Sustainability update April 2019
by Emily Morison and Logan Malik
On 1 March, Clare Hall’s Graduate Student Body introduced food waste bins to seven of our the student houses, as part of a four-month trial of student-led composting. All eight shared student houses are now participating in the trial. A volunteer from each house is responsible for ensuring that their house’s bin is emptied regularly into the College’s communal food waste bin (student Michelle Korpan is pictured, photograph taken by Emily Morison). The City Council then collects this bin. The idea of the initiative is that all students share responsibility for making the trial work. We are now over six weeks into the trial, and it is proving to be a real success.
The College always provides china mugs for use at the coffee machine, so that disposable cups are never needed. The College recently introduced Keepcups with the Clare Hall logo, so that we will never need a disposable cup again, whether we are using the College machine or heading out for coffee!
On 6 March 2019, Clare Hall’s Governing Body took action on climate change by formally agreeing to divest from fossil fuels. The College agreed to withdraw its direct investments in fossil fuel companies (as listed in the Carbon Underground 200) within the next three years and to withdraw its indirect investments in fossil fuel companies within the next five years. The College also agreed to advocate for the Cambridge University Endowment Fund (CUEF) to increase the transparency of its operations, and for the CUEF to adopt a divestment policy during the funds transitory period (or until the College withdraws its assets from the CUEF). Finally, the College committed to formulating and implementing a responsible investment policy that is consistent with fossil fuel divestment (figure 1 a Divestment display in Clare Hall).
The College’s decision followed a campaign by Clare Hall Fossil Free (CHFF), a student group that formed in October 2018 to promote divestment at the College. The College saw the move as a powerful way both to reduce the College’s carbon emissions and to promote the worldwide transition from fossil fuels to a zero-carbon economy. The College hopes that their decision will encourage others to follow suit and acknowledge the urgent need for strong action on climate change and take similar steps to withdraw their assets from the fossil fuel industry.
Two years ago, the College introduced beehives to the grounds, and a third hive has been added recently. The hives provide honey for use by the kitchen, and the honey has also been sold to staff as a charity fundraising initiative.
The Future: electric vehicles
The College is now looking at ways to promote electric vehicle use. It is considering installing two electric charging points in the underground carpark and is also looking at replacing the current maintenance team’s van with an electric vehicle.
Moving on? Donate it
Clare Hall is proud to support the British Heart Foundation with their fight against heart disease and in 2016 we raised an amazing £4,190.
Please continue to help by donating your unwanted clothing, books, homewares, small electrical appliances, CDs and DVDs or anything else you no longer need, in the bag provided.