WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) which includes seven colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire has achieved certification to The Planet Mark for a sixth year.
WCG’s total carbon footprint in the year ending July 2019 was 4,312.3 tCO2e, a decrease of 1.5% from the year ending July 2018. The relative carbon footprint was 0.3% tCO2e per staff and student, an increase of 0.3% compared to the year ending July 2018. The company achieved a year-on-year reduction of 6.9% based on a three-year average carbon reduction.
The college group first calculated the carbon footprint of its estate for the year ending July 2013 and set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually. This year’s footprint includes emissions from energy use in buildings, waste disposal, and water use across its eight Colleges.
Steve Malkin, Founder and CEO of The Planet Mark, said: “As WCG expands, it’s a great pleasure to see its sustainable principles expand too. As one of the largest groups of further and adult education institutions in the country, the group is primed to empower all of its students with a sustainable mindset. To do this, the foundations of climate action must be at the core of the group’s actions, and the work of their team show this is the case.”
Roger Bevan, Chief Finance Officer at WCG, said: “To receive the recognition of The Planet Mark for a sixth successive year is fantastic news for the college group. It is evidence of our long-term commitment to driving down the carbon footprint across each of our seven colleges.
It’s crucial that all organisations play their part in addressing this global issue and continue to dedicate time to increasing sustainability, even in the unprecedented circumstances like we have faced this year.”
Certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability within its business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint and engaging its stakeholders.
The education sector has a tremendous opportunity to shape the sustainable agenda for future generations. As well as the sector’s opportunity to provide direct training and education for the growing number of green jobs in forward-thinking economies, a wider awareness of sustainability is vital for climate action across the nation. Educational institutions have the opportunity to create a broad culture change and challenge students, staff and stakeholders alike in thinking about how sustainability impacts their wider life.