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Sustainability

Our college is a sustainable community.

 

Actions and activities taken on by the college range from resource efficiencies to the development of courses geared to the skills needs of environmental industries.

 

Over five years the College Management Team has worked with students, staff and stakeholders to make sustainability core to Warwickshire College. We have already achieved significant improvements to our environmental performance.

 

With our six centres we have recognised we have a long and complex
journey towards sustainability, so there are
four strands to our approach.

 

  1. Exposing students to 'sustainability' through the curriculum and embedding sustainability in the college culture.
  2. Make sustainability key in management decisions.
  3. Improve environmental performance and develop our resource efficiency.
  4. Work with the wider communities to help our sustainable futures.

 

TES FE Awards 2011TES award

Warwickshire College was presented with this national award for 'Outstanding Practice in Sustainability'.

 

Green Gown AwardsGreen gown logo

We have won two Green Gown awards - which recognise exceptional initiatives by higher and further education institutions to become more sustainable. 

 

 

Making sustainability key in management decisions

We are working to Improve environmental performance and developing our resource efficiency, while working with wider communities to help secure our sustainable futures.

Key actions include:

  • Establishing a College Sustainability Group
  • Curriculum enrichment with new courses having sustainability at their centres
  • A curriculum audit and evaluation, and sharing best practice
  • Theme weeks to raise awareness of sustainability
  • Installation of biomass boilers and solar thermal water systems
  • A new recycling strategy as part of a waste management review
  • Development of renewable energy systems, which will provide teaching tools and case studies for demonstration.
  • Reduced paper consumption through web-based course information and duplex printing
  • Working with the wider community on sustainability

 

Next steps on our journey include:

  • Establishing a short-rotation coppice willow to fuel biomass boilers (including our own)
  • Anaerobic digestion plant to be installed to utilise waste from intensive dairy herd
  • Further developing the curriculum offer to meet the need for training in green technology.

 

Some of the sustainability initiatives undertaken and their results to date:

We have built a Power Academy at the new Rugby centre to focus on renewable energy.

 

A 20% reduction in the costs for the purchase of paper up until April 2009 compared to the previous year’s costs.  It is clear from the data from reprographics that more than half of the 20% saving can be attributed to duplex printing as standard, increased use of the Virtual Learning Environment, and the use of email to circulate minutes.

 

A more efficient waste management strategy has been developed:

A 20% reduction in general waste collections over the last two years.
Recycling at each centre is centrally co-ordinated and currently 12.5% of our total waste across all six centres being recycled.  For 08/09 this figure is expected to increase to 25% following the introduction of a new recycling scheme.

 

Installation of a 220kW wood chip boiler to upgrade the glasshouse resource for horticulture at the Pershore centre effectively reduces carbon emissions saving 738 tonnes of carbon per annum.  A 150kW wood chip boiler was installed at the Moreton Morrell centre to heat residential areas which generates savings of 94 tonnes of carbon per annum.

 

Fair trade and consideration of food miles in refectories at each site. For example all tea, coffee and hot chocolate served either over the counter or via vending machines is fair trade. Meat is purchased from a local butcher who supplies meat sourced within Warwickshire.

 

Sustainable drainage and water management systems have proved successful at two centres.

Water from the roof of the learning resource centre at Pershore is directed to two reservoirs for use as irrigation for the horticulture areas providing a saving of 480m3 from the mains supplier.

 

Storm water has been redirected to a holding reservoir at Moreton Morrell, which has been designed to improve the variety of habitat types and increase biodiversity at the campus.

 

Energy monitoring and management systems. Initiatives to upgrade the horticultural facilities at Pershore and other initiative such as 95% of the college lighting uses low energy bulbs enable us to predict a fall in kW hour per full time student in 08/09.

 

Renewable energies incorporated into new build projects. For example, solar thermal panels have been installed into the new residences at the Leamington centre, providing a saving of 113,000 kW per year which equates to a saving of 22.5 tonnes of carbon every year.

 

Sustainability ‘built in’ to Rugby’s new college (opened 2010)

Rugby’s new building houses around £800,000 worth of sustainable technologies, including:

  • Heat recovery ventilation systems
  • Night time cooling
  • Solar water heating
  • Photovoltaic panels
  • Ground source heating
  • Wind turbine
  • Under-floor heating
  • Condensing boilers
  • Inverter driven motors and pumps
  • Supply of heating and hot water matched perfectly to demand
  • Water saving/control measures
  • Solar gain protection - external shading
  • High efficiency lighting equipment & lamp sources
  • Automatic internal and external lighting controls
  • Power factor correction of electrical systems.

 

 

We are doing better than current legislation requires:

If we just complied with current legislation, we would save 541 tonnes of CO2 per annum.  In fact, our building has been designed to save 615 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

 

The CO2 emission for the design building is 37.31kg CO2/m² compared to 59.47kg CO2/m² for a notional building (an improvement of 37.26% on a typical building).

 

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