Our Commitment on Climate Change

Wolfson College has been at the forefront of work to reduce carbon emissions and increase biodiversity since our establishment in 1966. Our rural setting and extensive gardens are part of our character. Our purchase in the 1970s of the ancient meadows across the Cherwell river, and their designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is part of our purpose.

Bridge to Wolfson meadows

But we are always trying to do more.

In 2020 the College made a formal announcement on its ethical investment policy. We are fully divested from integrated oil, coal and gas companies, and companies with derive revenue from the exploitation, ownership or extraction of fossil fuels. This is our full policy commitment.

The College in 2020 also produced a Masterplan here for its development over the coming decades, with an emphasis on zero carbon building methods, preserving the natural environment, and progress towards an end to the internal combustion engine in College.

The College also in 2020 made a commitment to set aside up to £500,000 each year from any surplus we generate to dedicate to our decarbonisation plan. (Full details here).

And in 2021 we followed that up with a detailed decarbonisation programme produced by expert consultants which prioritises and costs a programme of works worth £9.5million to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 20XX.

The College is committed to working in close collaboration with the Collegiate University and City of Oxford in this task. THIS report sets out the collective work of the Colleges; THIS sets out the University’s Decarbonisation plan; and THIS lays out the City’s plans.

The College encourages active discussion and action on these issues among the whole community. We have a Climate Emergency Cluster (details here) to set an intellectual framework for this work. And we are very proud of our Green Team and its representative (Link) for the work they do with the College, especially on food provision (in 2020 for the first time we served more vegan and vegetarian meals than all others), waste reduction, renewables, and electric vehicle provision.