About Jesus College/
Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability at Jesus College

Towards a greener future


The University of Oxford has set a goal to reach net zero carbon and biodiversity net gain by 2035. A huge amount of ambitious work is now underway to reach this goal, including here at Jesus College, where our community is researching and implementing a range of initiatives to make the College more environmentally sustainable.

We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. In 2019 we undertook a feasibility study across our Oxford estate to establish what additional energy reduction measures we could make in support of the work already completed. In 2022 we will publish a new strategic vision for the College’s next five years, which will place environmental sustainability front and centre of our plans.

This page aims to inform readers of the practical steps Jesus College is already taking towards environmental sustainability. It is updated regularly as our plans and initiatives progress.

Decarbonisation

Reducing our carbon footprint


Jesus College is proactively exploring and implementing initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint across our buildings, infrastructure and activities.

These include reducing our energy consumption, adopting renewable energy solutions to meet our energy needs, and managing our waste and water consumption.

Read more about the significant steps we have taken so far here.

Governance

Committees and processes


Environmental initiatives are discussed at the College’s Property & Environment Committee (for buildings and fabric) and at the Accommodation, Catering & Conferences Committee, which both meet termly. Initiatives are then discussed and approved at Governing Body. These Committees are made up of College Fellows, College Officers, staff members and representatives from the student body.

The Accommodation, Catering & Conferences Committee also has a Food Sustainability Working Group, which looks at initiatives to make our food provision and management as sustainable as possible.

Our Sustainability Fellow is Professor Tim Coulson, Professorial Fellow in Zoology.

Our Environmental Policy can be found on the College website here.

Divestment


We recognise the importance and relevance of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors in the selection and management of investments within our portfolio. We believes that good governance, as so defined, supports our overriding concern for the good economic and financial performance of our portfolio over the longer term.

As the College invests in funds, rather than making direct investments, we expect our fund managers to have an ESG policy in place which integrates ESG factors into their investment process, and to report their compliance with the UK Stewardship Code and the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment.

Where choices exist, we believe that it is more constructive and effective for our fund managers to engage with investee companies thoughtfully and consistently as part of their investment decisions, rather than opting automatically for divestment. Consistent with this approach, we expect our fund managers to report on their corporate engagement and voting activity on a regular basis. We conduct an annual ESG review of our investment portfolio.

In addition, all donations and grants are carefully scrutinised in respect to ESG considerations.

Improving Biodiversity


We are committed to ensuring that we create and preserve wildlife-friendly habitats across the College’s Oxford estate. Although the College is located in the heart of the city, planting on our main Turl Street provides a wide range of flora for bird and insect species to enjoy throughout the year. So much so that we have an annual visit by a pair of ducks who build their nest in our shrubbery!

We undertake gardening and maintenance work using environmentally and animal/insect-friendly products and practises, and are gradually moving from petrol-powered equipment to electric-powered machinery.

At our Steven’s Close site we are working to make the grounds more environmentally sustainable and wildlife-friendly. This work includes installing bird boxes and the protection of a badger’s sett, which is in use.

At our Herbert’s Close site we have also installed bird boxes (including an owl box) and there are regular sightings of deer, red kites, owls, slow worms, and green and red woodpeckers.