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Leeds City College has made concerted efforts to reduce its environmental impact and act in a more sustainable manner.
We have joined 45 other Colleges in the UK participating in the Carbon Trust’s ‘Further Education Carbon Management Programme’ a key output of which is the production of a Carbon Management Plan which sets out a 5 year plan of how the College will meet it’s 35% Carbon Reduction target:
“Leeds City College will reduce the carbon emissions from its activities by 35% from a 2009/2010 baseline of 8372 tonnes CO2 by July 2016”
Our direct energy consumption, waste, water consumption and business travel were responsible for this footprint however the College’s key impacts are not just resources – be it physical or human – used and their associated wastage. Whilst significant, the impact on the future working and private lives of the thousands of students which pass through the College is far greater.
The Carbon Management Plan signals a whole institutional approach to sustainability where every building, purchase and procedure is incrementally reviewed and designed to complement and add value to staff and student teaching and learning.
Leeds City College Strategic Plan – 2011- 2014
The Carbon Management Plan directly contributes to the achievement of strategic aim 4 which states:
- Develop and implement a Carbon Management Plan to meet government targets for carbon emission reductions
- Continue to drive sustainability through all aspects of the College’s activities
- Develop and implement travel and transport strategies to support the curriculum needs and facilitate efficient learning across campuses
The plan will be a central document to which future operational and strategic planning papers will refer and will play an integral role in developing the initial phases of the property strategy which reflects, supports and underpins development with a focus on improved efficiency and utilisation of the College estate.
Several examples of this in practice are as follows:
The Big Dump’ campaign
Internal recycling campaign aimed at staff and students at Leeds City College –June – September 2009.
Collection and recycling of old branded materials from the three former colleges and initiated the recycling ethos cross – campus.
Result – over 5 tonnes of material was recycled resulting in zero landfill de-branding; marketing materials were distributed through local social enterprises and waste exchanges with specific examples of re-use ranging from banners transformed into baby changing mats through a small sewing firm, and used on adventure playgrounds as lining; 100 sports kits also made their way to Kenya after being donated to a Bradford-based charity. This project won the 2010 Leeds City Council Community Pride Awards for ‘Recycling project of the year’.
Conscientious re-direction of the vast quantity of redundant furniture contained in the three sites – summer 2010.
Through an extensive network of contacts in the Leeds and Bradford region diverted 325 tonnes of quantified “waste” items from landfill through recycling, and an un-quantifiable amount of items were re-used within the local community benefiting over 50 community & voluntary sector groups. The project as a whole was achieved with zero waste to landfill.
Introduction of a shared service shuttle bus for staff with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
In its first two months (September – October 2011) the bus received 3000 passengers.
This initiative forms part of the College’s wider travel plan which is seeking to reduce the frequency and reliance on single occupancy car travel by encouraging and promoting the use of more sustainable travel modes.