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Sustainability at Cambridge Judge Business School

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In practice and in research

Cambridge Judge Business School is committed to building sustainability into the heart of business education and research.  

We seek to incorporate sustainable methods and thinking into every aspect of the School – ranging from lighting and heating our buildings, to recycling, to our catering facilities, to encouraging our staff to take advantage of environmentally friendly travel schemes. Sustainability also lies at the heart of our research agenda and the School’s programmes to encourage new venture creation.

Here is a brief summary of steps we have taken so far to advance sustainability at Cambridge Judge, along with an overview of some of our research and entrepreneurship initiatives that promote sustainable methods:

Our campus

The new Simon Sainsbury Centre has solar panels on the roof, and is fitted with absentee lighting sensors that detect when an area is not being used so lights are automatically turned off. We are progressively replacing all our lighting fixtures with LED and dim-down functionality across the campus. We are also fitting absentee lighting sensors where possible. 

Our buildings use natural ventilation and a nighttime precool system that reduces the requirement for air conditioning.

We have seen a marked decrease in printing and copying over the past five years through promotion of online storage and sharing systems. Our move to online course material has helped reduce printing by faculty. Our print supplier, Ricoh, has worked with us as green partners to promote effective environmental conservation.

In support of the University’s target to reduce its energy-related carbon emissions to absolute zero by 2048, Cambridge Judge Business School has signed up to be a pilot department in a new University-wide Electricity Devolution Programme, which will see the devolution of the financial budget for electricity use to the School to manage.

Recycling

Cambridge Judge has increased the provision of recycling bins on campus, and ensured consistency in style and messaging of bins to encourage use. In addition to mixed recycling, we separate and recycle through a University-wide system such items as batteries, newspapers, crisp packets, coffee grounds, food waste and glass waste.

As part of the University, we also support University-wide schemes such as the WARPit reuse platform and the WEEE electrical and electronic waste collection service.

Travel

The School regularly runs travel to work events for staff and students to promote cycling and use of public transport. We also work closely with the University Environment and Energy Office to arrange events and Dr Bike sessions.

To improve congestion in the city and minimise our environmental impact from transport, staff are eligible for:

  • Travel to Work Loans for purchase of an annual bus or rail ticket, or to assist with the purchase of a bicycle and associated safety equipment. 
  • A Cycle to Work Scheme which allows employees to spend up to £2,000 on a new bicycle and safety equipment, while spreading the cost over a year and saving on tax contributions. 
  • Discounted fares on the Universal Bus Service that links the Madingley Road Park & Ride and the community of Eddington with West Cambridge, the central railway station and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus including Addenbrooke's Hospital.
  • A Rental Deposit Loan Scheme which provides an interest-free loan of up to £3,000 to support staff in securing living accommodation in and around Cambridge, rather than farther out.

Catering

Working with our catering partner, in our dining facilities, all:

  • eggs are RSPCA Freedom Food-accredited free range
  • fish is MSC-certified and tuna only pole- and line-caught
  • rapeseed oil used in the kitchens is sourced in the UK
  • coffee is triple-certified Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance.

We have a separate food waste disposal stream that turns waste food into energy using anaerobic digestion and our waste cooking oil is turned into biofuel which is used by industrial farm vehicles.

All main disposable lines (cups, cutlery, food boxes) used in our dining facilities are fully compostable and can be disposed of in the food waste stream.

We have introduced a filtered water system resulting in 15,000 fewer single-use large water bottle usage per year. Our small drinking water bottles is 50 per cent minimum recycled plastic. We have also introduced china mugs for free hot beverage service offered to staff and students, and anticipate this will reduce our single-cup use by 40,000 a year.

In addition, we are rolling out new drinking water stations for students and staff with a high-neck water tap which will allow water bottles to be filled easily, therefore reducing the need for single-use cups.

Environment & Energy Coordinators

We have four staff volunteers who are Environment & Energy Coordinators in the School. They are part of a wider University network of staff volunteers and provide a local focus point for environmental and energy issues.

Our team of coordinators are provided with an annual budget by the School to take forward small initiatives at Cambridge Judge.

Teaching

We have consolidated our virtual learning environment and introduced a suite of new blended programmes. This has increased use of digital resources (textbooks, journal articles and cases) and reduced print output.

We buy only ebooks for off-campus students, and our journal collections are almost entirely digital. The MSt Conservation Leadership (Department of Geography) is using some of our digital content on their degree programme.

Our 2019/20 sustainability-related modules in degree programmes include an MBA elective on Managing for Sustainability led by Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Diageo Professor of Organisation Studies; and an elective in the Master of Studies in Entrepreneurship programme on Sustainability and Conscious Capitalism, led by Simon Stockley, Senior Faculty in Management Practice.

Research and insight

The Circular Economy Centre at Cambridge Judge is at the forefront of research on reuse and recycling in order to forge a more circular and less linear model of resource usage. The Centre is part of a Cambridge University consortium responding to the challenges posed by plastic waste, has collaborated with the European Defence Agency on circularity in defence, and is engaged with partners in developing a framework of interplay between the circular economy and the Internet of things. 

The Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), part of Cambridge Judge Business School, is a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading biodiversity-oriented organisations located in and around Cambridge. The CCI links together research, education and practice in strategic collaborations to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems, and to share knowledge from on-the-ground implementation of conservation policy and practice.

Cambridge Judge has hosted two InnoFrugal UK conferences that drew experts from around the world to discuss the circular economy and frugal innovation, or economic ways of making the most of the world's scarce resources. Two members of our faculty, Professor Jaideep Prabhu and Dr Khaled Soufani, are global leaders in these fields and moderated events at the conferences.

Our Master of Accounting degree programme recently organised the Climate-Related Financial Reporting Conference, which attracted financiers, risk officers, investors and others to discuss the implications of global climate change on financial performance and risks.

Entrepreneurship

The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation and its Cambridge Social Ventures programme have focused extensively on companies that advance sustainability. Among the ventures nurtured are firms that focus on plastic pollution of oceans, deliver package-free refill of household items, and produce ethically manufactured lingerie made from organic materials such as cotton and bamboo.

The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge has mentored many ventures focused on sustainability through such programmes as Accelerate Cambridge – including startups that turn food waste to energy, provide environmental solutions to the aviation market, and sell renewable energy to industrial operators in underdeveloped countries.

We of course can do more to advance sustainability at Cambridge Judge, and we will, so we encourage input from the entire business school community on other initiatives we might undertake. Please get in touch at environment@jbs.cam.ac.uk with your feedback and suggestions.