Improving sustainability and environmental protection - Our people

by Guest Blogger, 20 January 2020
The Environment Network

We spoke with four fantastic colleagues who are all part of our Environment staff network group about their mission to help improve sustainability and protect the environment, and how Cambridge Assessment supports them in doing that. Our staff networks are run by staff for staff with a shared purpose and vision two.

The importance of having a strong environmental agenda in the workplace

At a time when environmental concern is high on everyone's agenda, job seekers are making their voice heard with a recent survey revealing that 70 per cent of those questioned were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda. Other studies have gone further, indicating that 60 per cent of millennials will not take a job at a company that does not have strong social responsibility practices.

70 percent of those questioned were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda Research also shows that more consumers are now buying sustainable products as they want to feel that whatever they are buying aligns with their personal values. So, it's no surprise that people are increasingly looking to work for organisations who share the same values as they do and want to be able to apply those values at work as well as at home.

This view was reinforced when we interviewed a candidate last month who said that one of the reasons they applied was because they thought our sustainable HQ in Cambridge, Triangle, showed that we shared their ethos.

While the Triangle building demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and our ongoing environmental impact, there are also a huge number of staff-led environmental initiatives happening across Cambridge Assessment which highlight the passion and shared values of our workforce.

We took some time to chat to four of our people who are helping to galvanise these ideas, debates and people across Cambridge Assessment worldwide. Anna Brown, Christopher Nice, Imogen O’Bryan and Keith Stiven are all part of our Environment Network established in 2017.

Can you explain what the Environment Staff Network is all about?

Christopher: The Environment staff network is a group of our employees who are interested in facilitating new initiatives and helping to raise awareness and take action on the environmental issues which are important to them. We want to enable employees from every level to contribute ideas to the network. This sometimes proves to be a challenge when you are an international business with offices based across the world and across different time zones!

Keith: The network is recognised as an official staff network and is supported by the senior leadership team . There’s high engagement from the departmental directors across all business streams but there’s plenty more we can do to raise this awareness.

What made you want to become involved with the network?

Christopher: I joined the network to support the organisation in being environmentally conscious in its decision making. I wanted to meet like-minded people who aspired to help make a positive change. We all spend so much time at work. It is important to me that I’ve not only got a job, but that I have a job which allows me to express my environmental values too.

Keith: There was a groundswell of interest and people were looking for a place within the organisation to raise environmental issues and questions. Staff wanted to know what they could do in the workplace, what was already being done and how to get involved in local community initiatives that were in existence across Cambridge Assessment.

Anna: With the current climate and biodiversity crisis, all organisations should be working to drastically reduce their environmental impact. Personally, it’s important for me to work for an organisation that prioritises this.

Imogen: These are issues we should all be taking seriously, not just locally but globally too. We are not experts, but we aim to facilitate our colleagues’ ideas in a helpful and holistic way, and I’d encourage everyone to get involved.

What issues and ideas are you currently channelling? How have you raised awareness? 

Staff in Spain have recently come on board and are very active on positive environmental changes Imogen: We run monthly Skype meetings and our internal social network group has hundreds of staff engaging in discussion and sharing best practice internationally. Staff in Spain have recently come on board and are very active on positive environmental changes. Some of  the current ideas span catering, travel, power usage and biodiversity. From big projects such as the solar power generated on the roof of the Triangle to smaller schemes like smart phone, stationary and crisp packet recycling schemes, Cambridge Assessment is looking at sustainability and green impact across the whole business.

Keith: In October we ran a zero-waste pop-up shop which was an amazing event. Everything was eco-friendly and even included a repair café. Hundreds of staff from Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press came to the event, and it drove a lot of thought-provoking conversations.

zero waste pop up shop

Are there any local initiatives that you're involved with outside of Cambridge Assessment?

nus green impact award

Keith: A community initiative that is proving particularly popular is the litter pick in the local area which is small but worthy bit of direct action, appreciated by those who live and work in there.

Christopher: Another local community scheme making that positive change is ensuring that all the unconsumed food on site is donated to a local charity in Cambridge.  

With the help of the network, Cambridge Assessment is working towards achieving a Silver award in the University of Cambridge's Green Impact scheme, an environmental accreditation scheme which supports and encourages departments and colleges across the University in reducing their environmental impacts.

If you feel that our values at Cambridge Assessment align with your own, please visit our careers website where you can find more about job opportunities at Cambridge Assessment.

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