From September, beef burgers will be off the menu at Goldsmiths University in London as part of a drive to cut carbon emissions.
The changes come as Goldsmiths joins several other universities across the UK in declaring a climate emergency and targetting 2025 as the year they become a carbon-neutral organisation.
Other plans announced by the university include adding a 10p levy on bottled water and single-use plastic cups, installing ‘significantly’ more solar panels on its campus in New Cross, South London and switching to a 100% clean energy supplier ‘as soon as practicable’.
The latest available figures (HESA 2017/18) show Goldsmiths emits around 3.7m Kg of carbon emissions each year – a figure which has reduced almost 10% over three years – while it has consistently generated around 107k KWh of renewable energy each year.
The university has also announced that from December 1 2019, its endowment fund will no longer hold investments in companies that generate more than 10% of their revenue from the extraction of fossil fuels.
It has moved its £2.5m endowment investments to the CCLA Charities Ethical Investment Fund, which has recently decided to divest from companies which derive significant income from fossil fuels.
Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths, said: ‘The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.
‘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.’
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