The College’s Sustainability Committee has identified six areas of activity upon which to base the College’s approach to sustainability. These are: education and awareness; energy management; transport; waste and recycling; protection of natural habitats; and accreditation.
Education and awareness
We offer a variety of courses that promote sustainable approaches to (for example) land management, low carbon technologies and energy conservation. However, to reach all students our tutorial programme encourages discussion and innovation among students about approaches to sustainability.
Regular staff newsletters offer opportunities for staff to become involved and make sustainable choices in their personal and work practices. Training opportunities promote eco-friendly practices among business support and teaching staff, including the use of Skype to reduce travel and Office 365 training to reduce paper usage and energy consumption.
Where practical, the College encourages visitors, suppliers and partners to adopt sustainable approaches.
The College aims to ensure all new buildings achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘excellent’ rating, and we are working to upgrade older buildings so that they are brought up to modern standards of energy efficiency.
Energy management and monitoring systems that have been installed improve the ability to measure and reduce energy consumption on different sites and individual buildings. We also review energy suppliers on a regular basis and consider low-carbon energy suppliers where costs allow.
We welcome any suggestions from staff and students to reduced energy consumption.
With 3 campuses and some staff members who exercise mobile working, we aim to work in the most efficient manner possible to reduce the need for multiple trips and vehicles, and offer alternatives to travel such as video conferencing and telephone meetings.
We have an ambition to convert our fleet of vehicles to battery electric, but at present assess the carbon emissions of vehicles in procurement exercises, and review approaches to sustainability of transport providers.
Waste and recycling
We have invested in non-biodegradable resources, such as compostable VegWare in all food outlets, in order to reduce single-use plastics.
Students, staff and visitors are encouraged to recycle waste and there are recycle bins in all corridors and offices. In addition to this, we are now recycling the following items for good causes:
Waste management suppliers and potential suppliers are selected partly on their success at increasing the proportion of College waste that is recycled or composted.
Protection of natural habitats
We take a responsible approach to the habitats that form parts of its estate. A recent example of this was our successful rehoming and creation of a natural corridor for badgers.
Rodway Farm situated on our Cannington campus complies with the Common Agricultural Policy, including having ecological focus areas and following crop diversification rules. The farm also follows good practice in protecting soil structure and improving water retention capacity. The farm actively engages in hedge laying and woodland creation activities every year.
Staff and students will be encouraged to protect the natural habitats on site and enjoy these and students are encouraged to take part in activities that promote the maintenance of natural habitats, such as Duke of Edinburgh Awards and litter-picking or beachcleaning activities
Bridgwater & Taunton College is seeking accreditation for its approaches to sustainability, both to enhance the College’s sustainability reputation and to accelerate the rate of progress the College is able to make in this area.
The College will consider the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Standard and other schemes, and will consider becoming a signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals Accord for the University and College sectors.
To read Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Sustainability Policy click here.