Sustainability is an important priority for South Devon College and we encourage staff, students and our wider community to play their part in creating a healthy and environmentally friendly culture. Sustainability crosses in to all areas of our activity and as a college we are concerned with:
- Security of the environment, economy and society for present and future generations
- Raising awareness of human actions that threaten the natural environment
- Enabling people whoever they are to live satisfying lives without harming the planet
- Living and learning with the understanding that all aspects of life are connected
- Understanding that social and environmental well-being for all are both essential if we are to lead healthy and peaceful lives.
Our key objectives support a sustainable approach to all that we do and this supports our strategic aims and college mission and will be achieved through a combination of sustainable environmental, economic and social practices.
Responding to the global ecological problems and accompanying economic and social challenges, we are working to promote various sustainability initiatives to engage with our learners, staff and the wider community.
The college has a well established Sustainability Group whose members include staff and students who meet regularly to identify and share best practice and generate and consider new ideas and initiatives.
South Devon College is leading the way with a number of important initiatives including:
The Energy Centre
In February 2011 the college opened Phase 1 of its Energy Centre, a dynamic partnership facilitated by college bringing together key partners in a visionary project to kick start the green economy in Torbay and South Devon.
Phase 2 of the project has been allocated £1.2m of funding from the first round of bidding to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to develop a new regional ‘Energy Centre’ to meet the growing demand for high quality accredited training in renewable energy and sustainable building and construction.
Further Education Carbon Management
South Devon College is one of the first colleges to sign up in 2011 for the Further Education Carbon Management (FECM) programme, a pioneering Service from the Carbon Trust that aims to help the FE sector to reduce its carbon footprint, save money, and prepare for new and existing climate change legislation.
Recycling is encouraged throughout the main College campus, and at College centres around Torbay, South Hams and Teignbridge. Approximately 80% of the waste produced by South Devon College is sorted and recycled leaving only 20% to go to landfill. The college even has a dedicated area in its staff stationery department offering stationery for re-use from within college.
Our Award Winning University Centre building incorporated sustainability in a prominent way in the design and build process which has lead to the incorporation of rainwater recycling, solar panels and exposed concrete soffits to allow free cooling with night cooling augmented by automatic opening vents all leading to the achievement of a BREEAM rating of excellent.
South Devon College was closely involved in the construction of a low carbon footprint structure at a high profile local organic farm. The building was constructed by college students using straw bales set on recycled car tyres filled with crushed stone to form the damp proof layer; these were then placed on the compacted stone foundations. The timber used on the project was sourced locally from Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust’s own woodlands in Devon. Over 4000 hours of staff and student time were dedicated to this project resultingin a building used as an Education Centre which is the hub for school visits and adult education classes
Go Green Week
At South Devon College we celebrate and support this initiative to raise awareness and understanding of the issues affecting sustainability and how we can all make a difference.
Fairtrade – South Devon College has formally received “Fairtrade” accreditation which means we officially use and promote Fairtrade products on our premises as well as actively promoting the Fairtrade movement with students, staff and the wider community. Working with Torbay Fairtrade Group, South Devon College Catering and Retail services have significantly increased the number of Fairtrade products available while other areas of the college have also been encouraged to look at Fairtrade products, for example clothing and sports goods.