Taking positive steps to transform our school community.
Environmental sustainability is not a new consideration for College, as for many years we have been developing a range of sustainable policies, working practices and curriculum links. However, this vital issue is now receiving renewed focus and dedicated resources to accelerate positive change, and I was delighted to join College in the new position of Sustainability Lead last spring.
My initial focus in this first year has been to engage with the whole school community to understand where our priorities lie and to collate ideas from both pupils and staff. This has informed our new Sustainability Strategy which outlines our vision across key areas, from reducing food waste and energy consumption to improving recycling and protecting our biodiversity. College’s commitments not only encompass continual improvements to our own sustainability performance by reducing our direct impact on the environment through operational measures, but also by educating, supporting and inspiring our community to achieve collective impactful change.
As we begin to make progress on our long-term goals, we have already showcased how small changes can also have a significant impact. Whilst we have a long-standing ‘zero-waste-to-landfill’ commitment, new initiatives such as the removal of single-use hot drink cups from our internal catering outlets has helped us to reduce our consumption of disposables by 74%. With the roll-out of a new recycling infrastructure across the site, we have seen a really encouraging increase in the percentage of our waste that is recycled, and we are continually looking at solutions for reuse and reduction schemes. We have even made changes to this very magazine, which is now made from 100% recycled paper with a compostable envelope.
We have some exciting projects planned for the coming year, including the installation of a new Building Management System to enable better control of our energy consumption. At the heart of our approach is always a consideration of both technological interventions, such as the deployment of PV solar panels on the new College Lawn building, alongside a focus on behaviour change initiatives and supporting education work.
Collaboration has also proved fundamental, and we are delighted to be working with two new Sustainability Prefects at College this coming year, Min Fletcher and Ella Brooks, who have chosen to focus on peer engagement, including a dedicated ‘Green Week’ in the Autumn, aiming to inspire all pupils to make a difference to shaping a healthier and fairer planet.
Becoming a truly sustainable school is an ambitious and challenging goal, but I am encouraged by the positive foundations that we have laid this year and am looking forward to discovering what we can achieve as we continue to work together to build a brighter future.
Miss Penny Hall,
Sustainability Lead and Administrator