Meeting the sustainability objectives of its conference clients has resulted in the implementation of a range of green initiatives by a Cambridge College.

Downing College, which was presented with a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) in 2014, has been building further on its environmental credentials with a number of new developments.

Central to these has been the incorporation of environmental features in its new building projects. These include the installation of a solar-powered photovoltaic (Solar PV) array on the large and unlisted room of Battcock Lodge which the College has converted into 78 student bedrooms and the use of Aeroblok Aerogel Advanced insulation, an environmentally-friendly 100% recyclable solution in The Heong Gallery now open to the public.

Recent investment has been made in a HOUSEWATER system on-site, reducing ‘water miles’, with re-usable bottles which can be filled with either still or sparkling filtered water. This removes the need for one-use glass bottles and reduces both the carbon footprint and landfill waste.

The College has continued to encourage participation in student-driven University-wide green initiatives such as Switch Off Week which has just taken place, with energy conserved by turning off appliances and lights.

Communicating green awareness has also been achieved with the launch of a new Green Conferencing section on the website, outlining ways in which event organisers can meet Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives by holding meetings and conferences at Downing.

These include the College’s sustainable facilities with the Howard Theatre and Howard Building, the use of seasonal organic ingredients sourced from suppliers located within a 50-mile radius and the encouragement of flora and fauna within the 20-acre grounds.

 Jacqui Cressey, Head of Conference Services said: “Being awarded a Gold in the GTBS has acted as a springboard to further enhance our environmental achievements. We can now report a number of new developments which are helping both the College and our conference organisers to achieve their sustainability objectives.

“We see this as an ongoing campaign across many different areas of College life to ensure we continue not only to meet but surpass our green objectives.”

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