College says no to single use cups for Climate Week

Ahead of COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November, City of Glasgow College is supporting Scotland’s Climate Week (13-19 September).

This annual event promotes the message that, by working together, we can end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.

City of Glasgow College has an ambitious sustainability strategy which both focuses on how to improve rather than negatively impact on the environment, and aligns with the Scottish Government target of net-zero emissions by 2045.

Supporting Scotland’s Climate Week provides staff and students with the opportunity to put into practice steps to help mitigate the college’s carbon footprint. 

Across a year the college will use an average of 100,000 single use cups so, for Scotland Climate Week 2021, it has introduced a 50p levy to encourage staff and students to use their own cup or mug and help the planet, and their pocket.

Fergal McCauley, Head of Facilities Management at City of Glasgow College and founder of its Environmental Sustainability Working Group, said:

“The last four years have seen our college undertake a variety of initiatives to ensure sustainability is embedded into all that we do. We have invested in industrial scale equipment that allows us to compost our own food waste on site. That’s an estimated 26 tonnes per year.

“Switching to electric vehicles has resulted in a reduction of 4.01 tCO2e in emissions per year. Our annual return to the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reporting shows this investment is paying off as our carbon footprint is reducing.”

The college’s passion for sustainability extends to its supply chain with in-house caterers’ BaxterStorey no longer selling single use plastic bottles, achieving a target of 1.4kg waste reduction per day due to recycling through waste capture, segregation and disposal, while also committing to increased vegan and vegetarian options, reducing meat offerings and eliminating disposable crockery.

Deborah Fagan, Head of Procurement at City of Glasgow College, added:

“We are also ensuring the goods we procure are sourced from companies that match our own sustainability ambitions. For example, we receive kit for our sport and fitness students from a supplier who provides fully recyclable, organic clothing and packaging. Similarly, for our hair and beauty students, we use products by L’Oreal who achieved an “A” in carbon disclosure ratings for climate change, managing water sustainably, and preserving forests for five years running.”