Sustainability and Climate Change Policy

Introduction
Meeting the challenges of Climate Change by moving to a Net Zero economy is one of the most important goals of society. The Education sector has a role to play in achieving these goals. In April 2022 the Department for Education published Sustainability and climate change: a strategy for the education and children’s services systems in response to the COP 26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) meeting held in November 2021.

Amongst the strategic aims set were:

  1. Net zero: reducing direct and indirect emissions from education buildings, driving innovation to meet legislative targets in the transition to net zero.
  2. Resilient to climate change: adapting our education buildings and system to prepare for the effects of climate change.
  3. A better environment for future generations: enhancing biodiversity, improving air quality and increasing access to, and connection with, nature in and around education settings.

Purpose
The college recognises its responsibility in managing its environmental impact and making decisions that support the current sustainability agenda. Sustainability has been defined as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs," (Brundtland Commission 1987). This policy sets down the actions that we are already taking, and will incorporate into
our planning, to demonstrate our commitment to meeting the challenges of climate change.

Aims and Objectives
Our aim is to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment. We will continue to monitor environmental performance wherever possible and incorporate environmental factors into business decisions. Our work is continuous and ongoing. The focus of our activity will be concentrated on the following areas:

Category Commitment Actions
Energy Use
(e.g. Heating,
Lighting, Air
Conditioning)

• We will seek to reduce the amount of energy used wherever possible

• Energy consumption and efficiency of new products will be taken into account when purchasing

• Lights and electrical equipment will be switched off when not in use

• Heating will be adjusted with efficient energy consumption in mind and installation of smart heating controls

• Install LED lights during all new refurbishment projects

• Install motion sensor lighting

• Staff will be encouraged to turn off electrical equipment when not in use

Materials Use
(e.g. Building
projects,
refurbishment)

• Large scale refurbishment projects will be managed following BREEM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) framework

• We will develop offices, teaching and study spaces that support the college’s learning agenda in a sustainable way

• All new refurbishment projects are managed with the integral objective of reducing the carbon footprint of the college
Marketing,
Teaching and
Office supplies
(e.g. paper and
teaching materials)

• We will evaluate the environmental impact of equipment and products used/purchased by the business

• We will prioritise products that are more
environmentally friendly and efficient wherever possible

• We will reuse and recycle wherever possible

• Move away from paper-based marketing to digital based promotions saving on brochure costs and distribution

• Maintain recycling points in all communal areas around the college

Waste and
Recycling
(e.g. water and
class room
furniture)

• We will minimise waste by reduction, re-use and recycling methods

• We will use upcycling where possible in terms of office refurbishment and ensure that anything new is as environmentally friendly as possible

• We will ensure that waste is disposed of by licensed and appropriate organisations to minimise environmental impact

• Eliminate use of Single use plastics in Café

• Fit water saving taps and low flush toilets as part of refurbishment projects

• Work directly with staff or third parties to re-home, donate or recycle unwanted furniture

• Use a WEEE approved contractor to dispose of redundant IT equipment and other electrical items

IT Infrastructure

• Our IT strategic aim is to move to a Cloud hosting system so removing the need to maintain an on-premise IT server room

• Move to adopting laptops as standard for all staff and removing PC’s so needing less IT hardware (no towers and monitors)

• Four year IT equipment refresh cycle giving the opportunity to adopt next generation equipment
which is more energy efficient

• Leasing of Laptops to speed up move to laptop
enabled environment

• Sale / donation of old IT equipment where opportunities arise

Transport

• Promote our easily accessible location with
multiple public transport links by rail, tube, and bus

• Business travel will be planned to ensure that it is only undertaken where absolutely necessary

• We will promote the use of Teams/video-conferencing as travel alternatives

• We promote cycling via the cycle to work scheme

• Publish public transport links on our website to show range of choices available

• Offer range of online courses so removing need for students to commute to college

Health and
wellbeing

• Maintain and enhance a healthy working
environment for all who visit college sites

• Offer range of health eating choices in the college café including beverage refill options and water fountains

• Employee Assistance Programme for all staff

• Carbon dioxide monitors installed

• Sign posting of student support services around
building including safeguarding contacts

Communication
Communications play an important part in our sustainability planning. Through effective communications we will:

  • Raise awareness of our work and provide evidence of our commitment to sustainability
  • Obtain support from staff, tutors and students
  • Collect feedback on our activities
  • Provide evidence that can be used in communications with external audiences

Appropriate channels of communication will be used such as the staff newsletter, townhall meetings, social media postings and video
guides.

Review and Development
This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis and updated to ensure that it remains appropriate in the light of any relevant changes to the law, College policies or contractual obligations. Additional policies may be created to cover specific areas. All changes will ultimately be approved by the Governing Body.

 

Downloadable documents

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