The seriousness of the changes to our climate and ecosystems and exponential acceleration of impacts has served as an urgent call to action for the College. This has been a collaborative enterprise where Junior Members, Fellows and staff have all had a role to play. So what have we been doing?
On 22 September 2021 the Bursar joined colleagues from Cambridge University in a meeting organised by Dr. Ellen Quigley with senior executives from both Barclays PLC and Lloyds Bank PLC to press them on their lending and other policies towards carbon intensive industries. The intention of the meeting was to press lending institutions with whom Oxbridge Colleges do business to increase their funding to green industries and to divest from projects which do not support climate change objectives.
On 30 August 2021 the College went live with its project to build a new Special Collections Centre which will be the first significant building in Oxford built to the more demanding Passivhaus standard. Minimising environmental impact has been an important part of this project. The architects are Wright & Wright, well known for the work they have done in both Oxford and Cambridge and most recently at Lambeth Palace. The project will complete in mid 2023.
The College is working with partners on a number of solar projects on its agricultural land. Whilst it was not possible to directly supply the College with solar power from our own farms, which was the original idea, these projects will contribute to the reduction of fossil fuel generated power in the UK. We are advanced with one 22MW project (generating enough electricity to power 14,000 homes) and are investigating a second more significant project.