Green Templeton College is committed to a sustainable future, with an ambition to become carbon net zero by 2035 aligned with the wider university’s strategy. The college is driving changes across its estate and activities at the same time as developing a detailed climate action plan to reach this target.

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.


Green Templeton is proud to have achieved a Green Impact Beyond Gold Award in 2023. In a hat trick of awards, on top of this Natasha Lutz (DPhil Geography and the Environment, 2022) collected the winning project award on behalf of the Net Zero Tracker team and Saadiyah Mayet, (DPhil Health Data Science, 2021) was runner up in the Sustainability Photographer of the Year Award.

Beyond Gold Green Impact Award Logo 2022 23One of only two colleges to achieve Beyond Gold, this built on previous successive Gold Green Impact Awards. It was received in recognition of how Green Templeton has maintained and improved on exiting sustainable initiatives, as well as three specific projects underway: around heat decarbonisation, energy saving and travel.

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.


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.

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

When the bar is very busy, for safety and speed we switch to reusable cups! These cups feature a beautiful print by Weimin He of the Radcliffe Observatory.

We charge a £2.50 deposit for your first cup, after that, as long as you have a cup to exchange when ordering, you won’t need to pay a fresh deposit, The bar staff will give you a fresh cup each time in exchange for your used one.

At the end of the night you can either keep your cup, or you can exchange it in return for a free GTC cocktail token for next time!

Water Bottles

These bottles have recently been bought in for the Green Templeton community and available to buy for £16 each.  They are not only look great with a high quality finish but they are eco-friendly too!

  • Proudly the UK’s most eco-friendly reusable bottle! Designed in London with industry experts to proudly be the only bottle to be made from 20% Recycled Steel, Reusable for 10 years + then Recyclable at end of life – a true circular economy gift!
  • 200 mangrove trees have been planted in the GTC name
  • They come in a reusable, and recyclable gift bag (allowing recipients to reuse their bottle, and keep it pristine for life). The reusable and recyclable gift bag is designed to explain the eco benefits of the bottles and your brand’s tree planting initiative, along with the technical features of the bottle: EG: Keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.Trees Planted By Bamboo Cup

Water Bottles

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.


We are 2 star Fairtrade accredited, offering Fairtrade sugar, bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate and biscuits all of which are used for conferences and events. Activities have also been organised during Fairtrade Fortnight in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.


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.

Local suppliers

Good Food Oxford FarmtoFork

A pilot set up by Good Food Oxford to link up local organic famers with Oxford Colleges to help manage the surplus stock they are unable to sell in veg boxes/at farm shops/supermarkets. Farmers input their available lines each week and chefs from around the college procure directly from them, with all items being delivered by bicycle courier from an out of town hub. Providing surplus means that the veg growers don’t have much spare produce going into these winter months, but – armed with an added confidence (due to this project) – they will now be looking to plant much more over these winter and spring months for next year’s supply, which will then mean they can provide produce right through into February of the year after. The pilot was a huge success and the quality of the produce was excellent so we are hoping to be involved in 2024 again

Bonners (Oxford)

  • Bonners are located here in Oxford within the covered market, and provide our fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • They use a number of different farms for their produce including:
    Rectory farm – Potatoes, asparagus, green beans, courgettes, pumpkins, sweetcorn, chilis, radishes, artichokes, Rhubarb, peas, broad beans, carrots, strawberries, gooseberry’s, raspberry’s, red currents, black currents, blackberry’s
    Ferry fast (Vale of Evesham farms) – various varieties of cabbage, Kale, purple sprouting broccoli, Romanesco cauliflower, Butternut squash, rainbow chard, soft herbs (Basil, parsley, etc.) beetroot, celeriac, spinach, turnips, apples.

Mayfield Eggs (Witney)

  • Mayfield are located only 8 Miles from Oxford
  • Eggs are laid, graded and packed on the farm.
  • High welfare free range eggs delivered within 3-5 days of being laid
  • Eggs are collected from hen houses on reusable plastic trays which are cleaned and disinfected – a significant improvement from the traditional cardboard trays
  • Eggs are delivered directly to the customer and they only serve customers within a maximum 20-mile radius.
  • They also provide the option to add on cherries, strawberries, cherry and plumb tomatoes from Evesham farm for those on the same delivery route as their eggs to help reduce road miles.
  • All packaging is sourced from recycled materials and all customers are requested to return all packaging which is reused for non-grade A eggs
  • All high quantity customers (such as Oxford university colleges) have the option to have their eggs delivered on reusable plastic trays, eliminating the need to use pulp trays. Based on average consumption of 8 cases of eggs per week, this saves over 3000 trays per year
  • Their poultry manure is provided to local arable farmers (less than 5 miles from Mayfield Eggs) as a substitute for artificial nitrate additive, thus reducing the requirement to transport / dispose of manure or for farmers to purchase artificial fertilizer with associated carbon miles.

Jericho Cheese Company (Oxford)

  • Specialise in British and Irish cheeses along with other UK diary products such as milk and butter
  • They also sell local bread from Lechlade

New Wave Fish and Seafood (Fairford)

  • Their fresh fish and shellfish are caught in Britain’s coastal waters, mainly in Devon, Cornwall and Scotland
  • They buy daily, direct from small day-boats and at 5 main fish auctions.
  • Wherever possible they buy fish that are line-caught by small dayboats to minimize the impact on the marine environment.
  • New Wave has a firm policy to buy seafood from well-managed, sustainable sources in order to protect our oceans for the future.
  • Carry an extensive range of farmed fish, including salmon, trout, halibut, sea bass, gilthead bream and stone bass.
  • New Wave have a large shellfish tank at our premises enables us to provide customers with lobster at short notice.
  • Most of their smoked products are from local producers, including Severn and Wye Smokery.
  • Support the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), an independent certification scheme designed to promote and recognise good practice in the fishing industry, and to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources. Wherever possible, we give priority to vessels committed to the scheme


  • Sources fish and seafood responsibly are paramount. They believe in promoting the most sustainable seafood available and we work with a range of Non-Profit Organisations, such as the MSC, to develop and market sustainable alternatives.
  • Part of their training includes regular guides which they produce using the Good Fish Guide as a directory. This enables the team to offer responsible advice to our customers to ensure our menus are sustainable, and that endangered species are avoided.
  • Seek third-party independent accreditation wherever possible and give preference to suppliers that are accredited.
  • Source and origin of the seafood and endeavour to shorten the supply chain wherever possible
  • Never knowingly sell products that damage the environment or risk the survival of a species without a plan to rectify the products’ sustainability credentials

Stickleback (Hertfordshire)

  • Work with Sustainable Fish Cities to determine specific sustainability requirements and policies.
  • Preventing over 70 tonnes of waste heading to landfill per year and reducing their total waste going to landfill to under 2%.
  • We can offer a good selection of MSC-approved seafood and are fully committed to offering an increasing selection of fish from MSC sustainable sources
  • In 2017, we purchased a polystyrene crusher allowing us to fully re-cycle our polystyrene boxes.
  • ‘What’s In Season’ guide for the best seasonal availability information and advice at any time
  • We have renewed all our refrigeration and have moved to sensor activated LED lighting to improve on electricity consumption by a target of 30%

Cotswold Meat & Game

  • Game birds and Cotswold venison come from shoots on local estates and all dressed by hand
  • Local keepers supply all the venison in can between running shoots, and when this is not sufficient the deer is bought from approved dealers in Scotland
  • 8 years ago they struck up a partnership with Todenham Manor Farm (15 minutes away). This provided them with a drying room and a very knowledgeable team of butchers.
  • This relationship supplies the beef (Aberdeen Angus crossed with South Devon), lamb (Suffolks) and pork (Middlewhite)
  • All livestock is reared in fields on a 900 acre farm near Morton in Marsh
  • Quality and high welfare practices are at the core of everything they do and have been recognised with 13 stars to this effect.
  • The abattoir at Long Compton is two and a half miles up the road from the farm, so traceability across the food chain is assured.
  • The farm is SALSA registered.
  • Solar panels adorn pretty nearly every farm roof producing 150KW of sustainable electricity per hour.
  • Our poultry comes variously from Shropshire (Chickens) and Devon (Duck).
  • All our free range woodland eggs come from Billy’s eggs Stow on the Wold  (4 miles) and our range of cheeses come from Kingstone Dairy, Chedworth  (was 2 miles but has moved and is now 24 miles ) and Daylesford Organic (1 mile).

Alden’s (Osney Mead)

  • The majority (80%+) of the meat is sourced from the UK.
  • Grass-fed beef is selected from low intensity UK farms including areas of Protected Geographical Indication areas (PGI). They work closely with Hollands Farm in Great Milton, Oxfordshire for sustainably produced and grass-fed beef
  • Lamb is sourced from Oxfordshire and surrounding counties. Lambs are mainly Texel and Suffolk breeds and graze on meadow grass and wildflowers. Aldens are the exclusive supplier of Oxfordshire lamb from the Blenheim Palace Estate, a World Heritage Site set in over 2000 acres of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lamb is fed exclusively on traditional and herbal grass leys
  • The free-range pigs spend all their time outside and are fed on a natural diet of wheat and barley
  • The majority of our chicken is sourced from UK farms that use traditional farming methods with high welfare standards. Our free-range birds are slow grown for a longer period of time as nature intended, meaning the meat has more time to develop and is more succulent with a great flavour. Occasionally, due to demand, we have to source from Holland. This is always clearly labelled on the packaging to inform you where it is from.
  • The UK duck is from Suffolk
  • Venison from Church Farm in Abingdon
  • Burgers and sausages are homemade on site each day are prepared using beef from heritage breeds.
  • Where possible they use recyclable packaging. We use up to 70% less packaging than supermarkets
  • Committed to sourcing the highest quality produce that is fully traceable from farm to fork. Every product is fully coded, so we can trace the product back to the farm giving you the assurance everything is traceable
  • Hold several accreditations including BRC “AA” Grade, Red Tractor, FSA license giving you the confidence all processes throughout the supply chain are robust.
  • Recycle all our plastic and cardboard, almost 100 tonnes every single year
  • Where possible, they use local and regional suppliers to reduce food miles and the impact of transport
  • Vehicles meet the Euro 6 requirements. Investments in the latest real time tracking devices which monitors everything from fuel consumption, to speeding, heavy breaking to route planning. – all designed for drivers to drive in a more efficient style
  • Proud to have Oxfordshire’s first fully electric, refrigerated delivery van
  • Aldens of Oxford are striving to become carbon neutral in all direct operations and significantly reduce our broader carbon footprint.
  • Conducting a feasibility study into using solar panels and harnessing the heat energy lost using fridges and using it as a heat source, reducing our overall energy use.
  • Building an electric vehicle fleet- We’re planning to move to a completely electric fleet within 5 years if technology allows and we’re are working closely with our logistic partners on this.

Jolly Foods (Carterton)

  • Branded Beef is “Windrush Meade” British beef, mainly slaughtered and prepared at “Mutchmeats,” Witney and from Collicut Meats in Cheltenham.
  • Pork and Lamb are Collicut Meats, Mutchmeats, Witney & Orchard Farm
  • Poultry is Banham Poultry, Norfolk, JAK Foods, Ipswich, Creedy Carver, Devon
  • Smoked products from Coln Valley Smokery and Upton Smokery
  • Game is sourced from Conbury Park

Philip Dennis (Witney)

  • Installation of Frigoblock freezers driven by the alternator system, further reduces CO2 emissions. Helping our delivery fleet to consume up to 50% less fuel than trucks with diesel refrigeration machines and emitting up to 50% less
  • Use 100% renewable energy sources, have installed wind turbines and solar panels that produce up to 60% of their electricity requirements. The combined CO2 saving power of the turbines and solar panels is the equivalent of planting over 100,00 trees.
  • Switched to LED energy saving lightbulbs on timers
  • Over 150 tonnes of recycling each year
  • Member of Caterforce who are introducing significant sustainable changes to the own brand Chef’s Selections Range including ingredients, animal welfare, plastic and palm oil reductions.
  • Have a donation scheme for not fit for sale items such as dented cans or short shelf life to the local Witney community

Savona (Kidlington)

  • Local depot- based in Kidlington
  • Invested with a Climate Partner to conduct a full carbon footprint appraisal of the business- this will enable them to reduce and offset their current corporation and produce footprint
  • Invested in 2 electric lorries which are the first dual compartment electric lorries in the UK and annually will save 50 tonnes of carbon emissions per year of use (see below)
  • The company uses electric cars
  • Switched to LED lighting
  • Planted 2288 trees to offset carbon emissions
  • Consolidation of delivery routes to minimise journey times- encouraging customers to have fewer but larger deliveries per week
  • British Gas Zero Carbon Electricity Certificate- use 100& renewable energy
  • Do not supply any single use plastics for their own brand range
  • Investing in teams to research sustainable brands, trends, produce

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 each of carbon per year. That’s the equivalent to the weight of houses per year, or 146 bars of gold!



Bidfood (Bicester)

  • All vehicle fridges are electric
  • Trialing 9 HVO (Hydro-treated vegetable oil) vehicles as current Elective vehicle technology has not evolved for HGVs- manufacturers claim these vehicles deliver up to 90% less Co2e compared to regular diesel.
  • Solar panels on Chepstow depot with a further 5 sites selected for solar installation
  • Reduced their food wastage by 200 tonnes from 2020-2021
  • Using Fare Share to redistribute surplus food
  • Produce food waste guides for employees and customers
  • Developing pallet cages that can be reused to eliminate plastic wrap currently widely used in warehouses
  • Many depots partner with animal sanctuaries, zoos and farms to offer surplus food
  • Bicester donated over 7.7 tonnes of food to Curly Tails Pig Sanctuary which rescues unwanted pigs- cakes and buns being their favourite treat!
  • Some depots have beehives to use up unsold sugar, others donate to local beekeepers
  • 2025 target of all own brand packaging being recyclable
  • Committed to a only supplying deforestation free soya policy for 2023 onwards
  • Committed to only supplying cage free eggs by 2025
  • Offer search criteria within their order portal for the below certifications, making it easier for customers to find products to certified standards
    Fairtrade- 108 lines
    MSC- 121 lines
    Red Tractor- 289 lines
    Farm Assured- 110 lines
    Rainforest alliance- 94 lines
    Organic- 115 lines
  • We use Bidfood’s own brand Black and White Coffee which is certified fair trade for all our internal and conferencing coffees
  • We source all our clipper Fairtrade teas from Bidfood again for all our internal catering and conference refreshments
  • Average customer delivery address is only 22.5 miles from each depot- routes are planned to consolidate chilled, frozen and ambient deliveries


All products have Ecotechnology at their core and are as environmentally favourable as possible.  Consideration is given to every ingredient, using sustainable, plant-based ingredients which have minimal human and aquatic toxicity. They make responsible ingredient choices, remove unnecessary components, and use Biotechnology to ensure performance, provide residual protection and optimise odour control. In replacing traditional chemical ingredients with bio-renewables they avoid reliance on the petrochemical industry, providing significant CO2e savings and lowering pollution. Traditional solvents are replaced with eco-solvents that are rapidly biodegraded, have minimal aquatic toxicity and CO2e impact. They select chelating agents that are derived from natural, biodegradable, bio-based, renewable materials, providing a significantly greener alternative to traditional chelating agents.

The characteristics, make-up, and function of our synergistic ingredients, allows pH neutral products to be formulated which deliver optimum efficacy rather than rely on aggressive ingredients and extremes of pH for functionality.

In the main, they utilise 100% PCR plastic bottles which can be recycled keeping the plastic in a closed loop system within the UK where the PCR bottles are manufactured. A minimum of 30% PCR plastic bottles are used in their manufacturing facility.  They also utilise > 90% recycled cardboard which can be further recycled locally, maintaining a closed loop system within the UK.

Regarding accreditation, their eco-credentials can be demonstrated through certifications they have secured such as Global GreenTag Healthrate (Platinum Status) and GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia), the Australian equivalent to Ecolabel which we have secured for customers in the southern hemisphere using the same core technologies as those in the BioHygiene Range.

All GreenTag certified products are considered healthy to use based on the best scientific information of today from the UN Globally Harmonised System (CLP) and EU REACH programs and an individual Consultant Toxicologist peer reviewed risk assessment. They achieved the Global GreenTag HealthRATE Platinum mark for what are in essence product variants of our BioHygiene All Surfaces, Washroom & Degreaser products which by their definition makes the products ‘World Leading’ and is the highest mark that can be achieved. They also achieved the extended version of HealthRATE the Global GreenTag Asthma & Allergy Sensitive certification, meaning the products are safe to be used, in environments, for people with asthma and allergy sensitivities.


  • Supplier of our compostable food packaging
  • Certified B Corp (B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials.
  • Their plant-based products are designed to minimise the impact on our environment at each stage of their life cycle, by using innovative materials that are both sustainably sourced and rapidly renewable.
  • Compostable packaging can help divert food scraps from landfill, avoiding harmful greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing organic matter. Both food waste and compostable packaging can go in the same bin to be turned into nutrient-rich compost.
  • Products are designed to turn into compost, a new, valuable and locally produced resource, at the end of their useful life. We are continually investing in technology and material innovations – we are currently researching new fibre-based materials that perform even better in terms of customer experience and environmental impact.
  • Facilities certifications are one of the important factors in our partner selection process. Our partner production facilities are certified to internationally recognised ISO 14000 Environmental Management Standard – or are in the process of applying for certification
  • BioPak is committed to adopting and promoting best practices aligned with the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, and Profit. In addition, we donate 5% of profits to environmental restoration initiatives and community programs. Since 2010, we have planted 112,436 trees, and since 2012 we have donated over $3 million to support community and environmental give-back initiatives.
  • 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.

Connect Vending (Wallingford)

  • Our vending products include, Café Bonitas Freeze Dried – 100% FNC Columbian https, Café Bonitas Beans – Rainforest Alliance, Birchall Tea – Rainforest Alliance & Ethical Tea Partnership and Tate & Lyle Sugar – Fairtrade
  • Their energy supply is generated entirely from zero-carbon sources including wind and solar, and our own warehouse solar panels are helping us to minimise our energy demands on the National Grid. This has been aided by the installation of site-wide LED lighting, and the introduction of energy-saving employee initiatives which are reducing electricity consumption from lights, air conditioning units and working equipment, when not in use.
  • Our machine suppliers and consumables partners play a vital role in driving sustainability throughout the vending industry. Each of our suppliers hold ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification, with goals set to reduce their own carbon footprint and improve product design fundamentals over the next five to ten years.
  • We do not provide single use cups for either of our coffee machines at GTC

Ecopure (Haddenham)

  • Refillable water station used by the catering team for all refreshments across site including in the dining room and for all meeting rooms.
  • Still and sparkling water available, during service hours all members can request a refill from the catering team
  • Mains fed- simply chilled, filtered and purified from the mains water supply so we have no need for bottled deliveries.
  • We use glass bottles supplied by Ecopure- 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 have a longstanding commitment with the charity Just a Drop, for every system they sell in the UK they donate 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
  • When our water filtration system receives a servicing, any filters, UV lamps, coolers and carbonators that need replacing are either recycled or fully refurbished, supporting a circular economy and preventing them from ending up in landfill.
  • Our glass bottles are fully recyclable and made from part-recycled glass.

Office Water Coolers

  • Refillable water station in the bar
  • We do not provide any single use cups for our water machine
  • Mains fed- simply chilled, filtered and purified from the mains water supply so we have no need for bottled deliveries.
  • They are committed to making sure our watercoolers are recycled at the end of their working life. We comply fully with The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which aims to minimise the number of electrical goods, including watercoolers, which go to landfill.

CTS Laundry (Witney)

  • New boilers that use less gas per wash and can wash at lower temperatures, 20oc lower on average
  • Chemical supplier that has products specifically for use effectively at lower temps
  • Members of the Climate control agreement since 2009
  • Abide by the Solvent Emissions Directive
  • New energy efficient boiler and tumble dryers
  • New wash chemicals 100% free of NPE’s and phosphates
  • Use a steam and condensate system to reduce lost energy

Tap Social

Guest Beers on the College Bar: Tap Social are a small Oxford-based business with a social mission to employ prisoners and prison leavers, and to get others to do the same. To date they have created more than 75,000 hours of paid employment for prisoners on day release from prison (Release On Temporary Licence) and prison leavers. Having a job helps to build self-confidence and resilience, and leaves people better equipped to lead a productive and happy life. This in turn reduces reoffending and prevents victimisation. They produce an award-winning range of modern, accessible craft beer at our main production brewery in north Oxford which is just a few miles from our college main site.

That Event Company

Sound, lighting and AV hire company based in Oxford, whose aim is to have the smallest carbon impact that is physically possible – Create digital assets, events
and solutions so that our clients and their guests carbon impact is minimized too.  In 2023 they have offset 8 times their carbon and have recently  provided solar lighting solutions to 320 people in sub Saharan Africa, meaning that roughly 40-50 families will no longer have to burn kerosene to light their homes at night, and children can spend more time studying without harmful chemicals.  Their Green Plan can be found here

That Event Company Cardon Neutral LogoThat Event Company Co2 Assessed Logo


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

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 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.

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.


Green Templeton monitors its waste streams with the aim to reduce the overall volume of waste in general, and to recycle as much of it as possible.  To do this we work closely with our waste supplier, Select Environmental Services.  They are an independent waste management company that provides bespoke commercial waste collection and recycling, giving us control and flexibility with working towards our sustainable goals. Based in Reading, Berkshire, their operations stretch out across Berkshire, Oxford and North Hampshire; with a fuel-efficient modern fleet of specialist vehicles featuring the latest satellite tracking and communications technology.

Select’s monthly environmental reports show our performance with statistical data derived on accurate weights using the latest dynamic pay-by-weight technology, the college hope to achieve higher recycling rates, divert waste from landfill and reduce waste management costs.

  • Glass recycling is processed in Sheffield where it is smelted and remade into a number of different glass products and you can see how this is done here.
  • Dry Mixed Recycling is transported to Smallmead recycling centre in Reading where it is sorted into single recycling streams.
  • Food Recycling goes to Wallingford for anaerobic digestion to produce fertiliser and the methane bi-product is used to generate electricity. See how this is processed here.

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, exchanges, and bike-rental.

The college is in partnership with Oxbikes, a second hand bike sales and rental company run by Oxford students. It’s aim is to provide quality refurbished bikes at the click of a button, and in doing so, reduce the bike wastage in Oxford.  They have partnership with 8 colleges plus some other depots across the city, where students and public alike can rent bikes 24/7



  • 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


  • 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


The bulk of the library operations are online, such as taking out and reserving books, but there are other sustainable practices where the library is excelling as can be seen below:

Book collection

Assistant Librarian Richard Turner put together a book collection for World Earth Day.

Book Supplier

Gardners (the company that own Browns Books – our main book supplier) has made considerable efforts around packaging.  They use 100% recycled boxes which are produced in a carbon neutral facility to full FSC compliance.  They have reduced their box filler, saving approximately 1224 trees a year, and are using less plastic tape.

Recycled Books

Unwanted library books are collected by a company called Any, They collect books as and when their vans are in the area and try to sell them second hand.  If they are not in good condition, or the book does not sell they then get recycled.

In 2022, of the books donated by the college, 49kg were sold and 12kg were recycled.

In 2023 we sent 892 books with a total weight of 530kg. 236kg have been recycled, 86kg sold and the remainder are still available for sale


The College participates in  an ebook scheme which provides ebooks for all members of the University.  This is a joint scheme between the Bodleian and a number of colleges


The company the College uses for shredding sensitive documents is called Shred-it.  The shredded paper is recycled and, in 2023 we have saved 24 trees through this activity.  Shred-it also boasts that their document collections consoles are made from 100% recovered and recycled fibers and their transport bins are moulded from 100% recycled HDPE plastic.

Protective Book Covers

To give longevity to college library books a protective cover is required, until recently this was in the form of  PVC,  however the library team have now changed this to a film that’s bio-based plastic (75% sugar cane) and water-based acrylic adhesive.

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 or join the mailing list by sending a blank email to

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!

Sustainability events

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