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Climate challenge

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Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the planet. Leicester College has declared a climate emergency and is committed to tackling this issue in whatever ways we can.

We have signed up to the Race to Zero for universities and colleges and have made a commitment to becoming a net-zero organisation by 2030. We are working to the Climate Commission and Nous Group Climate Action Roadmap for UK FE Colleges. This roadmap provides a framework based on good practice to help us reach net zero emissions, to embed sustainability into our future plans and to promote and encourage a commitment to work to combat climate change among our students, staff and stakeholders.

We publish regular statements and reports that relate to climate challenge, which you can read here. You can find out more about what we are doing to address the climate emergency in Leicester over the coming months by checking back to this site.

What have we already done

  • Electricity supplied to the College is green. It is provided by a supplier that guarantees zero emissions through the generation of electricity by renewal sources (hydro/wave, solar, and wind).
  • We have introduced a hybrid working policy that enables staff – where practical – to work on site and at home. This will realise a reduction in staff on site at any one time, leading to a decrease in energy consumption, as well as carbon reductions from travel to site.
  • Staff and students have access to free bike MOTs on all campuses, 3 times a year.
  • Staff are able to purchase bikes through a salary sacrifice scheme to help reduce car usage.
  • Free bike D locks are given to students to encourage cycling.
  • We use the Smartgo Green Travel discount hub for public transport. Staff use this hub to benefit from reduced bus fares from all the bus companies in Leicester and many staff use this portal.
  • Interest free loans are offered to staff to purchase bus and train season tickets.
  • A staff intercampus minibus was setup in 2012 with the help of a grant from Leicester City Council. Each year staff were making 12,500 – 13,000 trips saving about 1.2 tonne of CO2 emissions a year in a low emission vehicle. Due to the pandemic the service is not currently running however staff are encouraged to use Teams for meetings and travel between sites only when necessary.

In our on-site refectories we:

  • sell Fairtrade teas, coffee, and chocolate
  • recycle of used cooking oil, glass wear and clear plastic cutlery
  • ensure that sandwiches bought in are packed in plastic free packaging
  • have removed polystyrene from take away containers. Now only recyclable containers are used
  • send food waste to an anaerobic digester plant – bio generator
  • use local suppliers to reduce food miles – LIFE (local, independent, fair, ethical) with a 50-mile radius where possible
  • buy in season food and vegetables, where possible
  • use Red Tractor meat and MSC approved or sustainably sourced fish
  • wherever possible, remove food items that contain palm oil or use products that contain sustainable palm oil.
  • offer ‘use your own cup’ incentives.

Objectives for 2021/22

  • Continuing progress with the AoC sustainability roadmap
  • Recruiting a new Sustainability Officer to help with delivering objectives
  • Driving through CO2 emission reductions through careful management of the Building Management Systems across College.
  • Engaging students and staff through a sustainability questionnaire and interpreting results accordingly.
  • Working on a Feasibility Study for a T level Construction building delivering this to a BREEAM Excellent level.
  • Developing a sustainability/carbon reduction policy.
  • Establishing a task and finish group to look at sustainability in curriculum areas and in the wider personal and social development curriculum.
  • Curriculum and Student Services working together to embed a series of sustainability-based projects for students.
  • Implementing delivery staff training to support knowledge and understanding of embedding sustainability
  • Exploring a specific sustainability curriculum, linked to LMI.
  • Upskilling within the estates team on measuring Scope 3 emissions and reporting on these within annual report.
  • Producing an annual streamlined carbon usage report and ensure visibility.
  • Obtaining annual Display Energy Certificates (DECs) for buildings and acting on any findings.
  • Reducing waste tonnage produced by College and increasing the amount of this diverted from landfill.
  • Helping to deliver events with Student Union to engage students on subject.
  • Setting the College’s Net Zero date.
  • Working with local partners on delivering the Net Zero agenda.
  • Continuing to provide a diverse menu in College refectories and promoting meat free alternatives where applicable.
  • Report on carbon savings made via the College’s current renewable options.
  • Helping to embed Sustainable Development Goals within curriculum delivery
  • Working with departments within College to understand their contribution towards Net Zero.