Worcester College Garden Path

Sustainability at Worcester

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

At Worcester College, we are committed to acting in ethical and sustainable ways to greatly improve our environmental performance, reduce our emissions and manage our natural estate.

We recognise that we have a collective responsibility to consider the environmental impacts of our decisions and behaviours, and we have taken steps to embed sustainability into our governance, actions and operations.

Read the Worcester College Environmental Policy (please note that we are in the process of updating this policy to reflect our progress so far, enhance our ambitions, and detail changes to internal responsibilities)


The College has an established Sustainability Committee, which is responsible for producing and keeping under review the College’s Sustainability Strategy, annual sustainability targets, and associated environmental policies. The Committee provides a consultative and advisory role to help the College reduce negative environmental impacts and improve sustainability outcomes in the following priority areas:

  1. Biodiversity
  2. Energy use and carbon emissions
  3. Food
  4. Investment and procurement
  5. Travel
  6. Waste
  7. Water

The Sustainability Committee is chaired by a nominated member of Governing Body, recognised as the College’s Sustainability Fellow. Membership is comprised of Governing Body Fellows, staff, students and external experts who meet termly to monitor impacts and advise on actions that will help improve the College's environmental performance. Any College member is welcome to attend committee meetings and contribute to the work of the Committee.

Sustainability is a standing agenda item for all College committees, and at every meeting committees are required to consider the environmental impacts of their decisions. We are currently in the process of updating the College’s Sustainability Strategy and Policy to clearly set out the College's principles and commitments towards achieving environmental sustainability. 


A carbon audit and sustainability report was commissioned by the College towards the end of last year, and will be finalised at the end of February 2023. This report will provide a baseline of data from 2018-2019, and will help with setting some ambitious yet realistic targets for reducing our carbon emissions.

The College has already taken a number of specific actions to reduce its carbon footprint, for example through leading the switch within horticulture to petrol-free equipment, improving biodiversity through wild areas and more varied planting in the College gardens, serving a wider variety of vegetarian and vegan meals, and undertaking various energy efficiency initiatives in our buildings. 

We are working on compiling a list of sustainability initiatives taking place across the College to promote as examples of actions that can be taken by managers and individuals to be more environmentally aware in the way they work or live. This will be available on our website shortly.

10 March 2023 update - Results of a recent survey among College members will soon be published to share views and actions on sustainability at Worcester. 

Useful links

Useful links for College members and visitors who want to support action on sustainability:


biodiversity in the gardens flyer

Page updated: 20 March 2023