Pictured above from left to right are Borders College staff, David Lowe(Assistant Principal ‑ STEM & Sustainability), Robert Hewitt (Facilities Manager), Andrew Kirkness (Assistant Principal - Finance)
Borders College is celebrating success once again after being announced as a winner at this year’s prestigious Green Gown Awards 2022 in the 2030 Climate Action category.
The College submitted its application based on the project ‘Our Sustainability Journey’, which emphasises the fantastic initiatives that have been developed or are ongoing, aimed at tackling climate change head-on.
At the beginning of the 20/21 academic year, Borders College embarked on an ambitious project to develop a new Sustainability Strategy in response to the Scottish Government’s commitment to be a net zero country by 2045.
The objectives were to implement good sustainable sector practice, influence positive sustainable behaviours across the community, adopt ethical, sustainable social practices in their operations and promote sustainable innovation and technological breakthroughs with stakeholders.
Through various groundbreaking projects and initiatives relating to the underpinning themes of Behavioural Change, Circular Economy and Global Citizenship, the College has become sector-leading in many areas, and these were recognised by the Green Gown judges.
Through Travel and Transport, the College is developing a new sustainable travel plan, working with community partners to help redesign the public transport offering across the region.
The remit for waste management and recycling is being redefined to minimise inherent waste streams, while collaborating with stakeholders to identify how they can share expertise and capitalise on consolidating these streams.
Through the curriculum, the College is aiming to embed sustainable development into every course by 2025. This includes delivering a number of green energy courses and launching sustainability modules created in partnership with the Verdancy Group.
The launch of the Sustainability Academy has seen four main projects take off, including Natural Capital Entrepreneurship Training, Carbon Literacy, Land Estates and the Green Recovery Supply Chain.
Biodiversity is also on the agenda and work has already begun, which will support the development of a biodiversity plan with actions to be progressed by 2025.
Building on the success of the College’s Waste Water Heating System, for which they were winners at the 2017 Green Gown Awards, the Carbon Management project will look at opportunities to mitigate further carbon reductions, expanding on the current waste water system and solar technology.
The College’s Procurement System aims to provide environmentally and financially sustainable excellence in our supply chain, while their Behavioural Change group will reach out to not only staff and students but also their families, the wider region and beyond by supporting, endorsing and promoting sustainable projects.
Jane Grant, Executive Director ‑ Enterprise and Business Innovation, commented:
“A lot of great work goes on at Borders College in helping to reduce the carbon footprint and tackle climate change, so it is fantastic news that we have been announced as a winner at the prestigious Green Gown 2022 Awards. As a College committed to sustainability, we will continue to promote sustainable behaviours through ongoing projects and endeavour to have a positive influence throughout the region and beyond.“