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Green Impact: Gold!

Green Impact is a university-wide environmental accreditation scheme, encouraging Colleges to reduce environmental impacts. This year, Pembroke achieved a Gold level.

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Lily Maxwell (2014) takes part in the Green Week photo series

Lily Maxwell is the Pembroke Green Impact Officer, which means she leads a team of seven Pembroke students who are passionate about reducing climate change.  Green Impact is a College-wide effort, as students work with the Environmental Awareness Committee (made up of College staff) to reduce Pembroke’s environmental impact.  Lily has been involved in assessing every level of College’s activities from watering the plants to buying furniture, and from student electricity usage to communicating College efforts to reduce impact.  Generally, the idea is to make College as ‘green’ as possible!

This year Pembroke received a Gold result, which is a testament to exactly how much hard work Lily and her team put in.  Although we were only a few points short of platinum, Lily says, the request to submit more evidence came in so close to final exams that there was no time to push those last points to platinum.  Gold is still a fantastic result, and gives us opportunities to continue the hard work and aim high next year.  Pembroke is among one of the highest ranking Colleges/Departments not only in Cambridge, but also in the country.  Pembroke is one of the ‘Greenest’ Colleges in Cambridge.

So what is required to get this result?  Lily tells us that working closely with the Environmental Awareness Committee and with College staff in general was key, and also that the “dedication, passion and commitment of the student team members was fantastic”.  Lily organised, ran and marketed the inaugural Pembroke Green Week; Jacob Ashton started up Pembroke Orchard and carried out the very first biodiversity survey; and team members made important contributions throughout, from craft events to GPC green activities.

Lily has also recently been nominated for, and received, the NUS Green Impact Student Leadership Award, at the University and National level. Congratulations Lily!

So what have we learnt this year? We’ve learnt that student leadership and collaboration with equally committed College staff can achieve great things. We’ve learnt that Pembroke has made great strides in improving our green impact, and that we have the potential to keep improving. The genuine concern among our staff and students about reducing our impact and making whatever contribution we can to a greener world is the best tool we have, and we look forward to seeing what happens next year.

You can follow Pem Green on Instagram to keep up to date with green activities in College.

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