Harwell Green Week 2023 highlights

As one of the UK’s leading science and innovation campuses, Harwell is home to some of the most cutting-edge research and development projects in the world. But with great innovation comes great responsibility, and at Harwell we’re committed to ensuring that our operations are as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

This week we held our annual Green Week event in conjunction with UK NetZero Week, focusing on promoting eco-friendly practices. The weeklong event featured various activities, talks and walks, all focused on raising awareness of environmental issues around three key themes: energy and carbon, nature and biodiversity and active and sustainable travel. We even welcomed Adam Frost from Gardeners ‘World and launched a new direct bus route from Newbury, further improving the connectivity of the campus and reducing congestion.

Here are some of the highlights from the week:

The Need for Collaboration

Throughout the week there was an undercurrent theme of collaboration and shared responsibility. From community breakfasts, to talks on collective action to tackle climate change, and collaboration projects to reach net zero, it was clear to see that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One great example of this was the session which was ran by Oxfordshire Greentech & Cambridge who launched an ambassador forum for organisations at Harwell. The forum will serve as a collaborative space for organisations to exchange ideas, share best practices, and develop innovative solutions to foster a greener and more sustainable community.

Green(er) commute to work.

Each year we celebrate ‘cycle to work’ days organised by HarBug – a group of campus cyclists championing improved cycle routes to the campus. During green week we went one step further and encouraged everyone on campus to consider ‘greening’ their commute on 6th July. By choosing to travel in a more sustainable way, we can reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet for future generations. From walking, to cycling, carpooling (did you know we have a lift share scheme?) or taking public transport every little helps with CO2 reduction. At Harwell we’re passionate about making tangible differences. We know that a local bus journey emits a little over half the greenhouse gases of a single occupancy car journey and helps to remove congestion from the roads. That’s why together with STFC and Thames Travel we’ve launched a new direct route from Newbury to Harwell. You can find out more about the route here.   

Limitless energy

The world is facing its toughest ever test with the urgent search for clean, carbon-free energy. It means the Energy Tech Cluster has a critical role to play supporting the climate change agenda and the UKRI’s ‘net zero’ ambitions to 2040.         With over 80 organisations making up the energy tech cluster many are actively engaged with the UK Government’s ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution‘, working on projects such as zero carbon energy storage, battery research, PV, wind energy and zero carbon fuels.  One great example of the search for clean energy is the new collaboration announced this week between campus-based company Oxford Sigma and UKAEA to help demonstrate the commercial viability of fusion energy. Fusion is among the most environmentally friendly sources of energy. There are no CO2 or other harmful atmospheric emissions from the fusion process, which means that fusion does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions or global warming. Its two sources of fuel, hydrogen and lithium, are widely available in many parts of the Earth.

In conclusion, Green Week at Harwell Campus was a successful event that highlighted the importance of sustainability and eco-friendly practices. The event provided valuable insights and practical tips on how individuals and organisations can all play a role in creating a greener future. We can all learn from the takeaways of Green Week and work towards a more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.

Video on demand

You can watch back all the recorded talks from Green Week by clicking the links below.

Harwell Green Week Launch

Virtual Coffee Morning Talk & Panel discussion – Active & Sustainable Travel

Virtual Coffee Morning Talk & Panel discussion – Nature & Biodiversity

Virtual Coffee Morning Talk & Panel discussion – Energy & Carbon