Sustainability And Social Action Framework
Being Green, Lean and Socially Responsible – our philosophy for a sustainable ‘Net Zero’ College of the Future
- Only outstanding college for 30 miles
- One of the fastest growing colleges in the UK
- Pass rates at 99%
- Pearson Gold Award for Leadership
- x17 Beacon Awards for Excellence
- Lloyds Bank Business of the Year 2019
- Queen's Anniversary Award for FE and HE
- National Apprenticeship Award Winner 2022
- TES College of the Year
- TES Principal of the Year
- National Centre of Diversity - Principal of the Year
In England, both the Government (COP26) and the Association of Colleges (AoC) have identified ‘climate change’ as one of the biggest challenges of our time. Colleges, like all organisations have a responsibility to address this and to meet the UK government’s target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
At the same time, our staff and students are also passionate advocates of making a difference to their communities and therefore, we must embed a green, lean and socially responsible approach, in order to sustain the world’s resources, reduce environmental impact and create the vibrant, positive and fairer communities of tomorrow.
This is in line with the Government’s ambition for Net Zero ‘Building Back Greener’, the global vision behind the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals, the AoC’s ‘Green College Commitment’, and the Department for Education’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.
STRAND 1: COLLEGE
Reducing our carbon emissions and embedding a green, lean, socially responsible culture - for students and staff to come together, using strong green leadership, to sustainably work towards becoming a ‘Net Zero’ College of the Future. Our super six sustainability principles:
INFRASTRUCTURE AND CULTURE
Implement a ‘green, lean socially responsible’ culture through strong green leadership, governance, CPD, partnerships and #Let’s Go Zero campaigns. Embed long term sustainable estate investment/management e.g. renewable energy, eco-designs, waste and water management, procurement, biodiversity, with a commitment to work towards ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2050. Create a digital mindset for greater process efficiency and work/life balance. Ensure robust accounting, reporting and audit of ‘Net Zero’ to realise impact - using a ‘Whole College - Whole System’ approach.
BEHAVIOUR AND CONSUMPTION
Create a positive carbon reduction ethos for students and staff and wider stakeholders. Upskill through carbon literacy CPD, events and key messaging e.g. to use less water/waste and energy; switch off lights, computers/screens/printers when not in use; only use air con when necessary; keep doors closed; reduce the amount of food waste/ single use items and unnecessary ordering of consumables by each faculty/department. Increase the amount of recycling, reduce printing with robust implementation and monitoring to work towards ‘Net Zero’ across all campuses.
GREEN SKILLS AND CAREERS
Play an anchor role through working with employers to deliver the green curriculum of the future to meet green skills priorities. Upskill staff and students in carbon literacy, higher technical skills and wider sustainability and social action. Raise awareness of inclusive green careers through hands on immersion events looking at future technologies, e.g., auto electrification, smart systems/materials, artificial intelligence, robotics etc - to see how they are shaping sustainable construction, manufacture, logistics, retail, business administration, patient care and public services.
SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERSHIPS
Choose and upskill suppliers who meet our high standards regarding their own ‘Net Zero’ and wider sustainability/social action practices. Ensure compliance and foster a collaborative green, lean socially responsible culture, to create a circular economy. Engage in smart purchasing/order scheduling to reduce carbon footprint, using less deliveries/packaging etc - and bulk ordering where possible
Support staff, students, employers and wider stakeholders to engage in social action to undertake community activities to build stronger fairer communities - working with those most at need. Encourage educational projects which improve biodiversity (both urban as well as rural), and protect the environment e.g., using beach cleans. Ensure robust measurement of social value to realise impact.
Reduce the numbers of single journeys undertaken by governors, staff and students. Use of alternative transportation including walking, bikes, public transport, carpool (COVID permitting). Use of Teams meetings etc for meetings/collaboration
STRAND 2: CAREERS
Upskilling to create the green change makers of the future. Working with employers and stakeholders to level up and champion inclusive green careers – so all learners prosper from a vibrant, progressive green economy. Cascade our ‘green, lean, socially responsible’ ethos, across all curriculum areas, and at all levels.
“Everyone must be given the chance to train, upskill and retrain for the green economy”
David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges
STRAND 3: COMMUNITY
Our commitment to support community and social action …
Supporting our community to grow and thrive using social action projects, where students and staff work collaboratively - using green, lean and socially responsible principles, to create more sustainable, fairer neighbourhoods.
OUR ETHOS IN ACTION
<p>The Weston College Business Awards are tomorrow! It is time for our final employer award article, looking into our Sustainable Partner of the Year nominees.</p>
<p>Our finalists for this awards are: Airbus, Bristol Airport and Burnham and Weston Energy.</p>
<p>Good luck to all that have been nominated! Award winners will be announced on Thursday 15th June. Stay updated by following our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages or by following #WestonCollegeBusinessAwards2023.</p>
<p>This week, Weston College have hosted two events focusing on sustainability; a Community Beach Clean on Monday 24th April and a Sustainability Conference on Thursday 26th April.</p>
<p>Both events’ main aim was to educate those in attendance on the importance of sustainability, through interactivity, guest talks and informative resources.</p>
<p>The <a href="https://www.weston.ac.uk/news/community-beach-clean-event">Beach Clean</a> was open to staff and students, but also to members of the community to work towards a cleaner environment. This event was very kindly funded by <a href="https://www.burnhamandwestonenergy.co.uk/">Burnham & Weston Energy</a>, meaning all necessary equipment could be provided to help make this event as accessible as possible! The clean was a huge team effort of volunteers from the college and community, to help with the restoration and preservation of our coastlines, and acting as a fun and engaging way to raise awareness about environmental issues.</p>
<p>Alongside the actual beach clean element of this event, there were also several stands set up in the Tropicana where students and the public could learn more. <a href="https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/">North Somerset Council</a>’s Waste and Recycling team, as well as their Energy team had stands at the <a href="http://tropicanaweston.co.uk/">Tropicana</a>, on hand and ready to inform and engage in meaningful conversations with the community.</p>
<p>Following the theme throughout the week, the Weston College Sustainability Conference took place at the Winter Gardens Pavilion, with learners from the college and UCW, as well as employers in attendance. Burnham & Weston Energy’s Lynda Wookey provided the keynote speech, focused on Community Energy to contribute towards the development of the college’s sustainability strategy for the future.</p>
<p>Employers who work closely with the college also dotted stalls throughout the ballroom, including North Somerset Council, <a href="https://www.chillicharity.org.uk/">Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity</a> and <a href="https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/">Garden Organic</a>. The stalls, similar to the beach clean, were able to bring interactive games and resources to engage the attendees in learning about environmental issues. Our <a href="https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/courses-16-18-year-olds/trave… and Tourism</a> learners had their own stall on the Future of Sustainable Transport in Weston, which acted as fantastic experience in interacting with new people and presenting their own ideas.</p>
<p>Following this, the attendees were treated to an insightful Q&A session with panellists including Lynda Wookey (<a href="https://www.burnhamandwestonenergy.co.uk/">Burnham & Weston Energy</a>) Kate Eastment (<a href="https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/">Garden Organic</a>), Joe Tristram (<a href="https://www.cse.org.uk/">Centre for Sustainable Energy</a>), Alexandra Watson (<a href="https://www.michelmores.com/">Michelmores</a>) and Amelia Cruz (<a href="https://www.younity.coop/">Younity</a>), before a student discussion to conclude the event.</p>
<p>Jo Philpott, Vice Principal – Curriculum Delivery & Technical Innovation, commented on the success of the week: “Here at Weston College, we are very committed to our Sustainability and Social Action Framework. This framework, in turn, will help us in building a green, lean and socially responsible culture to create a sustainable and community focused College of the Future.</p>
<p>“Through implementing initiatives such as the Beach Clean and the Conference this week, we are able to engage a huge number of our learners, staff, and the wider community of North Somerset, and play a part in an agile and responsive approach to our community. I am thrilled with the outcome of both events, and look forward to the impact they each have for the future.”</p>
<p><img alt="B&WE Energy Logo" data-align="right" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="12aea88d-978c-4119-b0d0-3bb7dabc5979" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/B%26WE%20Energy%20logo%20dark%20smaller.png" />Weston College and <a href="www.ucw.ac.uk">University Centre Weston</a> are teaming up to host a community beach clean event on<strong> April 24th from 11am-3pm</strong>, funded by Weston and Burnham Energy. </p>
<p>The event aims to bring together members of the community to work towards a cleaner, more sustainable environment.</p>
<p>Several groups of learners from Weston College and University Centre Weston will be joining forces to support the community by cleaning the beach. The event will provide a fun and engaging way to educate and raise awareness about environmental issues, while also providing an opportunity for everyone to take action and make a difference.</p>
<p>The community beach clean event will take place on Weston beach, with all necessary equipment provided, including gloves and bags.</p>
<p>The event will also feature several stands set up in the <a href="http://tropicanaweston.co.uk/">Tropicana</a>, where students and the public can learn more about sustainability.</p>
<p>Visitors can expect to see stands from <a href="https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/">North Somerset Council</a>'s Waste and Recycling team, as well as their Energy team. There will also be a litter-picking game, a demo on ‘60 things to reuse plastic for’, a plastic workshop, and a stand on how to grow your own food.</p>
<p>Sir Paul Phillips, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for members of the community to come together and make a positive impact on our local environment.</p>
<p>“At Weston College we are passionate advocates of making a difference to the community and therefore, we embed a green, lean and socially responsible approach, in order to sustain the world’s resources, reduce environmental impact and create the vibrant, positive and fairer communities of tomorrow.”</p>
<p>There is no need to pre-register for this event, just go to the <strong>Tropicana </strong>in Weston-super-Mare, on <strong>Monday 24th April, 11:00am – 3:00pm</strong>. <a href="https://www.weston.ac.uk/event/community-sustainability-event-weston-be… here to find out more about the event.</a></p>