We all have a role to play in creating an eco-friendly College.
With around 22,000 students and 1,200 staff, the impact of our establishment on the environment cannot be ignored. This is why we have invested £1million in making sustainability a key priority.
In March 2012 we published our Carbon Management Plan, developed in conjunction with the Carbon Trust. Our aim is to reduce our carbon footprint by 25% over a five-year period.
To help us make this target a reality, we’ve invested in:
- A biomass boiler
- Rainwater harvesting
- Solar thermal panels
- Solar PV panels
- Proximity sensors, meaning that the lights in College buildings only come on when someone enters the room
- Low energy lighting
- Voltage optimization, decreasing our electrical supply to around 220V
- Installing more sophisticated heating and ventilation control systems
We recycle 70% of the College's office waste and are now segregating more and more faculty waste for recycling, including metal, wood and other materials.
We've increased our use of recycled paper by 50%, whilst also decreasing our printing and photocopying levels by around 7 million copies per year.
We've also put in place a scheme to collect food waste.
Our refectories, coffee shops and training restaurants all promote Fair Trade and source ingredients and products locally.
2015 is a big year for Bristol, as it takes on the title of European Green Capital. We’re taking an active role in a range of events throughout the year designed to celebrate our city achieving this prestigious status.
We hope to become one of Bristol’s key sources for inspiration, partnership and collaborative working and to provide an environmental shop window for small and large business alike.
We’ve also developed the 2015 Sustainability Plan with the assistance of Go Green. Their ‘Go Green Tool’ allows organisations to record their green activities and future plans. It also produces a set of documents to help us travel along the Go Green pathway of: ‘Say it’, ‘Do it’, ‘Prove it’.
We are now proud to accept the Bristol Pound as a method of payment.
The Bristol Pound is the UK’s first city-wide local currency, the first to have electronic accounts managed by a regulated financial institution, and the first that can be used to pay some local taxes. It is run as a not-for-profit partnership between the Bristol Pound Community Interest Company and Bristol Credit Union.
Staff, students and any other members of the public can now purchase refreshments from our training restaurant at College Green using the Bristol Pound. We will look at rolling this out College-wide after this initial trial.
We would encourage all our staff and students to use alternative forms of transport when travelling to and from our centres.
To make travel by bike easier for everyone, we’ve invested in secure bike lockers and locks at our centres. Our Bike Users’ Group also exists to enable cyclists to share information and ideas, whilst giving cyclists a collective voice to request other improvements.
We are also putting other green travel initiatives in place, including a car-sharing scheme, alternative fuel transport, pool cars system and bus travel discount.
We know that procurement is one of the most important factors to think about when trying to minimise an organisation’s environmental impact. When selecting our suppliers, we always think about:
- What kind of materials they use to make their goods
- Where they source their materials
- Whether they have any eco-certification or any awards
- What their travel plans are
South Bristol Skills Academy
South Bristol Skills Academy, our flagship centre serving the South of Bristol, won the 2011 Bristol Civic Society Environmental Award. The eco-friendly building, which was designed specifically for its efficient use of energy with minimum waste, has so far:
- Harvested 1,127,000 litres of rainwater
- Saved 530 tonnes of CO2 with a biomass boiler
- Generated 25kw of heat using solar panels
We are proud of our eco-credentials, but we know there is always more work to be done.