Campus Environment

Campus Environment

To raise awareness of our green initiatives, special days are held throughout the year. These days provide staff the opportunity to get information and freebies and enter competitions and prize draws.

Energy Campaign

A large Campus population, a 24-hour data centre and high-throughput research can lead to elevated energy consumption and waste production. We therefore have a profound responsibility to manage these outputs of our research so as to minimise the use of energy on Campus and manage the disposal of waste effectively. As part of this aim, Campus Facilities Management and staff have worked together to establish energy saving and recycling initiatives.

The Wellcome Genome Campus strives to reduce its carbon footprint and as part of this aim has achieved ISO 14001 accreditation. We have several initiatives to reduce our energy consumption and encourage staff to 'be green' including:

  • The installation of rain harvesters to reduce water consumption
  • Cedum roofing to minimise rain water run off
  • Replacement of internal lights with low wattage LEDs and external lights with re-chargeable bollards
  • Production of monthly utility reports which are available internally for staff to see
  • Installation of energy-efficient air-con chillers and pumps across the campus
  • Introduction of "Switch on to switching off" post-its to encourage staff to switch off their computers

Green Travel

The Campus has developed a multi-award winning Green Travel Plan. One of our responsibilities is to help staff by providing ways to get to work while minimising their carbon footprint. The Campus' Green Travel Plan has received several awards for its efforts:

  • Travel Plan Excellence Award (2005), Travel Planner of the year (2006) and Certificates of continued excellence (2006-2009)
  • Recipharm International Environment Award 2010
  • Green Apple Awards Environmental Best Practice
  • 2010 Gold Health Award
  • 2011 Gold Health Award
  • 2012 Training Gold Award
  • 2014 Science and Technology Award
  • Green Apple Earth Appeal 2014

Details of our green transport initiatives can be found below.

Car Share

Thanks to a popular car sharing initiative the number of single occupancy vehicles travelling to work has gone down from 70% of staff in 2002, to less than 50% in 2015. To further promote car sharing newly registered staff are entered into a prize draw.


The Campus currently runs twenty one bus routes to and from site, serving Cambridge, Saffron Walden and several of the surrounding villages. Every day, more than 350 people travel on buses both to and from the Campus.

Cycle to work campaign

The cycle to work campaign encourages staff to meet up and cycle to work in groups. Incentives include free breakfast on arrival and free bike services. To encourage cycling to work, in 2004 the Wellcome Trust paid for a new cycle path on the difficult stretch of road along the A1301 to the campus.


The number of staff and scale of our research means that Campus currently produces 187 tonnes of landfill waste each year. As such, we need to maximise the amount of waste we recycle. Efforts to increase the amount of waste recycled include the installation of paper recycling bins in all meeting rooms and facilities for recycling plastic, mixed paper, metal and biodegradable waste throughout the campus. General waste to landfill in these areas has been reduced by 75 per cent.

Wetlands Nature Reserve

The Wetlands Nature Reserve was created in 2005 and is a culmination of several years of planning, design and construction, with two main principles:

  • To act as a natural flood defence mechanism
  • To create a new and diverse natural habitat, open for all to enjoy

The Reserve consists of a mix of habitats, including naturally filled ponds, wet grassland, wet woodland, riverbank habitats, shrubs and individual specimen trees. The creation of these areas will help contribute to local wildlife targets for the county as a whole.

The six-hectare (15-acre) site has been specially created to provide a range of habitats for a range of plant and animal species. The Reserve includes several niche environments, each suitable for a specific set of animal and plant species. These include a dry grassland meadow area, ponds and aquatic/marginal areas around them, and a shrub and woodland area. Artificial otter holts have been built along the river bank, while a World War II pillbox has been adapted for use by bats.

Management of the Wetlands Nature Reserve

We work closely with the Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust who provide their expertise and guidance in creating a reserve where people can appreciate and learn about local wildlife as part of their everyday life.

We are fortunate to have a Community Conservation Group composed of representatives from Hinxton and Ickleton villages, along with members of Campus staff and volunteers from the general public. Working closely with the Wildlife Trust, the Group take an active role in promoting activities such as "Bat Nights" and Bird box building sessions. General maintenance days also take place throughout the year.

For further information on how to become a member of the group, please see our contact page.

For more information on the Wetlands Nature Reserve, please download our leaflet.

The Wetlands covers a 6.1 hectare site, bordered by the River Cam to the east and the London - Cambridge railway line to the west.

The Wetlands Nature Reserve is open to the public all day every day. The entrance to the Reserve is at grid reference TL 498 442.