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Sustainable Foundations

The Sustainable Foundations pillar of our Sustainable Discoveries action plan focuses on the key issues we need to address to achieve our sustainability goal. This includes accountability for the delivery of the plan, engaging and training colleagues on sustainability issues and ensuring we are monitoring and reporting on progress.

A Net Zero ICR by 2040

The ICR is committed to reducing its carbon footprint to net zero by 2040. This means we will reduce our emissions by at least 90% by this point.

To do so, we will set and implement a decarbonisation plan that will be reviewed and updated on a yearly basis.

When we talk about carbon footprints, emissions fall into 3 main areas:

  • Scope 1 – emissions from combustion of gas in heating boilers, emissions from burning fuel for back-up generators, leakage of cooling system refrigerant gases and emissions from our own vehicles
  • Scope 2 – emissions associated with the consumption of purchased electricity from the national grid
  • Scope 3 – our wider value chain including emissions from procurement, waste management, commuting, business travel (this is by far the main source of emissions)
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Governance, accountability and reporting

Supporting governance and the participation of all people at the ICR will support the success of this sustainability action plan.

Achieving this sustainability plan is also a big challenge and we need to be transparent on our progress. We are developing a sustainability dashboard to monitor our progress against the different objectives, such as our carbon footprint and our decarbonisation plans, and will be communicating our progress externally on a regular basis.

  • Carbon footprint calculated quarterly and reported
  • Development of plans for decarbonisation
  • Report progress externally
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Training and capacity

It is important that all ICR members have an awareness of sustainability issues and how they affect their role, and understand how they can help in the delivery of this plan.

Sustainability training is made available to everyone at the ICR and all new staff and students will have a sustainability briefing as part of their induction.

Our Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) accredited training session - Sustainability at the ICR - are made available at least twice in each academic year.

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Looking after our people

Creating an inclusive and supportive culture where everyone can thrive is essential to the ICR and our values.

We are expanding our work on gender, social and racial equality, diversity and inclusion within the institute. We are aiming to achieve the Athena SWAN award at silver or gold level by 2024 and increase the proportion of students and postdocs from non-white backgrounds by 30%. We are also committed to ensuring that all our contractors are London Living Wage Employers.

Read our Health, Safety Environment Policy Statement

Read more about our Equality and Diversity commitments here.

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Our communities

From visiting schools to discuss careers in science and cancer research, hosting workshops or interactive demonstrations for members of the public to engaging with patients about our research – it is our responsibility to share our discoveries and the benefits of research with the public.

Engaging with our communities is important for us. We will continue to engage with local schools and more widely with students and young people to encourage scientific research careers – especially from backgrounds currently under-represented in research science.

We will connect with a range of audiences within our local and neighbouring boroughs, ensuring that our audiences for engagement reflect the diversity of our local communities.