Dezeen Magazine

Goldsmiths CO2 emissions climate emergency
Goldsmiths' incoming warden Frances Corner has declared a climate emergency

Goldsmiths bans beef and bottled water in move to end carbon emissions

Goldsmiths, one of the UK's best known art and design schools, has declared a climate emergency and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.

The south-east London college, which calculates it generates 3.7 million kilograms of carbon emissions each year, today announced a series of measures aimed at helping the fight against climate change.

It will ban beef products from its food outlets, phase out single-use plastic bottles and cups and switch to a renewable energy supplier.

Its endowment fund will also withdraw investments in fossil-fuel companies, stop using chemicals on its gardens and rewild unused land.

Goldsmiths climate emergency
Frances Corner speaks to allotment coordinator Ros Gray in Goldsmiths' allotments

Professor Frances Corner, Goldsmiths' new warden, announced the measures today in response to growing calls for action from students and staff.

"The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore," 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," she added. "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."

Goldsmiths, which is part of the University of London, has renowned schools for both art and design. Alumni include artists Damien Hirst, Bridget Riley and Antony Gormley and fashion designers Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood.

The college's campus in New Cross, London features an arts centre by architects Assemble, completed in 2018. Previously a public swimming pool, the 1,000 square-metre centre includes seven new gallery spaces.

The college follows a group of leading UK architects and the RIBA in declaring a climate emergency.