Climate Commission Further Education Hub

About the Climate Commission and the Further Education Hub 

The Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education Students and Leaders is a UK-wide initiative supporting colleges and universities in producing a clear, cohesive and consistent response to the Climate Emergency by the end of 2020. The Climate Commission is a partnership of Association of Colleges, EAUC, GuildHE and Universities UK. We are represented by institutional and student commissioners and supported by council members comprised of vice-chancellors, principals and students. Check out our ongoing work here.
The Commission works collaboratively with UK further and higher education institutions to produce a sector-wide response to the Climate Emergency. The Further Education Hub acts as a space to more easily find college-specific information and news.

The Climate Commission has partnered with Nous Group, an international management consultancy, to create a roadmap for colleges to respond to the climate emergency. Learn more about the FE Climate Action Roadmap here.

Map depicting FE institutions that have engaged with the Climate Commission through the Climate Commission Council and/or FE Climate Action Roadmap.

Further Education News

November 2021 Updates:

  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton presented at the Carbon Literacy Project's "COP26 Carbon Literacy for Education Focus Day" (5th November). The talk focussed on the need for Carbon Literacy in FE and what tools are available.
  • Jisc has published a blog written by Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton exploring the challenges that colleges face, including their use of technology, as they aim for net zero (2nd November).

October 2021 Updates:

September 2021 Update

  • Climate Commission Commissioners and Steering Group members joined FE-focussed workshop facilitated by the Department for Education to support development of their new strategy (1st September).
  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton will be delivering a keynote speech at the College Development Network's half-day sustainability conference for college leaders and boards (6th October). Climate Commission Manager Matt Woodthorpe will also present on the FE Climate Action Roadmap alongside Billy Currie, Head of Corporate Services at Dumfries and Galloway College.

August 2021 Update

  • Climate Commission Commissioners and Steering Group met with the Department for Education Sustainability Unit with view to support development of DoE strategy (2nd August).

June 2021 Update

  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton is presenting at the Student Green Conference (8th June) on the FE Climate Action Roadmap.

May 2021 Update

  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton is delivering a keynote for the TRIP Network on the work of the Climate Commission (26th May).
  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton is presenting at briefing event for Landex member colleges looking at sustainable practice in the college sector (25th May).
  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton is presenting at the Student Green Conference (8th June) on the FE Climate Action Roadmap.
  • The Climate Commission's FE Climate Action Roadmap and HE Climate Action Toolkit have been included as key resources for supporting Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges signatories.

April 2021 Update

  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton wrote an article featuring the Climate Commission and FE Climate Action Roadmap for tes - Climate change: We need to take action urgently.
  • Climate Commissioners have written to the Prime Minister and Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26, Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, Minister for Universities and Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education - asking them to work with the Climate Commission on key areas: Green jobs & skills; Measuring & reporting; Raising the profile of the education sector leading up to COP26 and beyond; Curriculum; Research - including concerns on the recent reductions in ODA-related research funding. You can view the letter here.

March 2021 Updates

February 2021 Updates

January 2021 Updates

  • Climate Commission Steve Frampton has a #ChamberBreakers video and podcast about why the education system is not fit for purpose.

December 2020 Updates

November 2020 Updates

  • We held the Climate Commission - One Year On event. The event included a Keynote Speech from The Rt. Hon. The Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, a student panel and breakout rooms to discuss priorities for the next year running up to COP26.
  • The Climate Commission released a support statement for Mock COP26.
  • The Climate Commission hosted a plenary session at the Global Climate 2020 event with UKRI and Department of Education representatives.

October 2020 Updates

September 2020 Updates

  • This thought piece from Professor Joy Carter, CBE, DL, Vice-Chancellor at University of Winchester and Climate Commissioner forms a helpful baseline of the values and responses that run deep in Gen Z and therefore brings great value in understanding – and therefore helping to shape – young people’s opinions.    
  • The Climate Commission Secretariat has released the 2nd blog post in its series. This post covers priority 2: research and innovation and offers insights from Climate Commissioners Judith Petts and Marta Crispo. Read the post here.  

August 2020 Updates

  • The Commission has released a document outlining its findings to date.
  • The Commission held an online event, "Discussion with Further and Higher Education Governors and Chairs" to understand the opportunities to and challenges of advancing climate action and sustainability at the board level. Watch the event recording here

July 2020 Updates

  • The Climate Commission, in partnership with Nous Group, has launched the Climate Action Roadmap for FE Colleges. The Roadmap provides clear, feasible actions colleges can take to advance sustainability. This piece of work will act as one of the Commission's key outputs. 
  • Download the Roadmap here.
  • Watch Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton announce the launch of the roadmap here.
  • Read the Association of Colleges news item on the launch here
  • Download the press release here.
  • Read EAUC's news item on the launch here.
  • The College of the Future vision was launched on 22nd July. Steve Frampton, AoC President and Climate Commissioner said “The Climate Commission welcomes the report today from the Independent Commission on the College of the Future. The new vision for colleges puts sustainability and climate action at the very heart of the role of colleges, ensuring that colleges provide future students with the education and skills they need to tackle the climate crisis. The Climate Action Roadmap for Further Education Colleges, from the Climate Commission, provides colleges with the framework to help them achieve this.”

June 2020 Updates  

  • Student Commissioners have been awarded honorary fellowships by EAUC in recognition of their commitment to tackling the climate crisis and their time and contribution to the Climate Commission's work. Read more about the honorary fellowships here.
  • Student Commissioners launched a survey to better engage with students. 
  • The Climate Commission Secretariat has written a blog post about the Commission's first priority, "mobilising the higher and further education sector voice" on Wonkhe. The post is one in a series of 5 synthesising and unpacking discussions on the Commission's priorities. 

May 2020 Updates

  • Student Commissioners will facilitate focus groups for UNESCO's Futures of Education to ensure students on the Commission can contribute and impact global education policy. Read more about the initiative and final report here.
  • Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton (AoC President) has voiced his support for the new collaboration between Nous Group and the Climate Commission. Read his statement here.
  • Nous Group has published a news item on their collaboration with the Climate Commission.
  • Commissioner Steve Frampton (President, AoC) discussed the Climate Commission's work and project with Nous Group at AoC's spring Policy Forum

April 2020 Updates

  • The Climate Commission drafted a response to the postponement of COP26 due to COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging the importance of reducing the severity of the outbreak and emphasising its continued commitment to tackling the climate crisis.
  • The 3rd Virtual Evidence Gathering Event took place on April 29th. The event was focused on priority 3: reporting scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in the FHE sector. Student commissioners included a question in the briefing paper for expert witnesses: "How can GHG reporting be made accessible to students to enable them to support the institution to become more sustainable?"
  • The Climate Commission has organised two further virtual events following the Virtual Evidence Gathering Events. The purpose of the events is to discuss with leaders in the FHE sector on the Commission's findings and progress to ensure its work is relevant and beneficial to the sector. 
  • The Climate Commission has partnered with Nous Group to produce a roadmap providing guidance to UK colleges on how to address the climate crisis. 
  • Commissioner Professor James Longhurst (Assistant Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of England) has published articles on the Commission and how the FHE sector can tackle the climate crisis. 

March 2020 Updates

  • The Climate Commissioners have been consulting with the Council on a draft statement on offsetting for the sector. The Climate Commission will develop additional guidance for institutions on offsetting taking on the comments from the Council. 
  • Using the statement, the Climate Commission partner organisations (AoC, EAUC, GuildHE & UUK) will now continue this dialogue and consensus building with their memberships.
  • Offsetting Statement: "The Climate Commission believes offsetting should be seen as a last resort for residual emissions where all other possible action has been taken using the principles of the Carbon Management Hierarchy of avoid, reduce, replace and offset. The Climate Commission foresee that offsetting will have a role as the sector moves towards net-zero emissions. The Climate Commission consider that offsetting may be higher in the early stages where institutions have ambitious targets but would expect these to scale down as measures are implemented and institutions move from net zero to zero emissions”.

February 2020 Updates

  • The Climate Commissioners had a planning meeting on 11th February. Along with the Institutional Commissioners we welcomed the Student Commissioners to the group. Each partner organisation as a Student Commissioner as well as an Institutional Commissioner. This is to ensure that the student voice is at the heart of the Climate Commission.
  • Our FE Student Commissioners are: Amy Brazier & Joshua Setford, Students, Portsmouth College, AoC representatives.
  • The Commissioners discussed the 5 priorities in further detail in preparation for the virtual evidence gathering events. 

January 2020 Updates

  • Student Commissioners have been appointed to work alongside the institutional Commissioners. This reflects equality within the Climate Commission and the determination to listen to students and ensure we have clear and cohesive actions. 
  • We are delighted to announce more institutions have now joined the Climate Commission Council – we have 85 in total with 61 institutional leaders and 24 students making up the Council.
  • We have provided free Carbon Literacy training to students from the Council. They are now empowered and equipped to influence their fellow students as well as senior management within their institution.
  • We have agreed the vision and mission as well as a Target Statement for the Climate Commission so we have a clear way ahead.
  • We have listed the top priorities for the Climate Commission.
  • We will have 5 virtual evidence gathering events over the coming 6 months for the sector to input into. Please book your place now.
  • Progress continues on our Scope 3 work and you can find out more about this here. We will soon be launching: a sector wide programme for Carbon Literacy training; and a travel tool to assist with conscious travel decisions. 

Who is representing the Further Education Sector?

Commissioners will provide direction and leadership to the Commission’s work, act as the visible face of the Commission and play a role in building engagement and consensus within the sectors involved. The Commissioners will work with a wider Council that will advise and support their work.
The Council will be made up of Students and Vice Chancellors or Principals from institutions that have agreed to be part of and contribute to the Commission. We seek to ensure this groups reflects sector diversity.  As well as being supported by the Council, the Commissioners will seek advice from Expert Witnesses, Sustainability Professionals and Observers to inform their activities.

The Further Education sector is represented across these groups. 

Climate Commissioners 

·       Steve Frampton, President, Association of Colleges 
·       Amy Brazier, Student, Portsmouth College 
·       Joshua Setford, Student, Portsmouth College 
Steering Group 

·       Ian Munro, Director, Association of Colleges 

Council Members 
Barnet & Southgate College                         
Basingstoke College of Technology            
Bridgend College                                       
Brooksby Melton College
Cambridge Regional College
Capel Manor College
City of Glasgow College
Dumfries and Galloway College
Dundee and Angus College
Fife College
Fircroft College
Gloucestershire College
Hereford College of Arts
Kingston Maurward College
Manchester Metropolitan University
Portsmouth College
Rose Bruford College
Stockton Riverside College


Delivered by EAUC