London Student Sustainability Conference 2024

London, a city bustling with energy and innovation, is once again at the forefront of a movement towards a more sustainable future. As the global climate crisis looms ever larger, the need for action has never been more urgent. In the heart of this vibrant metropolis, students from universities across the capital gather for the London Student Sustainability Conference 2024, a beacon of hope and catalyst for change. 

This year we had many University of Greenwich members participate in the conference in the form of presenting, steering, volunteering and attending. Look forward to a few blogs to give you the inside scoop of what the conference was like! 

Sustainable Tourism: Unveiling Challenges and Opportunities in The Gambia 

By Ousman Jawneh Jawara


My name is Ousman Jawneh Jawara, a third-year student pursuing a BA in Tourism Management. I was thrilled to be selected to present my project, “Tourism in Gambia: Challenges and Opportunities,” at the London Student Sustainability Conference hosted at Imperial College in London. This research topic has been a source of inspiration for me for over six years, shaping not only my academic journey but also my commitment to contributing to sustainable tourism development in my home country. 


The Gambia, nestled in the heart of Africa, boasts a rich tourism history, abundant natural resources, UNESCO heritage sites, stunning beaches, and a delightful climate. Despite its small size, tourism plays a significant role, contributing 20% to the national GDP and fostering overall develop

ment. However, this growth is not without challenges, including climate change, environmental degradation, economic leakage, and a lack of comprehensive tourism policies. 

Research Rationale: 

My project aims to delve into the reasons behind the frustration in tourism development in The Gambia despite its vast natural resources. Key questions include understanding the draw factors for tourists, the impact of tourism on households, and its contribution to the national economy. Additionally, the lack of academic research in this area motivates this study, aiming to bridge the existing gap in knowledge. 

Passion for Sustainable Tourism: 

What compelled me to present at LSSC24 is the deep-seated passion, love, and dedication I have for my country. I am committed to achieving sustainable tourism development through research and promoting responsible tourism that not only benefits the economy but also safeguards our planet and involves local communities. Representing my university at this level is an added honor and responsibility. 

Interest in Sustainability: 

My interest in sustainability is rooted in its role as a solution to preserve our planet and its biodiversity. With a professional focus on tourism management, I comprehend the negative impacts associated with tourism and value the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social, and environmental. Embracing sustainability aligns with the UN’s 2030 agenda of meeting present needs without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their own. 

Collective Effort for a Sustainable Future: 

The mantra, “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” underscores the importance of collective efforts. I advocate for increased awareness through educational campaigns and the integration of sustainability in development policies, ensuring equal opportunities for future generations. 


I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Fatemeh Mohamadi, my project supervisor, for her unwavering support throughout the presentation process. Special thanks to Andres Coca Stefaniak for inspiring me with his knowledge on sustainability, Samantha Chaperon, Lauren Siegel, Isabella Ye, and to all the dedicated lecturers from the Department of Tourism and Events. 

In sharing my research, I aspire to contribute to the discourse on sustainable tourism, fostering positive change in The Gambia and beyond. 

Embracing Sustainability and Student Leadership: My Journey as a Volunteer at LSSC24 

By Ishan Thakkar

Hello, I’m Ishan Thakkar, a dedicated student pursuing International Business at the University of Greenwich. With a fervent interest in sustainability and a deep appreciation for nature, I am always on the lookout for opportunities that allow me to make a positive impact. My journey as a volunteer at the London Student Sustainability Conference 2024 (LSSC24), hosted at Imperial College London, was a testament to my proactive approach and commitment to environmental stewardship. 

As I sit down to pen my thoughts on my recent volunteering experience at the LSSC24, I am filled with a sense of pride and fulfilment. This marks my second year of volunteering at this prestigious event, and with each passing year, my passion for sustainability and student leadership grows stronger. 

The decision to volunteer at LSSC24 was driven by a deep-seated belief in the importance of sustainability and a desire to actively contribute to its advancement. Having volunteered at last year’s conference, I was inspired by the impactful discussions, innovative ideas, and unwavering dedication of both presenters and participants towards creating a more sustainable future. It was this inspiring environment that motivated me to return for another year of volunteering. 

At LSSC24, I served as a volunteer, assisting presenters and organizers in ensuring the smooth execution of the event. From setting up venues to guiding attendees, every task was undertaken with enthusiasm and dedication. One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering was the opportunity to engage with presenters and learn about their sustainability initiatives firsthand. Their passion and commitment to driving positive change left a lasting impression on me and reinforced my belief in the power of collective action. 

As the day progressed, I found myself immersed in thought-provoking discussions and insightful conversations during the networking event. Interacting with fellow participants from diverse backgrounds provided a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas, perspectives, and experiences related to sustainability. From discussing innovative solutions to pressing environmental challenges to forging new connections and collaborations, the networking event epitomized the spirit of collaboration and collective effort that defines the sustainability movement. 

Proudly student-led and organized by ten universities, LSSC24 showcased the collective efforts of students in addressing sustainability challenges. The commitment of the Student Delivery Group was evident in every aspect of the conference, infusing it with a student perspective and ensuring its success. 

Looking ahead, I am very much inspired by my experience at LSSC24. It has reaffirmed my commitment to sustainability and ignited a newfound determination to make a meaningful impact. Therefore, I am excited to announce that I will be working on my own sustainability initiative over the coming year. My goal is to develop a comprehensive project that addresses a pressing sustainability issue and showcase it at the upcoming LSSC25. I eagerly anticipate becoming one of the presenters as well. I am eager to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on sustainability and to inspire others to join me in taking action towards a more sustainable future. 

In conclusion, my experience as a volunteer at LSSC24 has been transformative. It has not only deepened my understanding of sustainability but has also empowered me to become a proactive agent of change. I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be part of such a meaningful event and am excited about the journey that lies ahead. With determination and passion, I am confident that together, we can create a more sustainable world for future generations. 

My experience in the Student Delivery Group at LSSC24 

By Michelle Kossowski

My name is Michelle Kossowski and I am a first-year international law student from Canada. I joined the university’s Sustainability team as a volunteer in September 2023. Ever since then, I have supported Clothes Swap events and was a member of the Student Delivery Group for the London Student Sustainability Conference 2024! I am drawn to the sector of sustainability because improving the environment has a direct effect on people’s quality of life. I believe sustainability is not just about improving the current quality of life, but ensuring it keeps to a high standard in the future. The issue of fast fashion interests me because I often see my peers making unsustainable fashion choices due to the rapidly changing trend cycle. I hope to educate others on the social and environmental impacts of unsustainable fashion. I am also intrigued in the intersection between sustainability and law because the law can be a mechanism to prevent environmental misconduct. I heard about the opportunity of joining the Student Delivery Group from the sustainability team at Greenwich. It was immediately a group I wanted to be a part of because I wanted to connect and network with like-minded individuals. I also was interested in this event because it highlighted the ambitious ideas of young people who truly believe teamwork will lead to a greener planet. My first meeting with the Student Delivery Group was electric, as we all had ideas about the event. It was a diverse and welcoming space to give and receive feedback. I settled as the conference’s Social Media Manager and my responsibilities were to create promotional content and content on the day. The opening ceremony of the conference was already filled with excitement and hope.

A highlight of the ceremony was a speech given by Dr. Omnia El Omrani, who is a Climate Change and Health Junior Policy Fellow at Imperial College London. She talked about her work in promoting a health-focused approach to sustainability across the world and how she presented youth efforts on climate and health at COP28 UAE. This set an inspirational tone for the day! Although I was running around the building with the student photographer getting the perfect shots for social media, I found the time to sit down for a presentation. I listened to Niso Khamraeva’s presentation, “Saving the Aral Sea,” which focused on a region of the world that was completely new to me, Karakalpakstan. She discussed the gender and climate impacts of the community’s diminishing water source and finished the speech with the insightful question: “If every specialist brought with them a bucket of water, would the sea be filled again?” After the presentation, I went to conduct short interviews with the workshop leaders. It was a comfortable atmosphere and the lecturers I spoke with were open about their experiences and motivations surrounding the LSSC24. Attending the LSSC24 was an enriching experience to learn more about sustainability from a student perspective and I intend to foster all the connections I made 

LSSC24: Creating opportunities for students to shine 

By Fariha ‘Faz’ Ahmed

Hi, I’m Faz Ahmed, Sustainability Projects Assistant at The University of Greenwich. I became a part of the UoG fabric around 5 months ago and one of the first tasks I got given was to be involved in the London Student Sustainability Conference 2024. Now, in all honesty I had never heard of this conference (which is shameful considering I just recently graduated in sustainability from a London university), so I turned up to the meetings with very little clue and first-day jitters. 

But what I found was an inspiring group of higher education professionals gung-ho in creating the best and most impactful experience for students interested in a topic near and dear; sustainability.  

Steering group leader, Arthur Shearlaw, spear-headed the event to what it is, ensuring everyone was on the same page, and doing a lot of the less than exciting work; the dreaded admin. I was lucky to have UoG Sustainability Manager, David Jackson to hold my hand through the process and make me aware of the ins and outs. Apart from these shout-outs it was just wonderful to meet such an eclectic group of varied people ranging from lecturers, sustainability professionals and people new to higher education, just like me, who were truly enthused to share their knowledge and experiences in sustainability. 

Now, when it comes the actual event, I made the rather rash decision to manage the student volunteers who so kindly gave up their time to make the event what it was. If I’m being honest, the role did make me want to scream at times, especially when I was running around like a headless chicken on the day. However, the screams quickly turned into smiles once I met such a broad range of young, passionate students with real interest in contributing to how our world is shaped.  

The experience was incredible, and I’ll leave it at that. 

An Interview with Emily Mason, Sustainability Projects Officer

After four and a half years, Emily Mason is leaving the Sustainability Department at the University of Greenwich. We managed to steal her away from her busy timetable for a few minutes to have a quick catch up and ask a few questions…

So Emily, what would you say has been your highlight whilst working at the University of Greenwich?

I’d say when we won the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’ in 2013. We were surprised we were even shortlisted and were just happy to be there at the event. We never thought we would win it so that was definitely a massive highlight. It was lovely to meet with other Universities and have people recognizing the work we have done.

What is the most important thing that you will take away with you?

All the learning I’ve done from everybody I’ve worked with. I’ve worked in sustainability for years but at the University of Greenwich I’ve absorbed so much information from everybody whCrvLWInWEAIYJW1o has worked here.

What do you think the future holds for sustainability at the University?

I think that as long as we have people like the people working in the Sustainability Department, our Sustainability Champions and our interns, then it will be in safe hands. All these people bring the creativity, guts and determination to do the job.

What would you like to do next with your career?

My mum would love to know this as well! I’d like to learn how to sew better. Really I want to do something more proactive about the migrant crisis –it’s something I feel really strongly about. I’m currently looking into fostering a lone child migrant.

What would your advice be for anyone looking to enter a career in sustainability?

From me, it would be to look after yourself. A job in sustainability can be so intrinsically linked to your values that it’s easy to want to give everything of yourself. It can drain a lot from you. I’d say make sure you take time for yourself and practice self-care.

And finally… what pearls of wisdom do you have for the world?

Don’t forget how intrinsically linked human beings are to the environment. I think as soon as we forget that, we are in big trouble. We need to get children connected with the natural environment because if they don’t know what’s there, then they won’t know what they’re losing.

Also, find things to laugh at. Never go a day without laughing.

Interview by Ellen McKee the SDU’s Student Sustainability Intern.

A week in the life of a Sustainability Projects Officer!

Emily Mason, Sustainability Projects Officer here at the Sustainable Development Unit, gives us a run down of a typical week in the role.


I always try and make sure that I start the week at Avery Hill and at my desk. This is my time to catch up on emails and plan out the week ahead. This morning I was reviewing a draft project plan from one of the University’s Sustainability Champions which sets outs what they want to achieve in this years Green Impact program.

Following this I held a meeting with our three Graduate placements Ramone, Jamal and Ryan as we are planning some events and communications for the first every Sustainable Food Fortnight that we are holding at the University in tandem with Fairtrade Fortnight.


The highlight of my Tuesday was meeting with two students from Public Health and Health and Wellbeing, Louise and Denise, who will be undertaking a 40 hour placement with the Sustainable Development Unit. The objectives for the placement are to equip students with some of the soft skills they will needs for employment as well as building up their understanding of sustainability. The outcome of this will be an open forum for students to discuss some of the areas where public health and sustainability overlap.


Wednesday is garden day and although the weather was cold and wet the polytunnel at the garden gives us a perfect base of operations for some planning. All the gardening volunteers get to choose what we plant so now is the perfect time to get the seed order in for anything new we want to plant.

Students from the School of Education getting stuck in at the Edible Garden.

Students from the School of Education getting stuck in at the Edible Garden.

This year we will be trying our hand at some new crops including Melons and Sweet Potatoes. We are also placing our order for some more fruit trees and bushes for the Forest Garden including some Raspberries and Greengages.


I spent all of Thursday carrying out internal audits of the catering and cleaning operations at the Medway campus. The internal audits are something that take place across all of Facilities Management’s operations in order to check and improve upon our systems. This is to ensure we are minimising risk to the environment and are able to demonstrate good practice. Our Sustainability Management System which we operated is certified under the British Standard ISO14001 and this March we are up for re-certification.


A busy day of meetings! First up was the Biodiversity Steering Group where the Head of Grounds and myself presented back to the group on two visits we went on to Canterbury Christ Church University and Kingston University to see how they manage their grounds.

This was followed by the Vice Chancellor’s address where staff got to hear updates about future changes and how we were doing against the University’ strategic plan. Pleased to see the award for our Biodiversity Management was mentioned!

Last meeting of the day was the Sustainable Food and Fairtrade Steering Group which oversees the implementation of the Sustainable Food and Fairtrade policy by all the catering outlets. There are some exciting things coming as part of Sustainable Food fortnight and we shall be sharing more about that over the next few weeks.


Now I am not advocating working at the weekend but there were a few interesting things I did on Saturday that overlap with my job. I am lucky to be in a position though where my interests overlap with my work!

I spent an hour in the sunshine with a thermos at the Avery Hill Edible Garden watching and counting birds for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. I have taken part every year since working for them as I know how much the data helps us understand what is happening to our birds. Without a garden of my own the Edible Garden is a lovely space to spend an hour or so at the weekend.

In the evening I took a trip over the river to The Crystal for a piece of interactive theatre called ‘New Atlantis.’ I will try not to spoil the ending here but don’t read on if you don’t want to know any details.

Participants, or agents as we were called, had to gather up as much information about the three departments that make up an organisation ‘New Atlantis,’ which is at the forefront of the fight against Climate Change. It is the year 2050 and the world is very changed, with water resources the centre of much of the human race’s problems. As agents we had to vote on which department we wanted to lead the organisation forward: The Department of Defence, the Department of Reform or the Department of Industry.  I visited each department and quizzed them on their plans and was pleased to find out that some of the people I was talking to were real life scientists from UCL demoing real technologies available to us now and in the near future.

Slightly unsure about what lay ahead!

Slightly unsure about what lay ahead!

I won’t say too much more but there was quite the surprise at the end when the head of the Department of Reform stole all my ideas in her speech and my husband went rogue with ‘Generation Alpha’ and donned a rather scary mask in a bid to take down New Atlantis.

When it came to my vote, I went for the Revolution!unnamed (1)


Sundays are for reading and napping!

To find out more about what our staff at the Sustainable Development Unit do please check out the rest of our blog or drop us a question at or @Sust_Greenwich.

My year as an Avery Hill gardener & forager by Alice Coyle

As the beautiful Autumn colours begin to fade into the stark grey, white and blues of winter, the gardeners’ task changes from a focus on planting, watering, weeding and harvesting to one of replenishing the soil, picking the last of the harvest and tucking the garden in for the winter.

Besides the harvest in the Edible Garden, the campus and its surrounds contains so many edible plants that just ask to be foraged while the internet is a treasure trove of recipe ideas.

We had a bumper crop of blackberries in August, unusually early this year. On my way into work and at lunchtimes, I picked several pounds near Sparrows Farm and along the park cycle tracks.  I took my home made scones, blackberry jelly and cream into work for the Clearing team. Some members had never tasted home-made jelly and all declared it far superior to the bought variety.  The advantage of jelly over jam is that all the not-so-perfect fruit bits get strained out.  I also used  blackberries added to stewed apples and pears, sweetened with honey gathered from the beehives on the campus and sold in the student union shop.

I cooked rhubarb by chopping it into 2-3 cm lengths, spreading the pieces in a baking dish, adding grated ginger and a small amount of water then sprinkling it all with honey or brown sugar before  and baking it for about 20 minutes at 180oC.

Tucked away at  back of the campus I discovered a lone damson plum tree.  These plums are tiny and taking their stones out is a nightmare so I made a batch of damson jelly; just as delicious as the blackberry version and just as nice with scones and cream!

We grew squashes in the garden that made wonderful soup while the courgettes (or zucchinis) were delicious cooked as a main course vegetable. The zucchini cakes I made using a recipe I found online sold like hotcakes at our MacMillan fundraiser during Freshers’ week.

We grew a bumper crop of tomatoes in our polytunnel which are lovely munched straight from the vine, eaten raw with salad or in snacks or cooked with other vegetables spiced with our chilli peppers. I made my first batch of green tomato chutney that I am itching to try but because  it needs to mature it will not be ready until Christmas.

We are still picking the last of the rainbow chard and I have enjoyed steaming it or using it as a substitute for spinach in my spinach and brown rice bake – a family favourite from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course book. My most recent experimentation has been making soup from our Jerusalem artichokes. Combined with onions, garlic, celery, carrots and chicken stock it tasted wonderful.

Spending time in the garden allows me time to relax and recharge away from the busy atmosphere of the Enquiry Unit. I have met so many lovely people there that I would never have met otherwise. Cooking and sharing food that I have helped to grow from seed is a wonderfully rewarding experience, and I cannot recommend it more highly.

Below: homemade jams, chutneys and cakes from garden produce. 


Welcoming our new Sustainability Projects Assistant…

Hi, I’m Alex and I’m excited to be joining the sustainability team for a year as the new Sustainability Projects Assistant!

Alex enjoying the views of the fjords in Norway

Alex enjoying the views of the fjords in Norway

I’ve got a background in Physical Geography, so I am a geek in anything from climate change to natural hazards to glaciers. For the past year I’ve been doing an MA with Forum for the Future in ‘Leadership for Sustainable Development’.

forum for the future

My masters course has allowed me to sample sustainability in a range of organisations, from a charity to a local authority, from Bank of America to a multi-national company. It also allowed me to look at the idea of ‘systems change’, for example, how can we cause change for sustainability in the complex food system, or the energy system? I’m looking forward to putting my learning into practice at Greenwich.

I’ll be looking after the Sustainability Management System and helping Emily out with other sustainability projects. These projects include Green Impact and the Carbon Management Plan, and I’ll also be helping with sustainability events such as the Green Week. Green Impact is a behaviour change project where teams are rewarded for their efforts, so get in contact with the sustainability team if you would like to know more! I’m especially looking forward to getting to know the sustainability champions and spotting new opportunities for sustainability at Greenwich.

Greenwich is a leader in Sustainability within Higher Education, coming 6th this year in the People & Planet’s ‘Green League’, and this is what made me so attracted to working here. So far everyone has been friendly and welcoming and I’m very impressed with the garden!

As I settle in, you may see me wandering round the campuses so I hope to meet as many staff and students as possible on my travels. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at, or if you have any questions about Sustainability at the University of Greenwich then email