Sustainability

Green Templeton College is committed to a sustainable future.

We recognise that the actions and choices of our community have a huge impact on the college’s environmental footprint, with around 250 students living in our accommodation and many more coming to dine and use the facilities. We are committed to embedding sustainable working and thinking through education.

Awards

Green Impact Gold Award 2021 22

Green Templeton is proud to have achieved a Green Impact Gold Award for the second time in 2022.

Green Impact is a United Nations award-winning programme designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practice within organisations. The ethos is about changing behaviours and making physical improvements to improve our sustainable practises in and around our buildings and college life in general.

Staff, students and fellows have all contributed to the college achieving this award with a wide range of initiatives across our estate including in accommodation, catering and events, and promoting sustainable activity among our entire community.

In unrivalled recognition for the college in 2022, Food and Beverage Manager Harriet Quint and Hannah Chase (Graduate Entry Medicine, 2018) also secured individual awards in Vice-Chancellor’s Sustainability Awards at the Sheldonian Theatre on Wednesday 13 July.

Catering

Meat-Free Mondays

At Green Templeton we have completely meat free Mondays in our catering provision. As part of doing our part to combat climate change, conserve resources and improve health, we have one plant-based day each week. When the kitchen is open, it means a range of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes to fuel you through the day!

Bring your own lunch box 

Takeaway lunches are served from the kitchen although to take advantage of this you will need to bring you own lunch box from 20 February 2023 in an initiative to reduce this single use item.

Where boxes are provided, we have chosen to use a bagasse type box for 95% of our packaging needs. Bagasse is a natural by-product of sugarcane refinement. It is the fibre that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice. Bagasse pulp requires minimal processing and elemental chlorine free (ECF) bleaching to turn it into a woven high-strength paper that is biodegradable and compostable.

Bring your own cup

Our coffee machines in the Stables Gallery and Common Room are not stocked with single use cups, you will need to bring a reusable one with you to make the most of the free hot Keep Cupsdrinks.  The college has its own branded keep cups in a variety of colours, all available at the lodge for £10 each.  These cups are the standard cup accepted in libraries across Oxford

Reusable bar cupBar Cups

As a new initiative for this year we have introduced a reusable bar cup.  Bring this cup to the bar to receive 20p off house cocktails and house spirit and mixers.  The beautiful design is by our Artist in Residence, Weimin He, who has created ‘Dreaming Tower’ showing the Observatory in vibrant colours. It is available to buy from the lodge for £2.50

Water refill Stations

There are 2 filtered and chilled water refill stations on the main Green Templeton site.  One is in the stables bar which all members can help themselves to (you must bring a refillable bottle as no single use cups are provided across our site).  The second is in the waiter station in the dining room, just request a  refill of our refillable bottle from any member of the team whilst the dining room is open.

The filtered water in the dining room is also used by the catering team to provide water in reusable glass bottles for all catering on site.  The glass bottles have a lower carbon footprint over their lifetime; they remove the need for waste and recycling; they have zero landfill potential; and they reduce food miles

Ecopure based in Haddenham, who provide the dining room filtered water have a longstanding commitment with the charity Just a Drop, for every system they sell in the UK they make a donation to Just a Drop which provides clean water and sanitation projects in poor communities around the world.  Currently, donating enough to give clean, safe water to 50 children for up to ten years

#SwitchUpYourLunch initiative

In 2021 and again in 2022 Green Templeton has joined the campaign spearheaded by Good Food Oxford and served an exclusively vegan lunch in the college dining room as part of a pledge to improve Oxfordshire’s ecological footprint.

Fairtrade

Fairtrade sugar, bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate and biscuits are used for conferences and events. Activities have also been organised during Fairtrade Fortnight in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Food waste

The catering team prepare food to order and offer small portion options in the dining room to minimise food waste. Remaining items at the end of food service is delivered to local food banks across Oxford, including Gatehouse, whenever possible.

Green Templeton is utilising a new Oxfordshire Country Council data management system to monitor our waste.

Local suppliers

Baskervilles (greengrocer/eggs/dairy) – Abingdon
Bidfood (frozen/ambient/alcohol) – Bicester
Bonners (greengrocer) – Covered market

Hedges (butchers) – Abingdon/Botley
Jolly foods (butcher/bread/cheese/fish) – Caterton
Phillip Dennis (frozen/ambient ) – Witney
Savona (ambient) – Kidlington

Oxwash (laundry) – Oxford

Since September 2021, the catering team has used OxWash to wash all Dining Room linen such as table cloths, napkins and tea towels. The housekeeping team also uses OxWash.

In its Oxford lagoon, OxWash uses water reclamation to reuse the water from a previous rinse cycle for the next wash cycle. This saves up to 60 per cent of the water consumption versus a typical commercial washing machine and 70 per cent compared to a domestic washing machine.

OxWash is implementing microfibre filtration in 2021 to capture more than 95 per cent of all the fibres shed during washing. This process prevents plastic pollution of waterways and drinking water.

Disinfection of OxWash washing is performed using ozone, biodegradable disinfectants (PAP) and quaternary ammonium compounds. Generated using renewable electricity and oxygen from the air we breathe, ozone is an extremely powerful disinfecting agent against many microorganisms.

Automated dynamic dosing of biodegradable detergents prevents surplus chemical usage. OxWash works with partners to get a maximum clean with minimum chemistry addition to our washing procedures

Savona

Savona E vanThese pioneering electric vans are now delivering to customers in Oxford – they are the first 100% electric dual-temperature vehicles in Europe!

Compared to diesel vehicles, these vans will save 24,960kg of carbon per year. That’s the equivalent to the weight of houses per year, or 146 bars of gold!

Seafood

Seafood from Bidfresh, which is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified and RSPCA-assured, They have been certified to the MSC Chain of Custody Standard: Group Version (Version1.0) and MSC Chain of Custody Certification Requirements (Version 2.0) and are authorised to supply fish and fish products, originating from MSC-certified farms that are eligible to carry the MSC Logo after gaining approval from MSCI.

plants in pots next to menu, all standing on stands from cut trees

Conferencing and Events

Living centrepieces have been a feature of college activity in place of cut flowers.

The Welcome Receptions in 2021 features edible pea shoots that were later planted in the college gardens and the produce used in the kitchens.

We have introduced a discounted tea and coffee option for event or conference attendees to bring their own reusable cup for tea and coffee breaks. Reusable coffee cups help reduce waste and keep the environment cleaner and healthier which is in line with our sustainability initiatives. Get in touch on email to find out more events@gtc.ox.ac.uk

For conferencing we use china crockery as a standard, but where this is not possible we have chosen to use a bagasse plate/bowl. Bagasse is a natural byproduct of sugarcane refinement. It is the fiber that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice. Bagasse pulp requires minimal processing and elemental chlorine free (ECF) bleaching to turn it into a woven high-strength paper that is biodegradable and compostable.

We feel that this is the best alternative for us at this time despite Oxford councils inability to accept any form of compostable food packaging into their food waste streams. They say, this is due to the time it takes for compostable packing to break down in their anaerobic composting facility, the increased time required results in the compost quality becoming unviable for them to sell on to the commercial market. Despite this, we feel that introducing a compostable item that takes on average 12 weeks to decompose into landfill, rather than a singe use plastic item that will take 1000’s of years is the best alternative at this time. All items of hot food are packaged in these boxes so please place them along with your wooden cutlery into the general rubbish bins when you are finished.

Active travel

Green Templeton encourages active travel in all its forms, with a focus on cycling and walking around Oxford. Each year the college recycles unclaimed bikes and it facilitates bike sales and exchange, and bike-rental. It also has tools available to help repair bikes. The college encourages staff who live beyond Oxford to use public transport.

Estate

Biodiversity

  • Climbers around college often provide nesting space for birds
  • College has two bat boxes (and bats have been seen in winter 2021/22)
  • College owns a small part of the river bank near Rewley Abbey Court accommodation.
  • Composting green waste throughout our sites and reuse of compost on our gardens
  • Four areas in the college grounds where the grass is routinely left long till June to encourage wildflowers
  • GTC Allotment
  • Herb garden
  • St Margaret’s Road student houses has spaces suitable for nesting swifts
  • The Garden features mainly perennial planting which reduces digging supporting a more stable soil ecosystem.
  • There are always at least some plants in flower
  • There are solitary Ground bees under the Magnolia tree
  • Trees or shrubs that are removed get replaced
  • We don’t plant double-petaled varieties  that have nectar which is unavailable to pollinators
  • We empty the green house entirely for a few months in summer, this naturally breaks the life cycle of pests and reduces the need to use pesticides
  • We maintain log piles to create habitat for wild life
  • We never use pesticides in the open gardens
  • We use leaf mulch piles where appropriate which encourages both detrivores and Mycelial life in the soil. This produces a more complex and self-sustaining soil ecosystem.

Decarbonising property assets

  • In summer 2021 twelve flats at the college Rewley Abbey Court site were completely gutted and refitted. The stairwells were fully enclosed, energy efficient gas boilers with better control systems and uPVC double glazing installed among the significant upgrades to the sustainability credentials of the block. Twelve more flats are being renovated in summer 2022.
  • Capital expenditure programme with specific energy reduction targets
  • Energy review and report across college site
  • Secondary glazing and heat loss reduction programme in planning

Energy initiatives

  • Energy use monitored via household meter readings
  • Electrical equipment with best energy rating
  • Floor insulation in some buildings
  • Installation of water saving shower heads
  • Installing new curtains to provide better insulation
  • Installing new energy efficient appliances and equipment
  • LED lightbulbs used
  • Local controls on radiators in rooms
  • Low energy lighting throughout our sites where possible
  • Provision of storage facilities to enable students to take public transport when travelling
  • Replacing/repairs to windows
  • Roof insulation/repairs
  • Stickers on light switches
  • Temperature control sensors inside and outside of buildings to control temperature so it is at maximum of 21 degrees
  • TRV (Thermostatic Radiator Valves)

Engaging community actively including by encouraging

  • Double-sided printing as default
  • Reporting dripping taps immediately
  • Reusing bags for shopping
  • Sharing ideas through the GCR and Sustainability Working Group
  • Turning heating down or off before opening your window
  • Turning off lights, computers, chargers and any other electrical equipment when not in use
  • Taking shorter showers
  • Washing clothes at 30°C

Recycling

  • Crockery recycling
  • Encouraging recycling in accommodation through information in domestic handbook
  • Pack for Good scheme participation, giving students the opportunity to donate unwanted items such as clothes, electricals, books and furniture to British Heart Foundation
  • Recycling with care as everything in the recycling bin goes to landfill if it is contaminated
  • Recycling electrical waste throughout our sites
  • Recycling food, plastics, cans, paper, timber, metals, oils, cardboard and batteries throughout our sites
  • Taking glass bottles to the recycling bins externally

Fellowship Appeal 2020

Voltage Optimiser box in plant room

Green Templeton’s sustainability agenda has been supported by the generosity of our fellows, including through the Fellowship Appeal 2020: Climate Change Imperative. These funds have enabled the purchase of a voltage optimiser for the Woodstock Road site and the planting of hundreds of trees around Oxford hospitals.

The voltage optimiser irons out voltage fluctuations, with a proven record of reducing electricity consumption and cost. Financial savings are ringfenced in a Revolving Green Fund for re-investment, to fund initiatives that will support further carbon reduction.

A collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare’s NHS Forest project aligns perfectly with our human welfare mission. Tree planting is a social investment, bringing NHS staff, patients and local communities together, as well as an environmental investment because trees are health-giving and absorb carbon dioxide.

Student-led initiatives

GTC Allotment Club

Allotment Club participants planting

Ella Dunlop (Clinical Medicine) launched the Green Templeton College Allotment Club in March 2021 with help from the Annual Fund. All college members are welcomed and encouraged to help out. Find out more by emailing allotment@gtc.ox.ac.uk or join the mailing list by sending a blank email to gtc-allotment-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk.

Sustainability Talks

A series of Sustainability Talks were organised by Constanze Cavalier (MSc(Res) Biochemistry) and Lore Purroy Sánchez (MPhil Development Studies) to find speakers who could highlight their efforts in sustainability in their field and identify the challenges and opportunities in their disciplines to give the opportunity to open a discussion around sustainability in their field.

Sustainability Working Group

Green Templeton brings together a core group regularly that has representatives from across the community to help ensure that sustainability is embedded in the work of Building Committee and development of the estate strategy and as a conduit for suggestions on possible projects supporting sustainability. It reports to Building Committee, of which its chair is a member.

Current members

Paul Klenerman headshotChair: Paul Klenerman, College Champion for Green Issues and a Governing Body Fellow

Paul is Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.

 

 

Elaine Huckson headshot Elaine Huckson, Operations Manager

Elaine is the first point of contact for sustainability issues for those unsure who to contact. She works to coordinate on the college community efforts and tracks progress against goals and awards in this area.

 

Teresa Strike headshot with green backgroundTeresa Strike, Domestic Bursar

Teresa is responsible for all the domestic estate functions within college. This includes the Lodge, the gardens and grounds, accommodation, housekeeping, maintenance, catering and events, and all relevant health and safety compliance.

 

Geoff Lye Feature ImageGeoff Lye, Associate Fellow, and taking a lead role in the college’s response to the Climate Emergency

Geoff is an expert on helping organisations address climate change. He is a Board Trustee of the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) and co-founder of Volans Ventures.

 

Sarah Levy headshotSarah Levy (DPhil Law, 2021) and Graduate Common Room (GCR) Environment Officer

Sarah’s research focuses on the laws surrounding Canadian sealing activities, a topic chosen as a result of passion for both marine wildlife conservation and Inuit issues

 

 

Other members include Bursar Dr Timothy Clayden and Principal Sir Michael Dixon.

If you would like to share your ideas or thoughts on sustainable issues please do get in touch!