Wolfson College

Environment and sustainability

Climate change is the most urgent challenge of our time. As a College, we’re working to respond and lead across a wide range of areas, uniting our staff, students, alumni, and Fellows. 

Wolfson College

The Sustainability Committee

The Committee is the College’s primary body for overseeing all forms of sustainability activity within the College and reports to the Council.  It aims to ensure sustainability is embedded into all aspects of the College’s activities. This body makes recommendations on appropriately ambitious goals and targets and ensures that the College is held to account in fulfilling its sustainability agenda.  

Divestment from fossil fuel investments

The College’s Council and Governing Body endorse the University’s decision to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2038. 

We are also committed to a sustainable and responsible investment policy. Almost 99% of our endowment is invested in The Cambridge University Endowment Fund, which aims to divest from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels by 2030, more than a decade before the date set by the UK Government. The remaining 1% of our investments have been held historically in a private equity fund: these investments are nearing the end of their lives, and when the capital is distributed the College intends to invest the proceeds in the Cambridge University Endowment Fund. 

Interdisciplinary Research Hub

The Sustainability & Conservation Research Hub brings together a variety of disciplines and academics at different career stages, from undergraduate students to Emeritus Fellows, from Wolfson alumnus to College staff, to explore solutions to combat the destruction of the natural world. 

Through projects, discussions, events, mentoring and more, the Hub draws on Wolfson's strengths in diversity with students from 85+ nationalities, world-class researchers, and highly engaged networks, to educate and trigger action in sustainability and conservation.

Conveners of the Hub include Fellows Professor Steve Evans, Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, and Professor John French, Director of Sustainability at Cambridge Innovation Parks and Board Member and trustee of The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

Student Green and Campaigns Officer

Each year, our Student Association, WCSA, elects a Green & Campaigns Officer who works to raise awareness of sustainability issues and encourage green policies around the College. 

You can find out more on the Being Green at Wolfson page. 

Wolfson Green Society

The Wolfson Green Society was set up by WCSA Green Officer 2019-2020 Charlie Barty-King to enact change within the College and put the spotlight on sustainability at Wolfson, the Cambridge community, and beyond. Charlie also helps led the Sustainability & Conservation Hub.

The Green Society hosts fortnightly webinars on sustainability and conservation topics. Presentations have included talks from a local beekeeper, the former EU Ambassador at large to the Arctic, and Wolfson JRF, Dr Helene Hoffman, a Physicist specialising in Environment Physics and ice core science. 

All Green Society webinars can be found online in the Wolfson Media Collection. 

Green Impact Award 

In 2022, Wolfson achieved a Green Impact Platinum Award for environmental performance and for promoting sustainability, which followed a Gold Impact Award in 2020. 

In 2021, Wolfson received an Excellence Award for its emerging Wolfson Living Lab for the Green Impact Awards 2021. The effort is headed up by Domestic Bursar Darren Smith and student Charlie Barty-King, with the assistance of the WCSA Green Officer and the Wolfson Green Society. 

What's on

Saptarishi by Simon Patterson

Art Exhibition: 'Simon Patterson: Out of Order'

26/11/2022 at 10.00

Visit Wolfson's latest exhibition 'Out of Order' featuring work by prominent artist Simon Patterson, open to the public, Saturday and Sundays, 10am - 5pm.

Children listening to loud music

Thinking Against Babylon, One Beat at a Time: Black Music as Radical, De-colonial Epistemology

29/11/2022 at 17.30

What is radical and de-colonial about Black music as an instrument for radical thought? 

Wolfson in Singapore

Wolfson in Singapore

29/11/2022 at 19.00

Join Sian Cook, Director of Networks, for our Wolfson in Singapore events

Musician from Cambridge University Brass Band

Music and Madeira: Festive Fun with Cambridge University Brass Band

29/11/2022 at 21.00

A recital following Formal Hall with the Cambridge University Brass Band performing seasonal music.

A poster of Wolfson Sustainability Thinking Space Research and Personal. A brain with heart and cogs in different shades of green surrounded by white text with icons showing hands and a building

Sustainability Thinking Space

30/11/2022 at 17.30

A free, interactive sustainability education and thinking space open to all Wolfson members, providing a guided space to develop your sustainability thinking, action and development.