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H focuses on sustainability in Green Week 2023

Monday 27 February 2023

A week of activities for staff and students encouraged sustainable practices.

This year, Green Week at the Royal College of Music ran from 27 February to 3 March and aimed to highlight the College’s commitment to sustainable operations and the achievements so far.

The H recently achieved first place in the 2022/23 People and Planet University league table for universities with under 5,000 students, an accomplishment that confirms the College exceeded the higher education sector emission reduction targets set in 2005. The H’s ambition is to become a carbon net zero organisation by 2035.

Aida Berhamovic, H Director of Estates, commented: 'I am incredibly proud of our No 1 ranking in the People and Planet University league table which reflects our ongoing commitment to environmental and social sustainability, and proves that small specialist institutions can also excel in promoting sustainability and ethics. Big changes are needed to tackle climate change and make our planet healthier for us all, and each one of us can contribute to these changes and make a difference.'

Tymon Zgorzelski, President of the H Students’ Union, commented: 'Green Week is an important time to highlight the H’s contribution to tackling the global environmental problems. Young people feel the gravity of these issues strongly as it is about our future and security. I am sure all students appreciate the visibility of H’s sustainability success to date and are enthusiastic about contributing to its ambitious goals for the future.'

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Over the past few years, the College’s focus on reducing emissions has included initiatives such as upgrading the building’s efficiency by improving insulation, and changing lighting fixtures to LED which use less energy, last longer and can be recycled at the end of their life. These are examples of the many changes which contributed to reducing emissions from gas and electricity by 60% in 2020, surpassing the original target of 34%.     

Another focus has been conscious consideration of waste at the Royal College of Music. The number of sheets of paper printed is now less than half the number used in 2017/18, and the H’s waste management provider, Recorra, is committed to using waste in place of raw materials to make new products. Furthermore, sustainability is now at the core of food and drink policy for the H's catering provider, Taste Imperial. This includes prioritising local, seasonal produce, and only serving fish that is MSC Certified.  

Green Week activities for students and staff included a forum with the Director of Estates giving an opportunity to share questions and ideas, and a Lunch & Learn with Recorra, the company that manage H’s waste. Other events included bicycle maintenance and a session of Forest Bathing in Hyde Park, and an initiative to encourage sustainable cooking run by the Students' Union.   

If you would like to get in touch with the Estates team with a suggestion or query, please contact sustainableH@rcm.ac.uk.

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