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The Living Lab annual report is now out! The report summarises all the work carried out last year through the project, which uses the University estate to test and research sustainability solutions. A number of inspiring stories of projects, internships and research are included in the report, all of which have helped to improve the University’s environmental sustainability.

The Living Laboratory for Sustainability (Living Lab) aims to improve the University of Cambridge’s environmental sustainability by using the University estate as a case study. By testing and researching different aspects of sustainability the project helps to solve problems, improve efforts and enhance the educational experience of students here at the University.

One of the big ways the project has had an impact is by supporting students to create change and improve the University’s environmental sustainability. This included four internships which gave students an opportunity to carry out focused research into new ways for the University to improve its environmental performance. One of the projects looked into reducing the energy use of plug-in equipment across the estate and has helped inform the roll out of a new initiative to replace inefficient freezers at the University. Another helped understand ways to promote sustainable travel in a number of University departments, while a third project led to the adoption of the Environment & Energy section’s successful ‘spotlight on’ months.

The Living Lab has also worked with academics, for instance by providing support to a research initiative focused on improving energy management in non-domestic buildings, including many across the University’s estate. A fourth year engineering project has contributed to a very tangible result of 30% reduction in energy use in the Sainsbury Laboratory, the most energy intensive building across the University’s estate.

You can read the Living Lab report, as well as previous reports here. If you have an idea for a Living Lab project, whether it’s something you want investigated in your building or department or an issue you feel needs further understanding to help the University cut its environmental impact, why not get in touch? Emily Dunning is the Living Lab coordinator and is there to help staff and students interested in improving environmental performance across the University estate.