The college has always had sustainable and environmental concerns on the agenda, and in recent years have really embraced the cause. Consequently the College has improved its environmental and sustainable position with a variety of tasks and initiatives and with a further range of on-going projects will continue to improve on its success.
A specifically appointed Sustainability Coordinator works alongside Governors, staff and students to ensure the College maintains its momentum as an environmentally conscious leader in its field.
Here are some ways the college is improving its environmental position:
- Energy use is monitored regularly and decreases have been noticed.
- Solar power arrays (PV Cells) and automatic lighting.
- Modern LED lighting units
- Various recycling points for paper, card, batteries and waste printer cartridges.
- The college makes use of a waste compactor which has reduced waste collection from three times a week to once a fortnight representing a considerable fuel and carbon footprint saving.
- It’s estimated that the college reaches a recycling rate of around 80%.
- Paper, card, batteries, all spent electrical equipment and fluorescent tubes and light bulbs are recycled. In addition to this we have just started a used pen recycling programme, which provides funding for each pen recycled.
- Waste from the grounds maintenance team and the kitchen is composted.
- The college Headed Business Stationary is printed on recycled paper FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council www.fsc-uk.org) and all general use paper comes from sustainable sources and is PEFC certified. See the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification website for details.
- The college promotes sustainable travel to staff and students with a variety of initiatives via a comprehensive travel plan. All staff and students have access to rail and bus pass discounts and comprehensive advice on public transport options.
- The College currently has gold accreditation for its travel plan from Essex County Council.
- Cycling continues to be a preferred method of travel to and from college, covered cycle racks with CCTV monitoring are available. The college has an active Bike User Group promoting the benefits of cycling.
- Adopting the Cycle to Work scheme has enabled staff to purchase a bike at a discounted price.
- Car share is an active and positively encouraged method of commuting.
- Waterless urinals, automatic taps, water minimisers and any new fittings are of the low water use type with infra-red flushing technology.
- The Mid site building recycles rain water for toilet flushing.
- Water butts are strategically placed around college to assist the grounds team with irrigation.
- Two wildlife areas, creating a bio diversity oasis within the town centre.
- Bird and bat boxes, log piles and bug hotels in the wildlife area.
- New planting where possible is indigenous and wildlife friendly.
- An allotment managed by students from the Environment Committee and produce is used in the refectory or by the biology department in experiments.
- Prominent Global Perspective for staff and students via connections with India through The Russ Foundation and an active Amnesty International group. The college has a long association with The World Land Trust. Various events have enabled fundraising to purchase threatened areas of rain forest in Ecuador and Borneo and elephant corridor in Kerala, India.