Last year, Imperial was placed 141st out of 154 universities in the “People and Planet University League”. This league table ranks universities based on environmental and ethical performance. It is saddening that we have such poor reputation on environmental and ethical stances.

Greening Imperial is an initiative to turn this around. It is a collaborative project between staff, students and Imperial College Union (ICU) which aims to encourage our college to improve its environmental and ethical performance.

Our long-term goal is to transform Imperial into a university that is respected also for its sustainability.

Dr Neil Jennings, a member of the Greening Imperial Steering Group and a Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute, points out that “Greening Imperial has brought about a number of positive changes over the last few months such as the coffee cup levy and the ban on single-use plastic cups.” But he has acknowledged that “there is still a lot more to be done and this will only be possible if staff and students continue to work together to push for further improvements in the environmental and ethical impact of the College. Greening Imperial Week, led by ICU, is a great way to bring people together to celebrate success and discuss ideas for future improvements.”

In order to celebrate our achievements, Greening Imperial will be hosting ‘Greening Imperial Week’, which starts on the 4th of March. The Student Union, Ethos Gym, and Greening Imperial will be providing you with a week of events to share our accomplishments this year, whilst also raising awareness on how our lifestyle impacts the planet.

Our project is inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These are global goals and targets set for 2030 to achieve a better and more sustainable future. The overarching goals that are relevant to Greening Imperial week include climate action and protecting life on land and water (SDG 13,14,15).

Each day will have a theme, ranging from fashion to cycling, with events for all to participate. Here’s a quick overview of what will be on throughout the week:

“Move more Monday”

It’s easy to be a couch-potato but taking public transport in London is mad money. Move more Monday will encourage you to get outside and reduce the use of public transport (the tube can get stuffy and busy anyways). This way, not only are you reducing the capital’s emissions but you’re also boosting your fitness. If you’re looking for some tips on where to cycle in London, where to buy a bike or simply want to get your bike up to scratch, then come to our events on Monday. You can also get involved in our watt bike competition on Monday to get a chance to win a Fitness Tracker or complete our quiz and stand a chance to win a prize (https://imperial.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ahZI5qM84G0e9q5)

“Tasty and veggie Tuesday”

There is scientific evidence that eating too much red meat is environmentally damaging and poor for health. This day is dedicated to inspiring more students to eat vegetables more, and reduce the amount of meat consumption throughout the week.

“Waste less Wednesday”

Are you used to buying vegetables and fruits in plastic packaging? Grabbing an unrecyclable coffee cup to go? Have a go at being waste free this Wednesday by avoiding items such as plastic water bottles. We’ll be selling reusable water bottles and telling you all about the sweet deals on campus this year for coffee and lunches when you bring in your own reusable coffee cup or tupperware.

“Trendy Thursday”

We’ve partnered up with Fashion Revolution to bring you a sustainable ‘Clothes Swap’. For those wanting to refresh their wardrobe, this event is perfect: for every item you bring in, you get to pick one out for FREE. On top of this, Honest Clothing will also be launching their digital clothes swap platform at Imperial. If you’re looking for a new top, you can simply check the Facebook group and you may find someone giving away exactly what you want. Then simply swap on campus and voila!

“Forget me not Friday”

To wrap up the week, Greening Imperial will be setting up stalls to share their initiatives and provide opportunities for everyone to get involved. If you would like to be a part of the sustainability movement at Imperial be sure to visit the stalls between 12:00 and 14:00 in the JCR and SCR! We’ll also be having an Imperial start-up hosting a Sustainability Writers Workshop titled “Creating a sustainable future facilitated by a knowledge hub”.

We hope that by the end of the week everyone will feel more inspired and empowered to live a sustainable lifestyle.

If you would like to get involved or learn more, contact:enviro@ic.ac.uk or check out our webpage (imperialcollegeunion.org/campaigns/greening-imperial-week) and like our Greening Imperial Facebook page!