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Environmental sustainability represents a global challenge. We recognise that an unstable climate, increasing carbon emissions and accelerating biodiversity loss require urgent action at all levels of society.

At Worcester College, we’re dedicated to acting in ethical and sustainable ways to improve our environmental performance, reduce our emissions and manage our natural estate. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do, and what we stand for. That’s why we’re taking concrete action to embed sustainability at every level of our operations and ways of working. We’re committed to being a carbon net-zero college while investing in and enhancing the rich biodiversity of our gardens and grounds.

Since 2011 we’ve had an Environmental Policy in place; in 2023 we renewed and revised our commitments to form our Environmental Sustainability Policy. We’ve set ourselves clear targets, and have put systems in place to monitor the effectiveness of our policies and the impact of our actions.

We have a dedicated Sustainability Committee, chaired by the Sustainability Fellow, which regularly reviews our strategy, targets, and policies. Sustainability is also a standing agenda item for all College committees, helping to embed awareness of environmental impact in all decision-making.

Our environmental sustainability policy Email the Sustainability Fellow

Latest green news

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Introducing Sustainability Season 2024

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Dr Tundi Agardy advances sustainability programme as Distinguished Visiting Fellow

STUDENTS & sustainabILITY

Our students also take a lead in promoting sustainable behaviour at Worcester, both through their representation on the Sustainability Committee and through the actions and initiatives promoted by the JCR Environmental and Ethics Rep. The student-led Edible Garden project has been running since 2010, creating a shared space for students to plant fruit and vegetables and learn new skills.

 

Sustainability on the shelves

We asked students ‘what should we read in Worcester to learn more about sustainability?’ Explore the books they suggested and that we added to our library collection in response to COP26 and the new University Sustainability Strategy.

Explore the new titles

Worcester’s wildlife

19

species of butterflies and moths... from brimstones to hummingbird hawk moths

65

species of birds nesting in 60 bird boxes around the gardens

10

species of bees (including Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebees and the Hairy Footed Flower Bee)

1

bug hotel with thousands of guests

19

species of butterflies and moths... from brimstones to hummingbird hawk moths

65

species of birds nesting in 60 bird boxes around the gardens

10

species of bees (including Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebees and the Hairy Footed Flower Bee)

1

bug hotel with thousands of guests

gardens & Grounds

Our gardeners are working hard to embed sustainability in their stewardship of our historic gardens and grounds. Recent initiatives have included creating wildflower meadows in the Upper Orchard and Provost’s Garden – with over 1,200 wildflowers planted – as well as the introduction of the Provost’s bee hives, with three colonies of bees happily installed at the bottom of the Provost’s lawn.

 

What we’re focusing on:

  • Increasing biodiversity: We’re growing and planting diverse species, from trees to sequester carbon to nectar-rich shrubs and fruiting plants which provide food for wildlife throughout the year.
  • Habitats for wildlife: Our hedges, meadows, dead wood and log piles provide natural shelter and safe corridors for birds, mammals and insects.
  • Sustainable choices: By composting our waste, reducing our use of pesticides and oil-powered machinery, and conserving water, we’re working hard to garden responsibility.

Read more about sustainability and biodiversity in the gardens

Garden highlights

Four cygnets and a swan in a nest

Cygnets on the lake

Four staff members with a battery powered mower

Battery-powered lawn mower

A group of people with wheelbarrows

Tree planting party

Great Spotted Woodpecker in a tree

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Three beehives

Beehives in the Provost's Garden

Four cygnets and a swan in a nest

Cygnets on the lake

Four staff members with a battery powered mower

Battery-powered lawn mower

A group of people with wheelbarrows

Tree planting party

Great Spotted Woodpecker in a tree

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Three beehives

Beehives in the Provost's Garden

Environmental Sustainability Policy

Download our policy