Borders College, Forth Valley and West Lothian Colleges, in collaboration with the EAUC Alliance, have been selected as a finalist in the Green Gown UK and Ireland awards for Sustainability Leadership in Education, Creating Impact category.
Despite being among the smallest FE institutions in Scotland and lacking dedicated sustainability staff, the three colleges devised an innovative strategy to bolster their sustainability efforts. In 2022, they successfully secured additional support by appointing a Sustainability Project Manager, whose responsibilities and expenses are shared collaboratively by the three colleges.
The introduction of the Sustainability Project Manager has proven instrumental in enhancing sustainability practices and policies at the colleges, significantly broadening their scope and ambition. With additional resources and expertise, the manager facilitated the successful acquisition of funding for crucial campus decarbonisation projects via the Scottish Green Public Sector Estate Decarbonisation Scheme. Furthermore, they spearheaded the development of comprehensive Net Zero Plans, outlining concrete actions to achieve the ambitious goal of net-zero emissions.
The partnership’s work across multiple institutions has been particularly beneficial as this has allowed for experience and knowledge to be shared, whilst making use of resources efficiently. Based on its success, CSSCP is planning to continue the partnership and EAUC is exploring similar partnerships with other institutions.
Director of Facilities and Estates at Borders College, Robert Hewitt, commented:
"The partnership has been instrumental in driving us forward on our sustainability journey, in 2022/23 we were the recipients of a Green Gown Award and an International Green Gown award as a direct result of the works undertaken within the partnership.
"We are delighted to be nominated again, climate change is a huge challenge facing us all. This is a great example of what we can achieve collectively."
Charlotte Bonner, CEO of EAUC, said:
“The Green Gown Awards are one of the most prestigious ways we recognise impactful and innovative sustainability practices across the further and higher education sectors. They’re not our awards – they’re for the sector, delivered collaboratively in partnership in the UK and globally.
“In a space where greenwash and sustainability marketing has become prolific, the sector-led, peer-reviewed structure of the Green Gown Awards ensures they’re meaningful, transparent, and authentic. We know that the excitement and pride that comes from being a finalist is a great springboard for institutions to engage more people in their sustainability work.
“But the value of the Green Gown Awards is beyond the individual organisations that are nominated. We look forward to sharing stories about our finalists’ work - providing inspiration, demonstrating impact, and learning from lessons learned along the way.”
The awards will take place at the ceremony to be held in November.
- Borders College was also recently announced as a winner in the 2023 International Green Gown Awards in the Climate Action Category.
- For more information on the Green Gown Awards 2023 and who else has been nominated, please visit 2023 Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland Finalists | Green Gown Awards