Supporting Scotland's Climate Week

Recognising and acknowledging a Climate Emergency, City of Glasgow College supports Scotland’s Climate Week (14-20 September) which promotes the message that, by working together, we can end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.

Scotland’s flagship college has been shortlisted in the Climate Emergency Award category at this year’s College Development Network (CDN) Awards.

The CDN Awards are a key event in the sector’s calendar. The award recognises a college that demonstrates leadership in addressing environmental and social sustainability challenges, and in taking action on climate emergency.

The college is currently redrafting its sustainability strategy, not only to align with the Scottish Government target of net-zero emissions by 2045, but also because, as an institution, it wants to focus on how to improve rather than negatively impact on the environment.

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

“The current pandemic is teaching us new ways of working but inevitably has introduced other challenges. We believe that working in partnership with others within and out-with our environment is key to delivering change and we have found huge benefits in doing so.

“We work together with Glasgow Learning Quarter, including other institutions and local communities, to establish solutions in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels for heat and power. Our annual return to the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reporting in November provides evidence that our carbon footprint is reducing.”

The college has also recently invested in equipment to compost an estimated 26 tonnes of food waste per year, on site. The A900 Rocket Composter, from organic waste and waste-to-energy solutions firm, Tidy Planet, will enable the college to process its food waste at source.

It will also reduce the twin site super campus’s carbon emissions – omitting the need for weekly food waste disposal truck visits, which previously collected the material.

“We’re passionate about sustainability and are always searching for innovative ways to close the waste management loop – an ethos which is the driving force behind this investment,” added Fergal.

Having switched to using electric cars for essential journeys, and introduced electric bikes for staff to use to travel between campus buildings, the college vehicle fleet is now all electric with three cars, one van and two forklift trucks. And earlier this year its ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability saw the college achieve Platinum level in Zero Waste Scotland's Resource Efficiency Pledge. The nationwide efficiency pledge scheme is backed by the Scottish Government to help businesses use energy, water and raw materials more efficiently.