A green recovery for Goldsmiths and Lewisham

This week was an important one for our work at Goldsmiths to tackle the climate emergency, as we published our action plan to get Goldsmiths to carbon neutral.

A student and staff campaign last year called for a Green New Deal for the College – it was a campaign I was delighted to support in my first weeks as Warden, and in August 2019 we committed to becoming a certified carbon neutral organisation by 2025.

The plan we released this week – PLAN25 – is the direct result of the passionate voices in our community campaigning for change on this important issue. It’s also the product of months of analysis of the College’s data by colleagues, working out where we can make a real impact on our direct carbon emissions and those we contribute to in our value chain.

We’ve set ourselves some ambitious targets – we are increasing our recycling, aiming to recycle 50% of our campus waste by 2021, and 90% by 2025. We’re also looking at how we can reduce the carbon intensity of our travel, committing to a 30% reduction in this area by 2023.

In light of the pandemic, this work takes on a whole new resonance as we make sure the College emerges from this unprecedented crisis greener – for our students and staff and for our neighbours, the people of Lewisham.

Our plans to cut carbon are only part of the picture: we’re looking to do much more, including further efforts to improve the biodiversity of our campus and local area, reviewing our curriculum and harnessing our research expertise to consider the many societal questions posed by the climate crisis. We’ll be tracking the progress of our work across all of these areas using the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

I’m excited to watch this project develop and work with our Lewisham partners and local community to make a real impact.

You can find out more about the Green New Deal at Goldsmiths – and sign up to our termly newsletter – on the Goldsmiths website.