Sustainability at Clare Hall

Sustainability update - June 2021

The Green Officers of Clare Hall's Graduate Student Body Committee are delighted to share this report for 2020/21:

Workshops 

We have been organising workshops each term to promote sustainable habits and create wider awareness about the environment and biodiversity.  A sustainable eating workshop was organised in Lent Term to discuss the social and ecological impact of the food supply chains, and to discuss sustainable food purchasing choices.

Community engagement:

A wide range of initiatives are in place at Clare Hall to nudge people towards a more sustainable life. Some of our initiatives have included: 

  • Vegan/vegetarian recipe books distributed to each household, and a recipe book library for offsite students, to promote a healthy and tasty plant-based diet
  • Meat-free Saturdays instigated to promote vegetarian and Vegan food in the Dining Hall
  • Green deals organised for Green (not Black!) Friday: discount deals for Clare Hall students from sustainable local grocers and zero-waste shops
  • Green coffee mornings to engage with students and discuss how to make day-to-day life in the College more sustainable
  • Green e-newsletter to provide students recommendations on books, podcasts and events
  • ‘Green Team’ Discord channel for sharing ideas and resources with fellow College members.  (You can find it on the Clare Hall Discord - all are welcome!)

Environment Committee and Policy:

The College has an Environment Committee headed by the Domestic Bursar which convenes each term to discuss environmental initiatives. The committee is guided by the College Environmental Policy which is reviewed every 5 years. The latest review happened in 2021 and included net zero ambitions for college operations. The most recently-published version of the policy may be found in the Clare Hall Student Handbook; the latest five-year policy, approved by the College Governing Body in May 2021, will be published in the Student Handbook for Michaelmas Term 2021. In the meantime the policy is available on request via the Domestic Bursar.

Divestment:

The Green Officers have been in regular contact with the College about their ongoing movements towards divestment. We look forward to seeing their renewed Investment Policy soon as a result of these conversations.

Allotment:

Clare Hall runs an Allotment Initiative for the College community on a ~144m² site located in West Court, beside the swimming pool, looking south onto the farmer’s fields. So far, over eleven households have come together to sow various seeds from tomatoes, peas, broad beans, aubergine, chilli, basil, chives, asparagus, lettuce to strawberries. To learn more about Clare Hall's allotment, watch our recent video above, and contact Sarah Gough via sag66@cam.ac.uk to get involved - you can also follow her on Instagram at @sarahsfoodspace.

Upcoming plans:

  • The Green Officers plan to continue action on single-use plastics in the Dining Hall, and would like to finalise plans for students to bring their own containers as part of ongoing action with plastic reduction and cafeteria waste.
  • We have plans in place to kickstart household-by-household monitoring of gas and electricity consumption in order to promote conscious use of resources.
  • We are working on delivering a workshop on local flora and fauna for Clare Hall students.
  • We would like to organise talks from Fellows on green issues towards the end of Easter term.