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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 is monitored by the Domestic Bursar through the Sustainability Committee.  The JCR and MCR Green Officers are members of the Sustainability Committee and are able to represent your views and thoughts in College planning. The Sustainability Committee works to a plan which is updated each year. 

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 2023-24 with some exciting new initiatives to further enhance our sustainability in College.


Waste and Recycling

All users of the College are encouraged to dispose of waste sustainably and 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 whenever 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 to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Catering - Improvements and Purchases

Specifications for new or replacement systems and equipment take account of the College's impact on the environment.

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 cooler 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.


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 minimal printed collateral. We are happy to respond to client suggestions of how we can make their event even more sustainable. We operate a Service+ product called Green+ designed to provide mutual help between clients and us to improve our sustainability.