Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


Introducing our first ever Sustainability Coordinator

Headshot of Peter Nitsche Whitfield, a man with red hair, glasses, and a dark blue cardigan.

Peter Nitsche-Whitfield

  • Sustainability Officer
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On 1 September I started my new role as Sustainability Coordinator at Lincoln College, Exeter College and Corpus Christi College. This is the first time that any Oxford college has created a post solely dedicated to sustainability. By creating a shared role between these three colleges, it will be possible to share insights and best practice between all three historic institutions (founded in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, respectively); institutions which share many challenges and opportunities.

I am returning to Oxford after having completed my undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Benet’s Hall in 2019. After leaving Oxford, I worked for GermanZero, an NGO which campaigns for Germany to become climate-neutral by 2035. During my time working for GermanZero as Research and Policy Advisor, I co-authored a climate action plan with academics and leading climate scientists, giving me an insight into the policies needed to implement an ecological transition in all sectors from transport to energy. Following this, I went on to do a Master’s in Economics with a focus on sustainable development and the ecological transition in Vienna, Paris and Brussels.

I am now looking forward to helping guide Lincoln College along its journey towards sustainability. I believe it is vital to address sustainability holistically by tackling all the dimensions of our ecological crises from the climate emergency, biodiversity collapse, land and resource use, to waste and pollution. Reducing the ecological impacts of Lincoln’s operations will thus be my main field of work. This will mean addressing Lincoln’s energy use and building stock, travel patterns, food procurement and waste as well as land use and biodiversity. In this, I aim to strengthen both the links between town and gown on issues of sustainability and support the global role that Lincoln plays for the sustainability transition through its research on sustainability and education of future decision-makers.

Having only just started, I am still collecting data and working on understanding Lincoln’s operations. Nonetheless, I have already identified a key priority in reducing energy use to bring down emissions and reduce the College’s expenditure – not an easy task given the college’s beautiful, yet very old buildings! This will allow Lincoln to play its part in tackling both the climate and energy crisis at the same time. Furthermore, I am working on improving Lincoln’s waste management and determining our baseline carbon emissions. To find out more about my work in the years to come, keep an eye out for more sustainability news on the Lincoln website and other College publications.

Where next?

  • Learn more about our commitment to sustainabilityRead more
  • Contact Peter Nitsche-WhitfieldRead more
  • Read more about sustainability on the blogRead more