The College's efforts to improve environmental sustainability began, like many things at King’s, as a spontaneous grassroots movement among students, staff, and Fellows alike. In 2009 this passion and commitment led to the College implementing an Environmental Policy, which asserted its commitment to acting sustainably at every level of its institutional operations. Today, the student unions each have Green Officers dedicated to advocating for environmental issues, and a Sustainability Committee meets termly to to produce and then measure against agreed targets in the meeting of aims and objectives in the areas of buildings, carbon and energy, food, procurement, recycling and waste, teaching and research, water, biodiversity, and travel and transport. Membership of this Committee consists of the Domus Bursar, First Bursar, Clerk of Works, two designated Fellows, Head of Communications, Head of Catering, Head of Housekeeping, Head Gardener and student representatives.
In 2023, the Cambridge University Colleges collectively published a sustainability report exploring actions and initiatives that the Colleges were undertaking and setting out best practices across the Collegiate University. We hope this report will provide an avenue for knowledge-sharing and collaboration regarding sustainability in the future.
Green Impact Award Scheme
Green Impact is a UNESCO award-winning programme designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practice within organisations. Since 2009 the programme has worked with over 1,100 organisations and embedded over 410,000 sustainability actions in places of work, living and study. In Cambridge, the scheme is designed to support and encourage departments and colleges across the University in reducing their environmental impacts. King's was one of 58 teams across the University to take part in the 2022 programme, and one of four colleges to receive the Gold Award.
In delivering the award, the scheme co-ordinator commented:
Huge congratulations to you and your team. The effort and hard work that you all have put in over the past year is immediately evident, and the supporting evidence you have uploaded very clear. It is also impressive how you have engaged different members of the College and on so many different aspects of sustainability from waste, to biodiversity and sustainable food.
The King’s Beekeeping Society look after the College apiary, which currently consists of the two hives, both located at the back of Scholars’ Piece. The Society is responsible for the upkeep of the hives and the annual honey harvest, with around ten people needed every year to help with maintenance and inspections of the hives, in addition to two experienced beekeepers. The Society is always on the lookout for new volunteers, particularly graduate students who remain in College during the summer, so do get in touch if you'd be interested!