Sustainability at South Devon College
Sustainability is a key priority for South Devon College. We are committed to raising awareness and the implementation of sustainable practices in all aspects of College life.
But what does sustainability mean?
We have broken it down into 3 areas:
This is the most talked about aspect of sustainability by our students. Environmental Sustainability is “the conservation of natural resources and the reduction of human activities that impact on our ecosystems.” The environmental impact of human activity.
This means working towards creating a greener, cleaner, Net Zero economy that provides decent jobs and improves quality of life for all.
Did you know that we generate 60,000 KW per year from the Roof of our Paignton Campus alone? That’s enough energy to type on a laptop for 1.2 million hours (almost 137 years) or play on a games console for 300,000 hours (over 34 years).
The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals) demonstrate and support examples of social sustainability that include Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality amongst others. The SDG’s are incorporated into our strategy and run throughout the college, linking to our policies. The SDG’s combine social aspects of justice & equality, alongside the environment and economy.
By buying and supporting sustainable goods and services, and efficiently managing our resources, we can lower our carbon emissions, reduce waste and limit pollution. Considering the life cycle of what we use and how we use it, can benefit not only our organisation, but create positive and innovative social, environmental and economic outcomes.
To reduce disposable/take away cups we introduced a levy on drinks served in disposable cups, with profits of this going to support sustainability ideas/projects. We also encouraged the use of Coffee Cups through our “loyalty cup scheme” that offers a discount for reusing our College branded cups. Disposable paper coffee cups have been removed and replaced with compostable alternatives.
We invest in sustainable alternatives each year and our LED lighting upgrade is close to completion across our Paignton Campus
We are committed to continuously improving our sustainability approach, through the promotion of environmental awareness and responsibility, and embedding sustainability principles across the College. Sustainability leads are appointed within our governor and leadership teams to ensure that this remains a key focus.
The College Sustainability Curriculum Working Group and Sustainability Board meet on a regular basis to discuss cross-college activity, share ideas, consider current issues and the effects of our activities on, not just college, but all of our lives and futures.
We have a green campus where we maintain and monitor the trees/species that we share it with and take these into consideration in everything that we do.
We have recently launched a 10 year strategy to show our commitment, below are a series of links to documents including the strategy. Our mission statement is “putting sustainability at the heart of what we do and making a decade of change.”
If you have any ideas or initiatives, or any feedback in general please contact me on [email protected]
Matt Green – Sustainability Lead, South Devon College
- Our University Centre building incorporates 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 ‘Excellent’ rating
- We have a successful 100% ‘zero to landfill’ Recycling programme in place
- Wood chippings from the Construction block are used by the animal care department for bedding
- We have signed the SDG accord
- Our Greenhouse Café is meat and plastic free and showcases the latest in Vegan/vegetarian offerings
- We are raising awareness by embedding sustainability into all of our tutorial programmes
- Regular litter picks and beach cleans are undertaken by staff and students
- We engage with studies of local wildlife (particularly in the marine environment)
- Our Leadership team attend regular regional/national meetings to ensure we are kept up to date with this fast moving, important agenda
We have recently launched our Sustainability Strategy. This is a 10 year plan putting sustainability at the heart of what we do and making a decade of change.
The target for our strategy in 2030 is to Achieve a Net Zero Carbon Footprint from the College Estate and attain/embed the Sustainable Development Goals at all levels across the organisation.
Take a look at our most recent newsletter here and discover our Go Green Week activities, steps taken to reduce paper usage, Sustainability Group updates and interesting facts.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030.
If you want a deeper understanding of how seriously we take sustainability here at the College, read our Sustainability Policy below: