NESCol pledges support to sector’s climate commitment

May 17, 2021

NESCol has joined colleges across Scotland in pledging to play an active role in tackling climate change.

A statement of commitment has gained support from across the sector and was officially launched today.

The Scottish Government declared a climate emergency in 2019 and vowed to speed up efforts to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Since then, Scotland’s colleges and their boards have responded at individual institutional level by addressing a range of environmental issues.

Now, as Scotland looks forward to hosting the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November, colleges have come together to establish and commit collaboratively to delivering on the following set of 10 key actions:

  1. Support Scotland’s efforts to achieve net-zero climate emissions by 2045 or earlier if possible, with Scotland’s colleges aiming to achieve net-zero by 2040 or earlier.
  2. Embed environmental sustainability in our institutional strategies and set measurable targets.
  3. Address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in our strategies.
  4. Share best practice within and beyond the college/university sector.
  5. Deploy our expertise and experience to combat climate change.
  6. Contribute to public debate on climate change and use the power of our example to encourage others.
  7. Work with Scottish industry, employers, public sector bodies and others to improve working practices and find practical solutions to climate change and to make our planet safe for future generations
  8. Encourage where appropriate, colleges to adopt the UK HE/FE Climate Commission’s ‘Climate Action Roadmap for FE Colleges’.
  9. Each college will publish action plans to address on-campus and supply chain emissions, setting out what steps they will take over a five-year horizon and beyond where possible, and what they aim to achieve to address the climate emergency.
  10. Educating staff, students, employers and communities on the impact their daily lives and working practices have on the environment/climate. While working with our partners, local employers and communities to ensure everyone is aware of their personal responsibility to our planet.

Members of the NESCol Regional Board recently endorsed the College’s support for the sector-wide commitment.

NESCol Principal Neil Cowie said: “We are proud to play a leading role in the region’s move towards net zero. Operationally the College’s environmental responsibilities are at the centre of our plans for a sustainable future and, from a learning and training perspective, we are excited about the opportunities to help build a workforce with the skills to deliver the North East’s ambitions in energy transition and renewables.

“By joining Scotland’s colleges in making a formal commitment to addressing climate change we are underlining the determination within NESCol and the sector as a whole to make positive change. It is a crucial issue for our students, staff and the communities we serve.”

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