Goldsmiths has banned beef products in a bid to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Speaking as the college, part of the University of London, declared a climate emergency, newly installed warden Prof Frances Corner said the global call for action “is impossible to ignore”.
Goldsmiths joins a growing list of providers to declare a climate emergency which includes the University of Bristol, University of Plymouth, University of Glasgow, Keele University and Newcastle University.
Prof Corner said: “Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible.
“Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words. I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use.”
This year, the college will remove beef products from sale on campus and introduce a 10p levy on bottled water and single-use plastic cups, with the funds going to a green student initiative fund.
Goldsmiths has succeeded in reducing its emissions by 10% over the past three years but will need to accelerate plans if it is to meet its six-year target.
In a bid to make its deadline, the college has pledged to switch to a zero-carbon clean energy supplier “as soon as practicable” and install more solar panels across the New Cross campus.
The college’s allotment will stand to receive more investment as the provider explores other strategies for lowering its 3.7m kilogram annual carbon emissions.
A comprehensive six-year plan will be agreed with staff and the students’ union during the 2019/20 academic year, but the college’s £2.5m endowment fund, which is managed separately, has already confirmed it will divest from companies that produce more than 10% of revenue from fossil fuels.
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