This was a year in which we successfully and smoothly moved over 2,000 staff from 11 separate offices to our new purpose-built global headquarters, Triangle. Designed by the award-winning Eric Parry Architects, Triangle features a public art installation at its core. Renowned artists Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier asked the question ‘What is knowledge?’ and answers from our people, customers and stakeholders in a variety of languages feature on the 39-metre-high tower and are woven into a 33-metre-long stretch of glass at the entrance to the building. The tower, which at night gently glows the colour of academic parchment paper, was lit up for the first time in March and provides a new landmark at the entrance to Cambridge.
In a speech when we unveiled the art project in May, Claire Oboussier said the project was “right up there with the best we’ve ever worked on … The reason is the people,” she said, adding: “there was no-one along the way whose heart wasn’t in it. In this project education, architecture, art and a sense of internationalism came together.”
Energy efficiency and sustainability were key factors in the development of Triangle. The building uses cutting-edge technologies and maximises natural daylight, using about a third less energy than our old buildings combined. The gardens have been designed to play host to local wildlife, with a brown roof and habitats such as bat boxes. Over the coming year we intend to install solar panels on the roof which will enable us to generate much or indeed most of the power we use. We already use solar panels on our two distribution centres.
As a Group, we have a strong environmental conscience and we always do our best to minimise food wastage in our kitchens and canteens. There is, however, always more we can do and we have just embarked on a partnership with the Food Donation Connection, which links organisations like Cambridge Assessment with charities to make it easy to donate leftover hot food. One of the charities that benefits under this arrangement, Wintercomfort, says that this move alone has enabled it to provide around 40 rough sleeping service users with a hot lunch.
We are also ensuring that our old computers and mobile phones are going to a good home. We have been installing learning content and essential programs onto old Cambridge Assessment laptops before distributing them via various charities to places such as Lebanon, Athens, France and Greece. The laptops have helped refugees keep up with their studies and the mobile phones have been a lifeline for many recipients, including unaccompanied children.
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