Warwickshire College has embarked on a journey to achieve sustainability adopting an holistic approach to improving their environmental performance. Underlying this is a move to shift the college culture resulting in a series of environmental, social, economic and other benefits. The College is confident that through commitment and innovation the institution will become a leader in contributing to a low carbon and resource efficient economy.
As a Further Education institution on six campuses covering the West Midlands, the College has recognised the need for a long term commitment to sustainability. Over five years Warwickshire College adopted a holistic approach which has four strands.
• Exposing learners to ‘sustainability’ through the curriculum and embedding sustainability in the College culture
• Making sustainability key in management decisions
• Improving environmental performance and developing our resource efficiency
• Working with wider communities to help secure our sustainable futures
Clear behaviours, policies and procedures enable all in the College community to recognise their responsibilities to contribute towards a sustainable future. These behaviours underpin core values that ‘put the learner first; deliver the highest quality in all they do; and promote a fair, open and respectful culture'.
The College Management Team, students, staff and stakeholders recognised the need for a coherent approach to our journey to make sustainability core to their culture. One-off actions and innovations were not enough. This approach has generated considerable environmental, social, economic and other benefits for the College and the community. Examples include:
• creating a more sustainable approach to the delivery of education and training
• working to minimise our environmental footprint
• monitoring and improving our reliance on finite resources – through reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions in all our campuses
• identifying and implementing water conservation measures
• working with the district councils to share best practice towards sustainability.
Next steps on the journey
As the journey continues there will be environmental, financial and social benefits that are clear and can appropriately be used to inspire their local and regional community – an example is the new Rugby campus which will house a brand new Power Academy with green technology courses.
The measures they have taken to embed sustainability at the ‘core’ of the College community can be replicated and this enables the initiative to be truly transferable and so their ‘best practice’ can be shared with other Colleges and education establishments. Not all of the aspects will be the same but the approach can be shared. It is an approach that is all-inclusive and will continue to involve all students, staff and stakeholders.
Main Contact Name: Dr Diane Whitehouse, Vice Principal Curriculum and Innovation
Main Contact Email & Telephone: firstname.lastname@example.org and 01926 318357
Further information/website: www.warwickshire.ac.uk
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