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A college-wide sustainability effort earns Lucy Cavendish College the highest award for sustainable practice.

Green Impact is a United Nations award-winning programme designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practice. Universities, colleges, and organisations from across the globe enter the accreditation programme each year. The entrants set goals, complete tasks, and aim for the levels of Working Towards Bronze, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

We are pleased to reveal that at yesterday’s Green Impact Awards ceremony we received the prestigious Platinum Award! And, not only did we meet the requirements for the highest award, we far exceeded them. This was only possible through a heroic college-wide effort as we worked together to make improvements, launch new initiatives, and accelerate positive change.

We completed a workbook with 101 tasks to earn our Platinum Award, and we added many additional tasks of our own. Here’s a small sample of some of the things we are doing here at Lucy:

Staff are auto-enrolled into the bike-to-work scheme, students have access to free rentals of the College bicycle fleet, and we organise free bicycle training. We don’t sell single-use plastic water bottles. Instead, we have free water refill stations and we provide students with free reusable water bottles. There is always a meat-free option in the servery and we display the carbon footprints of our meals. To encourage more biodiversity and wildlife onto the College grounds, we have installed new bird boxes and bee hotels, we are relandscaping, and we have a number of environmental policies (such as no hedge cutting during nesting season). The college community has volunteered in a range of citizen science projects and has launched various sustainability initiatives (including a biodiversity event, sustainability bingo, and a litter picking marathon). Our new eco-friendly building is being constructed to the Passivhaus standard and 100% of our electricity is supplied by renewables.

We are delighted to receive the Platinum Award for Green Impact and we thank all of our amazing staff and students for their enthusiasm and continued commitment to environmental sustainability. We are now excited to build on this positive momentum and we look forward to sharing our journey with you all. Net zero, here we come!