Sustainability Showcase celebrates University’s environmental successes

The University held its sixth Sustainability Showcase on 20 June, with staff and students from across the University coming together to recognise their contributions towards making our operations more sustainable. The event also saw the unveiling of the University’s ambitious new carbon target.

Held at the Sheldonian Theatre with a drinks reception in the Weston Library, the Showcase attracted around 200 people from across the University. Dr David Prout, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Resources, hosted the evening after a welcome from Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.

‘Where do we start to address such huge challenges?’ Professor Richardson asked, after outlining the scope of the environmental problems we face. ‘This event shows that each of us can make a real contribution.’

Professor Richardson also presented the first ever Oxford Student Union Sustainability awards to recognise the work of both individual students and of groups and societies.

There were prizes for the top-performing colleges in the 2018-19 Student Switch Off competition. Over the six years the competition has been running in Oxford, it has trained more than 364 students as ambassadors and had over 32,000 entries in the climate change quiz.

This year’s Green Impact scheme saw teams who have worked to make the buildings they work in more sustainable receive awards in many categories – bronze, silver, gold and for the first year ever gold plus aimed at teams that consistently push the boundaries.

Oxford University Innovation (OUI) spoke about their ‘Roots to Success’ project, under which they will pay for a tree to be planted at Wytham Woods for every spin-out. OUI will be backdating this pledge, which will lead to more than 200 trees being planted over the next few years – they scooped the Green Impact Project Award. The event also heard from Rodrigo Hernandez of Kellogg College, who spoke about the transport and biodiversity initiatives they have been working on over the year; these saw Rodrigo and a student from the college collect the staff and student awards for 2019.  

Harriet Waters, Head of Environmental Sustainability wrapped up the evening by launching the University’s new carbon target. The University plans to at least halve its carbon emissions by 2030, by continuing to implement carbon-reduction projects and building energy-efficient buildings.

See below for a full list of the winners and highly commended entries.


Student Switch Off

Platinum Award

  • Brasenose College (Overall winner)
  • Oriel College (Recycling/reuse winner)

Gold Award

  • Christ Church College
  • Mansfield College

Silver Award

  • Corpus Christi College
  • Harris Manchester College
  • Jesus College
  • Lady Margaret Hall
  • Lincoln College
  • University College
  • Wadham College

Bronze Award

  • Exeter College
  • Green Templeton College
  • Hertford College
  • Keble College
  • Kellogg College
  • Linacre College
  • New College
  • Pembroke College
  • Queen’s College
  • Regent’s Park College
  • St Anne’s College
  • St Anthony’s College
  • St Benet's Hall
  • St Catherine’s College
  • St Cross College
  • St Hilda’s College
  • St John’s College
  • St Peter’s College

Green Impact Awards


  • Botnar Research Centre
  • Linacre College
  • Merton College
  • Richard Doll Building
  • Research Services - 5 Worcester Street
  • Research Services - Robert Hooke Building
  • Research Services - Boundary Brook House
  • Social Policy and Intervention
  • The Queen's College
  • Zoology Foster Lab
  • The Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics


  • Wolfson College
  • Careers Service
  • Radcliffe Science Library


  • Bodleian Book Storage Facility
  • Old Road Campus Research Building
  • Psychiatry
  • Oxford School of Global and Area Studies
  • Kennedy Institute and Labs
  • Oxford University Press
  • Primary Care Health Sciences
  • Radcliffe Humanities
  • Brasenose College
  • Academic Office Kellogg College


  • Lady Margaret Hall
  • Estates Services
  • Finance Division
  • Osney One
  • Chemistry and labs
  • Oxford University Innovation

Excellence Project

  • Saïd Business School

Green Impact – Staff and Student Award - Winners

  • Philip Priest, Oxford University Innovation
  • Rodrigo Hernandez and Gabby Killimen, Kellogg College

Green Impact – Staff and Student Award - Highly Commended

  • Vikki Rose – Oxford University Press
  • Marcus Boswell – University Sports

Sustainability Photographer of the year 2018


  • Hermione Grassi, Merton College, ‘Education Lights the Way’

Highly Commended

  • Karl Dudman, St Edmund Hall, ‘Remote and Renewable’
  • Mihnea Dumitrascu, Oriel College, ‘Radcliffe Camera Surrounded by Stars’

Oxford Student Union Sustainability Awards

Winner - Individual

  • Freya Chambers, Corpus Christi College

Winner – Group

  • Oxford Climate Society and Anthroposphere Journal

Highly Commended - Individual

  • Caitlin Knights, New College
  • Harry Holmes, St Catherine’s College

Highly Commended – Group

  • Climate Action Week
  • Aldabra clean-up