Green New Deal

Goldsmiths is working to urgently address the climate emergency and ensure a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic

Primary page content

The climate crisis is one of the biggest threats our society faces. Goldsmiths has a responsibility to reduce its own impact on the environment and is taking action to address this.

Following a staff and student-led campaign calling for a Green New Deal at Goldsmiths, the College declared a climate emergency in August 2019 and committed to becoming a carbon-neutral organisation by 2025.

PLAN25: Our carbon reduction plan

We have put together a plan setting out how we will reduce our carbon emissions and achieve our goal of becoming a carbon-neutral organisation by 2025.

Find out more about our Carbon Reduction Plan

Working with our community to tackle the climate emergency

Our students and staff have been instrumental in driving action on climate change. You can find out what’s happened so far in the timeline below.

Timeline of events

November 2018

  • Green New Deal for Goldsmiths petition circulates among students and staff

January 2019

  • Goldsmiths Students' Union unanimously passes a motion in support of the Green New Deal

March 2019

  • Goldsmiths UCU branch unanimously passes a motion in support of the Green New Deal, calling for carbon neutrality by 2030

August 2019

  • Green New Deal staff and student campaign is taken to new Warden
  • Goldsmiths declares a climate emergency and commits to being carbon neutral by 2025

September 2019

  • All beef products removed from sale in campus outlets
  • 10p levy introduced on bottled water and single-use plastic cups on campus
  • Green New Deal Group set up to coordinate College’s response to climate emergency

October 2019

  • Four workstreams established and advertised to Goldsmiths staff and students
  • College switches to 100% renewable energy supplier
  • Full review of our scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions begins
  • Ecological review of Goldsmiths campus and Loring Sports Ground is undertaken

December 2019

  • Goldsmiths’ endowment fund divests from companies making more than 10% of their profits from the extraction of fossil fuels

February 2020

  • Work begins on a dye and pigment garden on campus

March 2020

  • Goldsmiths is approved as a pick-up point for vegetable bag scheme run by Lewisham not for profit organisation Lee Greens, opening in July 2020

June 2020

  • First draft of campus Biodiversity Management Strategy produced

July 2020

As well as the steps we are taking to cut the College’s carbon use, we are looking at other ways we can address the challenges of the climate emergency as a community.

Environmental enhancement

We are working to enhance the biodiversity of the Goldsmiths campus and local area and examine how the College can make a positive impact on air quality in New Cross.

This work includes reviewing our gardening practices and exploring how we can support our staff and students to choose sustainable options for travelling to campus.

We will publish an update on our work in this area later in 2020.

Research

We are examining how we can make best use of Goldsmiths’ existing research expertise on societal questions around climate change and climate justice, exploring options including a new peer-reviewed digital publication.

We’re also working with our academics to assess how we can support a less carbon-intensive research landscape.

We will be publishing an update on our work in this area in 2021.

Curriculum

We are exploring how we can harness our curriculum to ensure long-term progress on climate change through education.

This includes a full review of our existing curriculum and consideration of new modules and courses on topics such as climate justice and reducing carbon use, drawing on expertise developed for courses such as the new MA Art & Ecology.

We will publish an update on our work in this area in 2021.

Who is involved in the Green New Deal

Since September 2019 we have operated a cross-College Green New Deal Group. It is chaired by the Warden and includes representation from Goldsmiths staff, Goldsmiths Students’ Union, trade unions and Goldsmiths Racial Equality Group (GREG).

From 2020, we will be setting up a new Steering Group which will include elected and appointed membership from our staff and student body, as well as membership from our local community in New Cross.

We run four workstreams for staff and students interested in contributing ideas to the Green New Deal project. These focus on the themes of carbon reduction, environmental enhancement, research and curriculum.

How we’ll measure our progress

From the end of 2021 our Green New Deal Steering Group will publish an annual report that measures our progress against our action plans and uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals to track our progress.

How to get involved

If you are a member of staff or a student at Goldsmiths and are interested in joining one of our Green New Deal workstreams, please email greennewdeal (@gold.ac.uk).