Climate change and ecological destruction are some of the biggest challenges of our time. Colleges, like all institutions, have a responsibility to address them; and to meet the UK government’s target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
At Riverside College / Cronton Sixth Form College we have already taken many steps to improve our operations and are constantly looking for and embracing new ways to contribute to this in innovative ways.
The Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education was established in November 2019. Its goal is to develop a strategic, sector-wide approach to tackle the climate emergency. The Commission engaged Nous Group (a management consulting firm specialising in education) to support them to develop a ‘road map’ for further education colleges to reach the net-zero target.
As a College we are working towards this by engaging with our staff, students, and other members of our college community to develop our own roadmap to net-zero.
Below are just a few examples of ways we are already working:
- Achieving the relevant BREEAM requirements on refurbishment and new build projects. BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for building projects.
- New lighting, water saving, air conditioning and heating technology has been installed in many areas of the College and continues to be installed as we upgrade each area.
- The College’s waste provider reported that the College has recycled or recovered 100% of its waste for the period 1st July 2019 – 30th June 2020.
- Technology changes include the introduction of more efficient computers, recycling of computers, energy efficient whiteboards and TVs, all power supply units are ENERGY STAR compliant, and initiatives such as automated shut down timers on all computers, and to reduce printing are in place.
- Our catering supplier and their supply chain have made significant changes to reduce their ‘food miles’ and they have worked with us to improve the sustainability of all aspects of their operation.
- Curriculum and business support areas have specific green projects such as allotments and recycling of materials for use.
- Covid-19 has been a huge factor in driving the use of technology to reduce paper use and travel; there has been approximately 40,000 Microsoft Teams Meetings that have taken place to date and many other working practices that have moved online.