skip to content

Department of Pharmacology


The University of Cambridge has an Environmental Sustainability Vision, Policy and Strategy setting out the University’s commitment to achieving outstanding environmental sustainability performance. Every member of the University, staff and student, is asked to play their role in helping to achieve this vision. The following tips give some suggestions for how you can help.


General tips
  • Waste and recycling – most of our rubbish can be recycled. Polystyrene is the key exception but we are working on this. Look out for posters on or near to bins for guidance.
  • Travel – walk, cycle, or take the University-subsidised Universal bus to get around the city.
  • Food and drink – get a KeepCup and try the more sustainable options in University cafés.
  • Energy – dress appropriately for the season and switch off lights and equipment when not in use.
  • Water – don’t leave taps running, and report any dripping taps.
  • Get more involved – become a sustainability leader and help take things to the next level.
  • The University spends £16 million on energy each year.
  • The University has adopted a Science Based Target to reduce its energy-related (scope 1 and 2) carbon emissions to absolute zero by 2048.
  • We can all contribute to meeting this target through some simple steps – such as switching off lights and equipment when they are not being used. A single light left on overnight over a year accounts for as much greenhouse gas as a car driving from Cambridge to Paris.
  • Always dress appropriately for the season to reduce the need for additional heat or cooling.
  • Where possible, use the stairs rather than the lift.
Food and drink
  • You can buy a KeepCup in most of the University cafés. They reduce use of disposable cups, and give you a saving each time you buy a hot drink.
  • University cafés have a range of sustainable options (why not try the vegan option? Did you know the biggest impact individuals can make around food is reducing meat and dairy intake).
  • All of the University cafés’ disposable packaging (Vegware), as well as any food waste, can be recycled in food waste bins.
Waste and recycling
  • There are separate recycling facilities for:
    • Food waste / Glass / Mixed recycling (paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic containers, cartons, plastic wrapping, cans and tins) / Batteries / Printer cartridges.
    • Look for the posters on or near the bins which say what should be placed in each. If bins do not have posters, please let your Department’s Environment and Energy Coordinator, Green Impact team or facilities staff know.
  • There are recycling points located throughout the department usually at key points in the corridors.
  • Pens etc. are recycled by the pigeon holes, batteries at Goods In near the back door
  • If you are unsure of which bin to use, please ask Barney Leeke
  • Reducing and reusing allows us to decrease the amount of waste that will need to be recycled.
  • Reduce:
    • Print double-sided, and only print where needed
    • Share equipment wherever possible
  • Reuse:
    • Avoid disposable cups by using a KeepCup, mug or refillable bottle
    • Donate unwanted books and other items to charity (some Colleges participate in the British Heart Foundation ‘Pack for Good’ campaign, where you can donate unwanted items to BHF.  Ask in your College where you can find your nearest collection point)
  • Most things can be recycled but key exceptions are paper towels/tissue paper and polystyrene (they need to go in the general waste bin NOT recycling).
  • Most plastics can be recycled so if in doubt, put plastics in the recycling bin.
  • The University spends £0.7 million per year on water.
  • The University is committed to a 20% reduction in water use by 2020.
  • Cambridge is in one of the driest areas of the country so saving water is particularly important here.
  • Help save water by not leaving taps running.
  • If you see a leak or a drip, report it to Paul Coulson (
Get more involved
  • Keep up-to-date with news and opportunities by subscribing to the Greenlines newsletter
  • Visit Sustainability Student - get involved to find out more about projects including Green Impact and the Living Laboratory for Sustainability     
  • Email with any questions or to find out more about any particular opportunity.
  • Contact your Environment and Energy Coordinator Barney Leeke ( to find out what opportunities there are to get involved in the Department, and to pass on your ideas for how the Department could be more sustainable.
  • Opportunities include paid internships, support running your own environmental project, and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) accredited auditor training and experience through Green Impact.