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The University is working towards establishing an externally accredited Environmental Management System (EMS).

An EMS is similar to other management systems, such as those that manage quality or safety. It assesses an organisation's strengths and weaknesses, helps identify and manage significant environmental impacts, saves money by increasing efficiency, helps ensure compliance with environmental legislation and provides benchmarks for improvements.  An EMS can also help manage resources, and improve the reliability and credibility of an organisation’s environmental policy.

The University is making great progress towards establishing an EMS for the University. We have already:

  • defined the scope of our EMS and management structure
  • conducted a thorough analysis of the environmental impacts of our operations and services including risks and opportunities
  • identified which pieces of environmental legislation the University has to comply with
  • determined the needs of interested parties relevant to the EMS
  • developed an environmental policy
  • set environmental targets and objectives

The EMS scope incorporates the ‘operational estate’ of the University of Cambridge. This constitutes all academic Schools, Departments and Faculties of the University of Cambridge, the University Farm, in addition to the Unified Administrative Service (UAS) departments (Academic Divisions; Estate Management; Finance; Health and Safety; Management Information Services Division; Human Resources; Research Office; and the Secretariat). 

Further updates

The 3rd round of EMS internal audits are planned for July 2023 - October 2023 which will be carried out by Gallagher Consulting and Training. The scope includes operational Estates and the operational controls in waste management, control of contracts, discharge to drain, oil and chemicals storage, emergency preparedness and response, sustainable procurement, biodiversity, construction, refurbishment, travel and transport.  

Presentation slides and training recording on Environmental Compliance: Introduction to key risks and practical action (raven protected).