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Sustainability at Robinson College

At Robinson College, we are committed to reducing the impact of our activities upon the environment. Our Sustainability Policy is monitored by the Finance Bursar through the College Environment Forum which is tasked with ensuring the implementation of the policy and to assist in achieving the overall goal to reduce the College's carbon footprint. The JCR and MCR Green Officers are members of the Environment Forum and are able to represent your views and thoughts in College planning. The Environment Forum works to a Strategy which is updated each year. For information on the current strategic goals, please contact the Domestic Bursar.

Our Sustainability Report for 2022-23 gives an overview of the work we've been doing.

Green Team

Robinson College Green Team are delighted to have received their Platinum Award from Green Impact 2021-22 for their fabulous work in steering the College on its green pathway. This is the fourth year running that Robinson has achieved the highest accolade, and only one of eight colleges in Cambridge to do so this year. Our plans are well underway to continue this journey into 2022-23 with some exciting new initiatives to further enhance our sustainability in College and continue the journey to carbon neutral.


Waste and Recycling

All users of the College are encouraged to dispose of waste sustainably. Recycling facilities are available for use by students, staff and visitors. The College operates a dry mixed recycling system for card, paper, plastic and glass. Additionally, all food waste from the kitchen is processed for composting.The College recycles light bulbs, including fluorescent tubes, printer cartridges, computer hardware and furniture wherever possible.

Utilities - Consumption

There is a standing policy to use low-energy light bulbs throughout the estate unless there are specific reasons not to. The consumption of energy and water are monitored by the Facilities and Finance teams and we are working towards a consistent measurement of consumption per user unit so that comparisons can be effectively made with a view to targeting improvements.

The College has fitted solar panels on part of the main building to help with its strategic goal to minimise the use of fossil fuels.

Improvements, Purchases and Developments

Wherever possible, specifications for new or replacement systems and equipment take account of the College's environmental objectives.

Food sourcing is carefully managed with the emphasis upon seasonal and local purchasing wherever practical. The College, through its purchasing agent, encourages the stipulation of food provenance on food invoices in order to be able to drive this objective. The College manages other aspects of its sustainable food sourcing in accordance with its Food Ethics Policy.

Junior Members

All members of the college are encouraged to take proactive steps to help the College achieve its strategic goals. Ways you can help are:

  • Turn down heating in favour of an extra layer of clothing
  • Use cold water washes in laundry facilities
  • Close windows when heating is on
  • Turn off all lights when you leave your room
  • Turn off all other electrical equipment rather than leaving them on stand-by
  • Reduce waste, reuse receptacles, recycle where you can
  • Minimise your use of water – don’t run the tap while you clean your teeth

Information of recycling is available in the Junior Members Handbook.

Here are some steps we can all take to help Robinson’s Green Journey.


Wherever possible, conference organisers and delegates are encouraged to work with us to ensure that their events are sustainable. Most of the conference client communication is by email or telephone with little printed collateral. We are happy to respond to client suggestions of how we can make their event better. We operate a Service+ product called Green+ designed to provide mutual help between clients and us to achieve our sustainability objectives