Clare College Cambridge

Environment & Sustainability


Clare and the environment

Clare is the greenest Cambridge college. We have consistently ranked at the top of the University's Green Impact competition, winning more awards than any other college or department. Last year we were the first college to win a Platinum Award for our overall environmental performance – the highest award available. It is uplifting to receive this recognition of the dedication that our students, staff and Fellows share towards reducing the College's environmental footprint.
The support of all our College members and conference guests is an essential part of sustaining this progress. We encourage everyone to help by taking part in the initiatives below and following the tips provided. If you have any suggestions as to how we can further improve, please pass them on to Deborah Hoy, the buildings manager:


The College provides recycling bins throughout College, either replacing some general waste bins or else re-positioning them to encourage more recycling. The importance of making recycling the easiest thing to do was confirmed in an experiment by Accommodation Manager Jackie Searle in 2016, when she switched the position of the general waste and recycling bins in the library, so that the latter were closer to the work stations. The picture on the right shows the result of this on a single day!

In 2016-2017 these measures saved the College approximately £13,000.

Energy Saving

An energy saving competition for students is run during Michaelmas and Lent terms, rewarding the staircase which collectively wastes the least energy with free tickets to a Green Formal Hall.

In addition, several boiler systems have being upgraded, a college-wide heating schedule has been introduced, energy-efficient lightbulbs are now being used in the student rooms and hallways, and aerating shower heads are being trialled in some of the College bathrooms.


Our gardens provide the right habitats for foxes, kingfishers, water voles and even otters, and there are regular sightings of peregrine falcons! Last year a bird box was installed with a camera inside, and yellow rattle was planted in the wilder parts of the gardens to limit the dominance of aggressive grass species.

You can get involved by visiting the Biodiversity Community Engagement Project website and letting us know if you spot native plants and animals in College.


Clare students buy more vegetarian and vegan meals than almost any others in the University – in 2016-2017 the figure was around 49% of all meals bought in the Buttery.

The College has now purchased an electric van to replace the old one which our maintenance team uses.


The Environment Committee Meetings

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2021

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2020

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2019

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2018

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2017

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2016

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2015

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2014

Clare Environment Committee Annual Report 2013


Environment Policy

Heating Schedule