On Monday 19th July, staff INSET day was dedicated to Sustainability with teaching and support staff from all areas of the college involved, as well as representatives of the student union. Setting the tone for the day was an inspirational keynote address by Steve Frampton OBE, previous AoC President and current Climate Commissioner who explained the importance of sustainability, making a clear link to the climate emergency and outlining colleges’ role in tackling the problem. Steve has been leading on this important agenda for colleges across the country and spoke passionately about the importance of young people being fully engaged and making a difference.
Ian Carr, Assistant Director of Faculty and Chair of the Sustainability Committee, then gave a brief history of ‘sustainable development’ and the student perspective was excellently provided by Manami Imadi, Jack Lockwood and Aaron Firth. Ian then outlined progress that the college had already made towards its aim of being carbon neutral as we aim to be a leading college for sustainability by 2023, paying tribute to Head of Premises, Martin Emery, who has already made great strides in this direction over the past five years. Staff then had time in their departments to consider how they could work more sustainably, incorporate sustainability into the curriculum and whether there is more that the college should be doing. Contributions were discussed and subsequently compiled and will be considered at the next committee meeting. Strong themes that emerged were the need for more recycling, less use of single use plastics and reducing carbon emissions caused by commuting.
Ian Carr commented: “It was great to hear from Steve, whose expertise and natural charisma gave a really positive opening to the session. There is such a broad engagement in this issue across our community and I am glad that the ideas and the discussion on this day will provide the base for many initiatives in the near future.”