As a current student at the University of Cambridge you have lots of opportunities to learn about and get involved in climate change and sustainability work. Listed below are a range of programmes, opportunities and events available in Michaelmas Term 2022, run by Cambridge Zero and the Sustainability Team. Read on to find out how you can learn more about climate change, take action for positive change and lead sustainability initiatives at the University. This list is non-exhaustive and only summarises the programmes run by these two groups and by College Green Officers, who we collaborate with. There are plenty of other ways to get involved too!
Introducing Cambridge Zero
Cambridge Zero is the University of Cambridge’s response to the climate crisis. Launched in 2019, Cambridge Zero connects University departments and wider national and international climate research, policy and action. Through our four pillars of research, education, engagement and decarbonisation, our vision is that a resilient and sustainable zero-carbon world is achievable.
Introducing the Sustainability Team
The Sustainability Team supports staff and students at the University of Cambridge to achieve environmental sustainability. The department sits within the Estates Division of the University and drives operational change to reduce The University Estate’s environmental impact, energy use and carbon emissions through strategy, operational changes, behaviour change and sharing best practice.
Learn more about climate change and sustainability challenges and solutions through these opportunities and events.
Want to get to grips with climate change and how you can make a difference?
Sign Up for Carbon Literacy Training
What? A free-to-access course run by students, for students, the Cambridge Carbon Literacy Project is an opportunity for you to learn the science behind the climate crisis and the environmental impact of everyday activities. Participants are then encouraged to pledge an individual or group action to reduce their own carbon emissions. The project is run by a sub-group of the Cambridge Hub and sponsored by Cambridge Zero.
When? Applications close on 14th November 2022. Trainings will run from 4pm to 6:30pm on Tuesday 22nd November and Tuesday 29th November 2022. Applications are first come, first served.
Who? Open to all University of Cambridge students, from any degree programme, college or knowledge level!
Find out more... Get more details and sign up for training on the Cambridge Hub website here.
Are you a postgraduate student interested in climate change?
Join the Postgraduate Academy
What? The Postgraduate Academy is a network of postgraduate students from all disciplines at the University of Cambridge, providing a space for connection, discussion and collaboration on climate change and net zero research. The Academy hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from symposiums to skills-building workshops and networking events.
When? The Academy is hosting their first event of the Michaelmas Term, a welcome social, in Week 2.
Who? The Academy is open to all postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge who are interested in or working on climate change and net zero research.
Find out more... Sign up to the Postgraduate Academy mailing list here.
Want to learn more about college-level sustainability action?
Attend Cambridge Green Week – organised by College Green Officers
What? A network of Green Officers from across the University’s 31 colleges are working together to organise the Cambridge Green Week. The programme will include a diverse range of events from socials to skills-building workshops.
When? Cambridge Green Week is taking place on the 17th to the 23rd of October 2023
Who? All University of Cambridge students are welcome to attend Cambridge Green Week events.
Take action on climate change and sustainability and create positive change in your University community and beyond.
Want to collaborate on innovative solutions to climate challenges?
Sign Up for the Carbon Challenge
What? The Carbon Challenge allows small groups of postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers to develop innovative solutions to help tackle the climate crisis. It is an opportunity to explore entrepreneurial approaches to environmental challenges. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Carbon Challenge. The challenge is a collaboration between Cambridge Zero, Cambridge Enterprise, Carbon 13, The Maxwell Centre and Energy IRC and is sponsored by Moda Living.
When? Sign-ups will open for the Carbon Challenge during the Michaelmas Term and the launch event will happen at the end of November. Keep up to date with Cambridge Zero (links below) to find out more.
Who? The Challenge is for postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers who participate in small teams of two to three people. You do not need to be a seasoned entrepreneur to participate. Ideas can include science and engineering, but the challenge is also open to ideas in economic, societal and behavioural change.
Want to educate your fellow students about climate and sustainability issues?
Join the Newsletter Student Editorial Committee
What? This year, Cambridge Zero and the Sustainability Team are collaborating on launching a new climate and sustainability-focused newsletter, written by students for students. The newsletter will cover climate action at the University including research and operations. This will replace the current Greenlines for students. We are looking for students to join the newsletter’s editorial committee in various roles, such as writers and visual editors. Committee members will have the opportunity to gain new skills in environmental journalism. We will also be running a competition to decide the name and visual identity of the newsletter.
When? You can express your interest in joining the newsletter committee now. Official application forms will open shortly after Freshers week and will close on the 28th of October.
Who? The committee is open to all students at the University of Cambridge interested in climate change and sustainability and journalism.
Find out more... Express your interest in joining the newsletter committee using this form. You can also follow Cambridge Zero and the Sustainability Team on social media to find out when applications open.
Want to create positive environmental change in your building, college or lab?
What? Green Impact is an environmental accreditation scheme run by the Sustainability Team. Groups of students or staff can sign up to represent their University institution, building, college or lab and take action to reduce their environmental impact. This is a great way to get support or receive recognition for sustainability action within the University.
When? Launching on 20th of October, the Green Impact accreditation will take place throughout the academic year. Submissions must be made at the end of April, with audits in May and the awards ceremony in June.
Who? Green Impact is open to groups of students or staff at the University of Cambridge, who can sign up to represent their University institution, building, college or lab.
Find out more... You can find out more and sign up here.
Want to reduce the carbon footprint of your lab?
Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF)
What? LEAF is the Sustainability Team’s tool to help staff and students make changes in their lab space to improve the carbon footprint of their work. LEAF provides guidance and criteria for positive environmental action in the lab and by participating you can earn your lab an award.
When? Launching on 20th October with rolling applications.
Who? Students and staff working in or representing a University of Cambridge lab.
Want to contribute to the University’s sustainability strategy?
Sustainability Strategy Consultations
What? Cambridge University is developing a new sustainability strategy. This process includes consulting relevant stakeholders to inform the strategy, including students. This is a great way to have your say on the University’s future sustainability plans.
When? Keep up to date with the Sustainability Team and Cambridge Zero to be the first to find out when these consultations are taking place.
Who? Consultations will be held with all relevant stakeholders, including a student consultation open to students from all disciplines and levels of study.
Find out more... Join the Sustainability Team and Cambridge Zero mailing lists or follow us on social media to find out when these consultations are happening. Links to these can be found here.
Become a climate and sustainability leader in your University community through these programmes.
Want to make a positive change at the University?
Sign Up for Engage for Change
What? A free, twelve-week programme for students who want to learn how to make change happen. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge through weekly sessions, which will culminate in each student designing and implementing their own sustainability-related intervention within the University. The project is run by the Cambridge Hub with the support of Cambridge Zero and the Sustainability Team.
When? Application deadline for the first intake is Monday 24th October, with the programme beginning in w/c 7th November and finishing in w/c 6th March.
Who? Engage for Change is open to all current students and postdocs at the University of Cambridge, from any discipline or experience level, who want to explore and implement solutions to sustainability challenges.
Find out more... on Cambridge Hub’s website. You can apply for the first intake via this online form. Register your interest for the second intake of Engage for Change here. If you have any questions about the programme, you can contact Sophia at Sophia.firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to know more about your elected Green Officers?
Green Officer Network
What? The Green Officer Network fosters collaboration between the different elected environmental and sustainability representatives across the University of Cambridge’s JCRs and MCRs. Together, they discuss and collaborate on environmental issues at the University and beyond. They also organise the Cambridge Green Week.
When? If you’d like to run to be a Green Officer in your JCR or MCR, find out about election dates in your College. The next Green Officer organised Cambridge Green Week takes place this Michaelmas Term, Mon 17 - Sun 23 Oct 2022. .
Who? The Network is specifically for the elected student environmental and sustainability representatives within the College J/MCRs, typically referred to as the Green Officer. To join the Network, first you must become a Green Officer. However, if you’d like to be involved but aren't an elected Green Officer, you can approach your JCR or MCR elected representative and ask if you might be able to be involved.
Find out more... Find out who your Green Officer is via your College JCR or MCR.
Want to join a network of staff and students promoting sustainability at the University?
Join the Sustainability Champions
What? Coordinated by the Sustainability Team, the Sustainability Champions are a network of volunteers throughout the University whose aim is to support the implementation of sustainability strategies and policies. Working at the departmental or college level, these Champions increase awareness and action and promote positive behaviours towards sustainability. This is a great opportunity to make positive change, meet other like-minded individuals and gain some skills and experience in sustainability work.
When? The Sustainability Team host networking and induction events for the Sustainability Champions througout the year. Keep an eye out for these on the events page of their website.
Who? This opportunity is open to staff and students interested in encouraging sustainability changes in their department or college.
Find out more... Find out more about how to become a Champion on the Sustainability Team website here.
Want to help run a climate and sustainability event?
Join the Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum (CCSF) Committee
What? An annual event supported by Cambridge Hub and sponsored by Cambridge Zero and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, the CCSF is run each year by a student committee. The event aims to increase awareness and understanding of climate change and sustainability through two days’ worth of panels and showcases.
When? Applications are now open and close 10th January. The forum is usually held in June.
Who? The committee will consist of 10 students from the University of Cambridge, interested in climate change and sustainability issues.
Find out more... Keep up to date with the Cambridge Hub Facebook or Instagram to find out more or apply to join the CCSF committee on their website here. If you would be interested in applying for the CCSF Coordinator role in advance, you can contact Toby at email@example.com
There are lots more events and opportunities coming up later in the academic year.
Want to get funding for your society’s sustainability project?
Apply for the Student Societies Climate Fund
What? A termly call for student societies, JCRs and MCRs at the University of Cambridge to apply for funding for climate-related projects and events. A pot of £1000 was available for the Michaelmas term, but this pot may increase in future terms. We are open to innovative and experimental approaches and generally projects should aim to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon world.
When? Deadlines to apply for funding are below:
Lent Term 2023 (Tues 17 Jan – Fri 17 Mar) - Deadline: Fri 25 Nov 2022
Easter Term 2023 (Tue 25 Apr – Fri 16 Jun) - Deadline: Fri 10 March 2023
Michaelmas Term 2023 (Tues 3 Oct – Fri 1 Dec) - Deadline: Fri 30 June 2023
Who? The fund is open to applications from all University of Cambridge student societies, JCRs and MCRs.
Find out more... Funding proposals can be sent in through this online form. You can find the evaluation criteria and other details here and a blog post about the fund on the Cambridge Zero website here.
Want to learn more about climate change at a student-run event?
Attend the Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum (CCSF)
What? Usually held in the Lent or Easter Term, the Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum is a two-day annual event organised by a group of students, supported by the Cambridge Hub and sponsored by Cambridge Zero and the Sustainability Team. The event aims to increase awareness of climate change through a range of panel talks and showcases.
When? Usually held over a two-day period in the Lent or Easter Term.
Who? All students are welcome to attend the event.
Interested in a career in climate change or sustainability?
Attend the Green Careers Festival
What? Cambridge Zero is partnering with the Careers Service to host a Green Careers Festival, featuring a series of events and resources focused on careers in climate change and sustainability. Employers from a range of sectors will attend a careers fair and speak at panel events about green careers.
When? The Green Careers Festival will take place in-person from the 6th to the 10th of February 2023
Who? All students at the University of Cambridge are welcome to attend, as a range of sectors will be represented at the event.
Want to work with Cambridge Zero or the Sustainability Team?
Future Leaders Programme - Summer Internships
What? Each year, Cambridge Zero and the Sustainability team offer a number of paid internship opportunities for undergraduates and recent graduates. These run for around 8 weeks through the summer. Interns have the opportunity to gain experience of working on current issues in climate change and the environment in a fast-paced and impactful environment.
When? Internships run for 8 weeks from mid-July.
Who? The internships are open to current or recently graduated (within the last year) undergraduate students.
Find out more... Keep up to date with Cambridge Zero and the Sustainability Team to find out more, either by signing up for our mailing lists or following us on social media.