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February is Spotlight on Sustainable Research month

Research carried out in the University of Cambridge has wide-reaching impacts. Through our research we have a better understanding of our world and what is needed to live happy, healthy lives within the limits of our planet. However the research we do at the University also has an impact on the environment; from the water and energy we use to the waste we produce.

Over the month the February the University of Cambridge will look at these two very different aspects - doing sustainability research, and researching sustainably! There will be events to showcase groundbreaking research being carried out in the field of sustainability, as well as best practice workshops to explore how we can minimise the environmental impact of our research.

How can you get involved?

If you're involved in research at Cambridge, visit our Green Labs pages to find out more about doing research in a more sustainable way. If you're not involved in research, you can still get involved by finding out about some of the sustainability research that is happening around the University. There will also be a series of events as part of the month, which you can read about, share with colleagues, and register for using the links below.

If your department or College would like to run an event to link in with the month, let us know and we'll include it in the list below and in our next Greenlines newsletter.

Events by the Environment & Energy Section:

Sustainability 101 - how to frame it, change it and steer it

Thursday 22nd February, 12:30 -1:30pm, Mill Lane lecture theatre room 4

This event will draw on research and expertise at the University to provide practical pointers and tips to University staff and students who want to encourage pro-environmental behaviour. Three short talks focus on key areas that we know people struggle with when they are trying to encourage sustainable behaviours in their own places of work and study. The speakers at this event will be Cameron Brick from the Department of Psychology, Emma Garnett of the Department of Zoology and Paul Begley of the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

Registration required for this event - click here

Sustainable Research -  boosting lab performance

Thursday 15th February 2018, 12:30 - 1:30pm, Sainsbury Laboratory

Reducing the environmental impact of lab work, without compromising your research, is a difficult ask. However, scientific research is energy and resource intensive - research uses more energy per m² than any other activity in the University, consumes large volumes of treated water and chemicals, and produces huge amounts of complicated waste.

How can we tackle this issue? Come along to meet others managing and working in labs at the University of Cambridge, as well as the University's Environmental Manager and Sustainable Labs Coordinator, to discuss and share ideas on improving the environmental performance of research. Lunch will be provided.

Registration required for this event - click here

How to be happier in an office and grow edible plants!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 12.30 - 1.30pm, James Dyson Building

Can hydroponics (plants grown indoors in a nutrient solution) help keep our air clean and reduce the need for air conditioning? A project currently in place in the James Dyson Building seeks to answer this questions. Come along to our event to receive a tour of the scheme and to learn how it all works. Lunch will be provided.

Registration required for this event - click here

Other events around the University of Cambridge:

Here's just a snapshot of the many sustainability-related events taking place around Cambridge during (or nearly!) February. Please contact us if you have an event which links in with Spotlight on Sustainable Research month that you would like us to promote:

The Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum

10th February at the Cambridge Union

Includes keynote speeches from David Vaughan, Director of Science at the British Antarctic Survey, and Craig Bennet, CEO of Friends of the Earth, workshops from local organisations actively engaging in sustainability, expert panels on plastic waste and debates on the outcomes of the Paris Agreement. 

Full details and ticket sales at

Homerton College Environmental Society's Lent Talk Series

  • Biodiversity and Tropical Agriculture 

Speaker Dr. Ed Turner, 23rd Jan 2018 6pm, Homerton College (Alison Shrubsole Room). 

  • Genetic Tales of the Unexpected

Speaker Prof. Bill Amos, Tuesday 13 February 2018 6pm, Homerton College (Horobin Room). 

  • Conservation Trade-offs: reconciling food production, wild spaces and farmland wildlife

Speaker Dr. Tom Finch, Tuesday 20 February 2018, 6pm, Skillicorn Room. 

For full details on the above talks see the Homerton Environmental Society Facebook Page.

2018 Christ's College Climate Seminars

  • Whatever happened to the hiatus in warming?

Speakers: Professor Charles Kennel, Director Emeritus of the Sripps Institution of Oceanography, Thursday 18 January, 17:30 - 19:00, Plumb Auditorium, Christ's College

  • Scenarios of Climate Change: cultural responses to unsettled times and uncertain futures

Speaker: Dr Renata Tyszczuk, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Thursday 25 January, 17:30 - 19:00, Plumb Auditorium, Christ's College

  • The Cultural functions of climate

Speaker: Professor Mike Hulme, Professor of Human Geography, Thursday 1 February, 17:30 - 19:00, Plumb Auditorium, Christ's College

Part of the 2018 Christ's College Climate Seminars. For full details and to book see the CSAP pages.

The Cambridge Climate Lecture Series

  • Lecture 1 - International Centre for Climate Change and Development

Speaker Dr. Saleemul Huq, 7.30pm 15 February 2018 , Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College

  • Lecture 2 - Climate Tracker

Speaker Renee Juliene Karunungan, 7.30pm 22 February 2018, Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College. 

Learn more about the series on the Cambridge Climate Lecture Series 2018 page or by reading the event guide.

Department of Land Economy talks

  • Planning for sustainable urbanisation in China: a community perspective

Speaker: Professor Cecilia Wong, Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester. Wednesday 14 February 2018, 16:00-17:00, Mill Lane Lecture Room 1. Run by the Department of Land Economy. More details.

Weekly Seminars of Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy, and Natural Resource Governance

  • Public participation in environmental decisions: Europe and Latin America in comparative perspective

Speaker: Mario Gilberto Aguilera Bravo, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. 3-4 pm, room 2.49 David Attenborough Building. Run by Cambridge CEENRG. More details.

Energy @ Cam talks

  • Is Demand Side Response a woman’s work? Gender dynamics in a field trial of smart meters and Time of Use tariffs in east London

Speaker: Dr Charlotte Johnson, UCL. Feb 13, 2018 from 12-2pm, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building. Part of the Energy@Cam series of talks.

Cambridge Global Food Security

  • The Cambridge Sustainable Food Hub

Speaker: Duncan Catchpole, Feb 7, 2018 12:30-13:30pm, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus

Judge Business School

  • Food for thought: innovating in an innovation-antipathetic sector

Speakers: Matt McClaren (Entonomics), Vaiva Kalnikaite of nūfood and Oliver Thain of Cambscuisine, Feb 27, 2018 from 6pm-9pm, Judge Business School.

You will need to register to attend this event.