computer when not in use.                        with the Grantham Institute and Energy
to action on the ground to tackle environmental           for the months of full occupancy in halls
                                                          where data were recorded.                      Alumni engagement
                                                                                                                                                          Futures Lab on events and are planning
                                                                                                                                                          to host an alumni event around the
degradation, poverty, inequality and lack of access                                                      We are engaging through events,                  2021 UN Climate Change Conference
to healthcare and education.                              Imperial Insights                              communications and volunteering                  (COP26). The College’s sustainability
                                                          Imperial Insights is the College’s             opportunities. For students and recent           news and events reach 80,000 alumni
                                                          induction and welcome event for new            graduates, the Alumni Insights event, Let’s      through monthly e-newsletters and
                                                          staff. During the session, staff from          Talk Green Careers, provided an opportunity      there are plans to create a sustainability
                                                          a variety of departments provide an            for experienced alumni to share sector-          Professional Interest Network (PIN) led
                                                          overview of Imperial and highlight             specific advice to those new to, or interested   by alumni volunteers from the sector.
                                                          important issues currently facing              in, a career within the green sector. The        PINs provide a forum for alumni and
                                                          the College, including sustainability          Alumni Relations team have also hosted           professionals working in a specific sector
                                                          challenges. The College’s Estates Facilities   an industry-level alumni panel discussion        to share ideas, challenges and expertise,
                                                          team offer practical guidance on how           on sustainability and economic recovery          and address relevant topics of interest.

                                                                                                                                                                         Sustainability Strategy ❘ 23
ENGAGEMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ENGAGEMENT

WORKING WITH OUR                                                                                                                    ENGAGING
COLLEGE COMMUNITY                                                                                                                   WITH SOCIETY
Aim:                                                                                                                                Aim:
To engage the Imperial community of staff and                                                        Greening Imperial              To work collaboratively with our local communities
                                                                                                     Greening Imperial is
students in improving the environmental and social                                                   a cross-campus and             and the wider public to develop appropriate actions
impact of the College.                                                                               community initiative that      addressing sustainability challenges. We will
                                                                                                     aims to make Imperial          create public engagement opportunities related to
                                                                                                     a pioneer and exemplar
To promote knowledge exchange and best practice                                                      in sustainability. Greening    sustainability locally, nationally and globally.
by building capacity across all departments,                                                         Imperial’s achievements
and encourage all students and staff to embed                                                        include working with the       We will:
                                                                                                     Campus Services team           ●make our sustainability research
sustainability practice in all their activities.                                                     to help bring about               accessible and responsive to the needs                                                       Community Science
                                                                                                     a 20% reduction in meat           of society to address local and global                                                       Seed Fund
                                                                                                     consumption in catering           environmental challenges;                                                                    The College’s Community
                                                                                                     outlets from 2017–18           ●engage populations locally and globally                                                      Science Seed Fund was
                                                                                                     to 2018–19 thanks to              to develop evidence-based policy                                                             launched to offer small
                                                                                                     changes in customer               recommendations to find solutions to                                                         grant funding to local
                                                                                                     choice, tweaks in menu            environmental challenges together;                                                           residents and community
                                                                                                     options and an increase        ●empower the public to make                                                                   groups seeking to engage
                                                                                                     in vegetarian and vegan           informed choices about sustainability,                                                       with STEM education
                                                                                                     options. The initiative           both in terms of personal behaviour                                                          and research. One of the
                                                                                                     has also hosted the               and the development of wider policy;                                                         ground-breaking projects
                                                                                                     Greening Imperial Week,        ●encourage our staff and students                                                             supported through the
                                                                                                     an Imperial College               to be sustainability champions both       Visitors explore the Greener Futures Zone at the   fund is Bubble & Squeak,
                                                                                                     Union-led showcase                on and off our campuses, recognising      Great Exhibition Road Festival 2019.               a social enterprise led
                                                                                                     of events and activities          their responsibilities as citizens                                                           by primary school
                                                                                                     around campus focused             of a wider society;                                                                          children on East Acton
                                                                                                     on sustainability and the      ●build capacity and act as leaders           Measures of progress:                            Estate, which brings the
                                                                                                     environment. Each day             in creating opportunities for               ●Increase in number of collaborative          community together to
                                                                                                     of the week highlighted           sustainable action;                            initiatives around the theme                  tackle the problem of
                                                                                                     a different theme, from        ●continue to build strong relationships         of sustainability;                            food waste. Local children
We will:                                      ●work with Imperial College Union                    food, travel and waste,           with our international partners and         ●Increase in number of external                organise a wide variety
●establish diverse and inclusive               to support the development of                       to energy and lifestyle,          global community of alumni to address          partners engaged with sustainability          of activities from hosting
   networks of staff and students, such as       engagement activities for our students;             offering students and             the challenges of climate change;              projects and programmes;                      a weekly surplus food
   a Sustainability Champions Network;        ●continue to engage Imperial alumni                  staff the opportunity to       ●continue to collaborate with our            ●Increase in number of Imperial                stall and intergenerational
●continue to hold an annual                    in our sustainability work;                         learn about the small             local authorities on the sustainability        staff and students engaged with               community events, to
   Sustainability Week to showcase            ●create open and welcoming                           adjustments they can              of our campuses and London                     external bodies and diverse                   running a community
   current activity and to provide staff         campus environments.                                make to their daily routines      in general;                                    public audiences influencing                  garden and collaborating
   and students with the knowledge to                                                                to help the environment.       ●bring our sustainable development              the sustainability agenda;                    with diverse partners.
   enable them to act more sustainably                                                                                                 agenda to bear, with our partners           ●Increase in number of public                  The College has been
   at work and home;                           Measures of progress:                                                                   in business, to ensure that our work           participants engaging with                    supporting Bubble &
●provide all staff with training to equip    ●Number of staff and students                                                         together maximises its contribution            sustainability-related learning               Squeak’s Super Scientist
   them with the skills to have a positive
   impact on the environment;
                                                  attending sustainability training
                                                  and events;
                                                                                                  85%                                  to sustainability;
                                                                                                                                    ●ensure that our institutional
                                                                                                                                                                                      opportunities;
                                                                                                                                                                                   ●Increase in the proportion of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Soup project which aims
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to explore STEM while
                                                                                               of undergraduate
●provide regular communications              ●Impact of staff and students actively       students want to be                      sustainability targets contribute to           participants or partners reporting            fighting food waste.
   to our community about current                 participating in sustainability          involved in sustainability                  the wider London plan for tackling             increased confidence and positive
   initiatives, strategy development              networks and initiatives to create        activities at the College                  climate change;                                intentions in relation to addressing
   and practical guidance to bring about          more environmentally-friendly                (Sustainable Imperial                ●use the UN Sustainable Development             sustainability challenges as a result
                                                                                                      survey)
   positive change and contribute to              campuses.                                                                            Goals as a basis for research and              of engagement with the College.
   a more sustainable society;                                                                                                         partnership locally and globally.

24 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                             Sustainability Strategy ❘ 25
ENGAGEMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ENGAGEMENT

WORKING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LEFT: Local children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        from White City explore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hammersmith Park as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        part of Creative Roots,

COLLABORATIVELY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        an outreach programme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        run jointly by Imperial and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the Royal College of Art.

WITH OUR PARTNERS

At our new innovation campus in White                   One action we have taken, in                                                                                                                                                    most ambitious and important global
City, our Community Engagement team is              partnership with the London Borough                                                                                                                                                 agreements in recent history. Universities,
working with the Grantham Institute for             of Hammersmith and Fulham, has been                                                                                                                                                 with their broad remit around the creation
Climate Change and the Environmental                to support the work of Arborea, one of                                                                                                                                              and dissemination of knowledge and
Research Group to engage local residents            a number of sustainability startups on the                                                                                                                                          their unique position within society, are
and community groups in sustainability              White City Campus to develop pioneering                                                                                                                                             key actors in the achievement of the
research and policy development –                   ‘BioSolar Leaf’ technology to improve                                                                                                                                               Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
focusing on the challenges faced by urban           air quality. The technology, the first                                                                                                                                              As a world leading STEM institution, we
areas and particularly for Black, Asian and         of its kind in the world, purifies the                                                                                                                                              recognise our urgent and critical role in
Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.                 air through the photosynthesis of                                                                                                                                                   accelerating society towards a resilient,
    In recent years, we have been                   microscopic plants, removing greenhouse                                                                                                                                             sustainable future and we believe that
reaching out to community groups and                gases from the environment whilst                                                                                                                                                   the College has an important role to play
organisations from across the local area            generating breathable oxygen.                                                                                                                                                       in supporting the SDG agenda.
and have been holding workshops with                                                                                                                                                                                                        The recently established Global
residents to enhance our understanding              Public engagement                                                                                                                                                                   Development Hub showcases
of local sustainability concerns and                We deliver a varied programme                                                                                                                                                       Imperial’s global impact on sustainable
priorities, as well as sharing findings             of activities to engage and involve                                                                                                                                                 development and the SDGs.
and toolkits with policy makers in local            young people, adults and families
government. The next stage of our                   with sustainability issues and research.                                                                                                                                            The Global Development Hub offers:
engagement is to develop localised                  We will expand and improve on these                                                                                                                                                 ●a community-building network to
networks that bring together researchers            programmes, with a focus on reaching                                                                                                                                                   support new multidisciplinary and
and residents to investigate sustainability         people typically underrepresented                                                                                                                                                      cross-sectoral research partnerships
issues and develop evidence-based                   and underserved in this area.                of attendees saying they went away with      Reach Out Makerspace at the White City       and enhance our research. For example,          focused on global development
actions and policies that can make                     Our Great Exhibition Road Festival        a better understanding of how Imperial       Campus) and are providing activities for     our Maker Challenge programmes at               challenges, bringing together academia,
a difference to people’s lives.                     (previously known as the Imperial            is working to tackle the environmental       young people to engage with the              The Invention Rooms in White City               government, policy makers, NGOs, civil
                                                    Festival) has regularly featured a           challenges we face, while 88% of             College’s sustainability research.           work with school-aged participants to           society and industry;
                                                    Green Zone exploring environmental           attendees felt they had the opportunity          Our two-way engagement practice          develop creative ideas to solve real-world   ●a platform to support education and
                                                    and sustainability issues, attracting        to discuss these issues with researchers.    is designed to empower participants          problems, most of which are linked to           student experience, linking to and
                                                    thousands of visitors each year. In 2021,    Twenty Imperial teams participated from                                                   sustainability, climate change and waste.       developing programmes that instil in
                                                    the Festival will include an even greater    research areas such as air pollution,                                                     We have worked intensively with nearly          our students a passion for sustainable
                                                    emphasis on climate change with a new        ocean plastics and water management.                                                      500 young people, while more than               development, and the skills and
                                                    interactive area designed to empower                                                                                                   2,500 people have taken part in events          thinking needed to rise to the challenge
                                                    young families to work towards               Schools outreach                                                                          and taster sessions. We will embed more         of the SDGs and their legacy;
                                                    a cleaner and greener future.                Sustainability features prominently in                                                    of our research into these programmes        ●a series of SDG-focused access points to
                                                       In addition, our popular Imperial         our outreach programmes designed to                                                       to provide further opportunities for            the research and innovation ecosystem
                                                    Lates series regularly features activities   support science learning for young people                                                 discourse with local young people,              at Imperial, covering dozens of research
                                                    focused on sustainability themes,            at school. We are developing additional                                                   their families and teachers.                    centres of excellence and profiling the
                                                    connecting our researchers with adult        opportunities for researchers to work with                                                                                                mission-driven startups, SMEs and
                                                    audiences through creative, memorable        pupils in our on-campus outreach spaces                                                   Global engagement                               industry research centres constantly
                                                    experiences. The Greenovate Late in          (at the Wohl Reach Out Lab at the South      Maker Challenge Programme participants       The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for             emerging from our labs, hackspaces
Visitors at Bugs! day at the Silwood Park Campus.   2018 engaged 700 visitors, with 81%          Kensington Campus and the Dangoor            at The Invention Rooms, White City Campus.   Sustainable Development is one of the           and incubators.

26 ❘ Sustainability Strategy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sustainability Strategy ❘ 27
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