From using rainwater to flush its toilets to advising local businesses on how to reduce their carbon footprint, Kingston University in south-west London already has a good track record on sustainability. But it hopes to make an even greater impact by bringing together its work in this area into a Sustainability Hub.
Research projects like the university’s new green motorbike, degree courses with sustainability modules including Engineering, Real Estate Management, Business, Law, Design and Environmental Science, the use of Fairtrade products in university shops and canteens as well as clearing Kingston Hill pond to help preserve the endangered Great Crested Newt and students’ end of term donations to charity shops will all come under the Hub’s umbrella.
Dr Ros Taylor, the Hub’s Director, said: “There’s a lot of sustainable activity going on in Kingston but it’s very disparate, we want to bring people together to exchange ideas, enliven debate and raise our profile in the local community and beyond.” She said that through existing links with universities in Oldenburgh in Germany and Cadiz in Spain and through the multi-national background of Kingston students, the Hub hoped to make an international as well as a local impact.
The Hub will be officially opened on 22 June at the Penrhyn Road campus, John Galsworthy Building, between 5pm and 7pm by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart. Guests include Susan Kramer, Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, Graham McNally, Kingston Borough Council’s Town Centre Manager, and local and national figures work in sustainability.
Short film clips and posters of Kingston alumni who work in sustainability such as Majken Moller, a Senior Project Manager at not-for-profit recycling business London ReMade, will be shown at the event.
Dr Taylor said the Hub would act as a focal point for all aspects of sustainability from the way the university recycles its waste to the source of the food served in its outlets to its research. It will also include curriculum development across all faculties, as well as the university’s involvement with the community such as inviting local people to clean up the river alongside students and staff and advising businesses on sustainability.”The Hub is an important development because it’s relevant to our lives today. It’s engaging with both the outside world and with the next generation.” Dr Taylor and her team of three will be based at the Penrhyn Road campus.