St John’s awarded Platinum accolade for green initiatives

Fri, Jun 25, 2021

St John’s College has achieved the top environmental award in the University of Cambridge Green Challenge just a year after scooping Gold with its debut entry.

The annual Green Impact awards, which are linked to a nationwide scheme, encourage everyone working or studying at the University to take action collectively to reduce their environmental impact and to implement a range of sustainable policies that lead to positive change in their Colleges, departments and faculties.

St John’s has been praised for achieving the Platinum Colleges award - the highest accolade in Green Impact, a United Nations award-winning programme designed by the National Union of Students. Delivering the news, Jessica Haskell, the University’s Sustainability Team Sustainability Communications and Engagement Coordinator, said: “Well done to everyone involved. This has been an exceptionally challenging year to say the least and I would like to thank you on behalf of the University community for managing to prioritise sustainability progress.”

Colleges taking part in the accreditation scheme can obtain Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards for their work to engage staff and students and address environmental issues across their operations. St John’s won Gold when it entered for the first time last year, despite the disruption caused by the first lockdown at the start of the pandemic.

The University’s Sustainability Team carries out audits of environmental measures to come to its decisions, which are based on criteria such as energy use, sustainable food, waste management, recycling and biodiversity. The student auditors at St John’s praised the College for the ‘amazing’ progress made over the last two years and were particularly impressed this time around with the wildlife camera traps, which have enabled the community to view footage of a badger sett in the grounds. They were also pleased by the College's charitable initiatives for the British Heart Foundation - students are encouraged to use a recycling bin placed in Cripps to donate unwanted belongings, particularly at the end of the academic year when they are leaving Cambridge.

For the second year running the College entry was organised by Vicky Jeffries, Maintenance Payments and Utilities Co-ordinator, and Jessica Tearney-Pearce, Project Co-ordinator in the Domestic Bursar’s office, who are both members of the St John’s Sustainability Forum. This year the pair focused on getting good practice into firm procedures, as well as reinforcing last year’s evidence for green initiatives.

Vicky said: “Departments are much more environmental and sustainable in their approach to the tasks they carry out. For example, Housekeeping changed to a new laundry that is much more environmentally friendly.”

She added: “I am thrilled that we have won the Platinum award this year. We still have more things to implement and improve upon so we hope to maintain this level. It’s been a pleasure working with Jessica and many thanks to everybody who has helped with our submission.”

Colleges taking part in the accreditation scheme can obtain Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards for their work to engage staff and students and address environmental issues across their operations. St John’s won Gold when it entered for the first time last year, despite the disruption caused by the first lockdown at the start of the pandemic.

The University’s Sustainability Team carries out audits of environmental measures to come to its decisions, which are based on criteria such as energy use, sustainable food, waste management, recycling and biodiversity. The student auditors at St John’s praised the College for the ‘amazing’ progress made over the last two years and were particularly impressed this time around with the wildlife camera traps, which have enabled the community to view footage of a badger sett in the grounds. They were also pleased by the College's charitable initiatives for the British Heart Foundation - students are encouraged to use a recycling bin placed in Cripps to donate unwanted belongings, particularly at the end of the academic year when they are leaving Cambridge.

For the second year running the College entry was organised by Vicky Jeffries, Maintenance Payments and Utilities Co-ordinator, and Jessica Tearney-Pearce, Project Co-ordinator in the Domestic Bursar’s office, who are both members of the St John’s Sustainability Forum. This year the pair focused on getting good practice into firm procedures, as well as reinforcing last year’s evidence for green initiatives.

Vicky said: “Departments are much more environmental and sustainable in their approach to the tasks they carry out. For example, Housekeeping changed to a new laundry that is much more environmentally friendly.”

She added: “I am thrilled that we have won the Platinum award this year. We still have more things to implement and improve upon so we hope to maintain this level. It’s been a pleasure working with Jessica and many thanks to everybody who has helped with our submission.”

Article sourced from:https://www.joh.cam.ac.uk/st-johns-awarded-platinum-accolade-green-initiatives
Published on: 11.06.21

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