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North East Scotland College is committed to environmental, economic and social sustainability, ensuring that the needs of the present do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The College recognises the effect that its activities have on the environment and will incorporate best practice in sustainability management across its operations.

The College will embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals in its teaching, learning and business functions, and will promote the principle of responsible global citizenship across its activities, taking action on poverty, health and wellbeing and equalities.

The principles contained in this Strategy will drive decision-making across the College.

NESCol commits to achieving an emissions target of Net Zero by 2035.

NESCol Sustainability Strategy


Our story so far

Environmental Management System bsi ISO14001

North East Scotland College is bsi ISO14001 accredited for all operations at all sites. An external audit is conducted twice a year to maintain the ISO 14001 standard – the internationally recognised standard for the environmental management of business.

The College is very aware of its educational, organisational and social responsibilities; therefore in promoting environmental sustainability through ISO14001 the College aims to promote knowledge, attitudes and skills that enable all staff and students to make decisions relating to the impact of their actions on the environment.

NESCol has formalised all of its environmental initiatives and improvements by implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS provides a structured framework to assess and manage our environmental impact, and ultimately improve environmental performance in incremental steps.

Complementing the array of College-wide activities, there are also some examples of good-practice happening on each individual campus.

Aberdeen Altens Campus

  • 15 trees planted in 2022
  • 1,180 Solar PV Panels
  • Electric charging points for College vehicles

Aberdeen City Campus

  • District heating network
  • Glazing & cladding project
  • Hydrogen cars
  • 544 Solar PV Panels
  • Electric charging points for College vehicles

Aberdeen Clinterty Campus

  • Full LED Lighting Upgrade
  • 588 Ground Mounted Solar PV Panels

Fraserburgh Campus

  • 130 trees planted in 2022
  • 586 Solar PV Panels
  • Electric charging points for College vehicles
Electric charging points & cars
Multiple occupancy parking spaces
95% Land diversion rate
Centralised Special Waste Uplifts arranged
Cycling infrastructure

Delivering on our pledge

Our pledge will be supported by eight key policy themes:

Behaviour Change

Change behaviours of all staff, students and stakeholders by increasing their understanding of sustainability.

Curriculum Design

Design our curriculum to embed sustainable development practices across all of our programmes of learning.


Generate greater awareness of biodiversity and create new habitats and wildlife opportunities on our campuses.

Carbon Management Plan

Reduce CO2 emissions, with the 2025 target of 50% reduction from a 2018-19 Baseline. Subsequent Plans will drive us towards our 2035 Net Zero commitment.


Reduce carbon emissions arising from transport and travel by building on our sustainable fleet and Travel Plan.

Waste Management

Reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill from our 95% diversion rate in 2022.


Embed sustainable procurement practices into the environmental performance of suppliers and contractors.

Regional Economy

Support energy transition and sustainable development while continuing to meet broader regional skills needs and be seen to lead by example.

Case studies