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The Carbon Offsetting Working Group is a fixed-term sub-committee of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee tasked with developing an internal carbon offsetting scheme.


The organisational arrangements are as follows:

  • The working group is chaired by the Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee.
  • The working group reports to the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee.
  • The secretary of the working group is a member of the Sustainability Team.
  • The working group is a limited life group, which will be disbanded once it has met its objectives. In the first instance, it is expected that this group will exist for up to one year.
  • The working group will meet as often as is required to meeting its objectives. It is expected that this will be up to six times a year.
  • The unconfirmed minutes of the meetings will be circulated to the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee and the Ecological Advisory Working group.
  • Each nominated representative will serve for the duration of this working group.
  • The working group may invite non-members to attend a meeting to report on or discuss specific matters.


The working group consists of the following members:

  • The Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee (Chair)
  • A representative of the Ecological Advisory Panel (EAP)
  • The Director of Cambridge Zero
  • Up to four University members with expertise in carbon offsetting or a discipline relevant to offsetting
  • Up to two external members with expertise in carbon offsetting
  • One undergraduate student representative nominated by CUSU
  • One postgraduate student representative nominated by the Grad Union.

Members are proposed by the Chair in discussion with existing members, to be confirmed by the ESSC.

Officers in attendance:  

  • Head of Sustainability
  • Head of the Research Office
  • Carbon and Energy Manager

The terms of reference are to:

  • Oversee the development of a robust and transparent internal carbon offsetting scheme and recommend appropriate policies relating to carbon offsetting.
  • Consult with relevant stakeholders to agree the principles of the scheme.
  • Make recommendations on an appropriate price of carbon to be used within the scheme.
  • Advise on which sources of carbon should be included within the scheme.
  • Advise on which types of offset project should be supported through the scheme and arrangements for verification.
  • Make recommendations on appropriate governance arrangements.
  • Oversee initial implementation of the agreed scheme.
  • Provide advice to relevant University Committees and groups on carbon offsetting.
  • Act as ambassadors for carbon offsetting at the University.


Category of membership


Job title


Professor Ian Leslie

Director of UIS and Senior Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor with special responsibility for environmental sustainability.

Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee

Representative of the EAP

Prof Andrew Balmford

Professor of Conservation Science, Department of Zoology

Director of Cambridge Zero

Dr Emily Shuckburgh

Director of Cambridge Zero

University member

Prof David Coomes

Director, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute

University member Thomas Vergunst Programme Manager, Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership
University member Dr Belinda Bell Director, Cambridge Social Ventures, JBS
University member Prof Srinivasan Keshav Robert Sansom Professor of Computer Science, Department of Computer Science and Technology
University member

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald

Director, Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge
University member
Emily Bugden 
Visiting Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk 
University member Adam Pellegrini University lecturer, Department of Plant Sciences

External member

Gwyn Williams

Head of Conservation Investment, RSPB

External member Dr Valerie Kapos Head of Programme Climate Change and Biodiversity, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)

Student member

Harvey Brown


Student member Tungsten Tang C-SU

Cambridge University Press & Assessment

Jon Plumb

Head of Property  Compliance and Environment
Cambridge University Press & Assessment Peter Lumb Property Environment Manager

Representative of the Cambridge Carbon Impact Project

Dr Tom Swinfield PDRA Zoology

Officers in attendance

Sally Pidgeon

Head of Sustainability

Peter Hedges

Head of the Research Office

Dr Ellen Quigley

Advisor to the Chief Financial Officer (Responsible Investment)