Gemma Dunsmure and Emily Jones from the Green Genies – The Department of Public Health and Primary Care, winners of a Platinum Green Impact Award

The Environmental Sustainability Team at the University of Cambridge hosted its first-ever Sustainability Showcase on 21st June at Wolfson College.

Departing from the traditional format of separate award ceremonies, the showcase brought together numerous sustainability engagement programs administered by the Environmental Sustainability Team (EST), along with initiatives from other departments within the university.

Dr Sally Pidgeon, Head of Environmental Sustainability at the EST, opened the showcase which celebrated the exceptional efforts of volunteers, staff, and students, with a particular focus on the Green Impact program. 

A total of 43 awards were bestowed for outstanding contributions to sustainability, including an impressive 12 teams that achieved Platinum status. To earn Platinum recognition, teams had to successfully complete 80% of the Green Impact workbook, demonstrating their dedication to sustainable practices. 

The esteemed institutions and teams that attained Platinum status this year included Cambridge University Press and Assessment Cape Town, Cancer Research UK, IMS-MRL, The Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, The Green Genies - DPHPC, Christ's College, Churchill College, Clare College, Gonville & Caius College, Robinson College, St John's College, and Wolfson College.

Additionally, nine teams achieved Excellence status, which involved undertaking a seven-month project centred around a specific sustainability theme of their choosing. These projects encompassed a wide range of sustainability aspects and addressed various challenges. 

Some notable projects included:

  • The Botanic Gardens: Exploring methods to reduce energy demands in the uninsulated, Grade II listed building at 1 Brookside.
  • Jesus and Churchill Colleges' Seed Library: Establishing a seed library to promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Lucy Cavendish College: Creating a Living Lab for Green Nudges to encourage sustainable behaviours.
  • Murray Edwards College: Implementing the Student Sustainability Leaders Programme.
  • Robinson College: Enhancing sustainability in guest supplies at the college.

Within the Green Impact program, teams also had the opportunity to nominate colleagues, students, and projects for 'Special Awards' to recognize exceptional contributions. Many of these individuals voluntarily dedicated significant amounts of time and effort to promote sustainability within their respective colleges, institutions, departments, or workplaces. 

The winners of these special awards were announced as follows:

  • Sustainability Hero:
    • Winner: Ivan Higney, Darwin College
    • Highly Commended: Oscar Holgate, Wolfson College
  • Innovation for Engagement:
    • Winner: Animal agriculture, Lucy Cavendish College
    • Highly Commended: Sustainability Thinking Space, Wolfson College
  • Environmental Improvement:
    • Winner: Clare College Braeside
    • Highly Commended: Cambridge University Press and Assessment, South Africa Biodiversity Hikes
  • Community Action:
    • Winner: Darwin College, Project Second Life
  • Student Leadership Award:
    • Winner: Deidre Boodoosingh, Wolfson College
    • Highly Commended: Lauren Court, Girton College

Furthermore, seven LEAF awards were presented to lab-based teams as part of the newly established program. The LEAF awards recognize outstanding sustainability efforts in laboratories that reduce the carbon footprint of their work.

You can read more about the Sustainability Showcase from the EST team here.


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