College gets Platinum sustainability award for third year in a row

Tue, Jun 13, 2023

St John’s has been awarded the highest accreditation in the University of Cambridge Green Impact scheme for the third time.

The annual programme supports and encourages departments and Colleges across the University to act collectively to reduce their environmental impact and to implement different sustainable policies that lead to positive change.

The Platinum Colleges accolade awarded to St John’s is the highest in Green Impact, which is an award-winning United Nations programme designed by the National Union of Students.

Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum certificates are awarded to participating Colleges for their work in addressing environmental issues across their operations as well as engaging staff and students. St John’s won Gold when it first entered the initiative in 2020, followed by Platinum in 2021 and 2022.

The levels of award are decided by the University’s Sustainability Team, which carries out audits of environmental measures based on criteria such as energy use, sustainable food, waste management, recycling and biodiversity.

In the past year, St John’s has introduced its own Sustainable Travel Policies for students, staff and Fellows. Meanwhile, the College Gardens team has invested in an electric ride-on mower to use in the College grounds, which is reducing noise pollution as well as diesel consumption. Other initiatives include the ‘Swish’ pop-up clothes swap party held in February, which was supported by St John’s College Sustainability Forum and Cambridge Carbon Footprint.

The College’s Green Impact entries are organised every year by Vicky Jeffries, Maintenance Payments and Utilities Co-ordinator, and Jessica Tearney-Pearce, Capital Projects Coordinator, who are both members of St John’s Sustainability Forum. The College also has a Climate Crisis Committee and Energy Working Group.

Jessica said: “It’s an enormous achievement for the College to have achieved its third Platinum Green Impact award in a row. Each year it’s exciting to see the strengthening of our evidence for different elements of our submission, and areas where we improve.

“This year significant focus from the Climate Crisis Committee has been on the development of College travel policies and for Green Impact we’ve achieved many more points for transport-related initiatives as a result. It’s a delight working with the wonderful Vicky Jeffries to put this together and I’m looking forward to see where we can make further progress in 2024.”

The awards will be presented at the inaugural Sustainability Showcase 2023 when attendees can join the Environmental Sustainability Team in celebrating the individuals across the University who are championing sustainability. The ceremony is being held at Wolfson College from 1-4pm on 21 June.

Article source: 
Published 9/6/2023

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