NESCol joins global net zero pledge

November 2, 2021

NESCol is one of 1,050 universities and colleges from 68 countries to have pledged to half emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

The global effort was announced as world leaders gathered in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit.

The Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges is an initiative led by EAUC (The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education) and Second Nature with support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Nigel Topping, playing a central role at COP26 as the UK High Level Climate Champion, said: “Education institutions have the power to redesign the future. Not only are universities, colleges and schools committing to ambitious decarbonisation plans; these institutions also have the capacity – and indeed the responsibility – to support and educate our leaders of tomorrow. It’s fantastic to see so many higher education institutions joining Race to Zero and I urge those who are not yet in to commit and take action now.”

Pete Smith, NESCol Vice-Principal Finance and Resource, said: “As one of the largest providers of vocational education and training in Scotland, North East Scotland College puts sustainability at the heart of the curriculum and our operations.

“In addition to developing our own practices, which include connecting the City Campus to Aberdeen’s district heating network and developing an electric and hydrogen fleet, we work closely with industry partners across the North East of Scotland to develop and deliver courses supporting a low carbon economy.

“NESCol is a key player in a range of innovative projects with an environmental focus and is committed to playing a leading role in addressing climate change as part of the wider College sector’s determination to make a positive impact.”

The initiative brings together 334 institutions from the United States, 216 from India and 125 from the United Kingdom as part of the 1,050 to have joined.

Susan Gardner, Director of the Ecosystems Division at UNEP, said: “It is inspiring to see universities and colleges play a positive role in transitioning their institutions to being net zero and nature positive. Young people want to attend universities and colleges that are driving the environmental agenda forward, now the challenge is to scale this great work up from the progressive few to a standard procedure for all.”