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Heart of Worcestershire College Celebrates Getting to Green!

Green Gown award finalists announced

Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College) are celebrating after receiving the news that they have become a short-listed Finalist in this year’s Green Gown Awards!

These awards are chosen by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges and identify good practice across a range of sustainable development activities and initiatives in the higher and further education sector.

The College have been short-listed in the “Creating Impact” category, which is awarded to those who have made a significant change on their campuses and the communities around them. The College titled their project “Small Footprint – Huge Strides”.

Speaking about the news, Peter Robinson, a member of HoW College’s eco group said:

“We are delighted to have been made finalists for this year’s Green Gown Awards. Our project around 3 E’s for the Environment; Ecology, Emissions and Education, struck a chord with the reviewers and really show how we have sought to make an impact across all three elements. Under ecology we have created wild spaces on all our main campuses in Worcester, Bromsgrove and Redditch and staff at college have put bird boxes, hedgehog homes and bat boxes in their gardens too.

Our students have told us they have enjoyed the extra depth of study they have taken on sustainable themes like Fast Fashion, Eco-tourism, sustainable food and climate change. Many signed the Sustainable Development Goals Pledge, so much so that we were 3rd place on the UK Leaderboard for students reached in Universities and Colleges, now we have a number of Sustainable Champions across the College.

One of our greatest achievements has been the reduction in our Carbon emissions. Through careful examination of where we were wasting energy over weekends, evenings and different buildings, we have been able to reduce our carbon footprint by 28% in the last three years. This has made a substantial financial saving too, as well as fast tracking our plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030.

This has been a team game from the start, from all our staff contributing to our Big Switch Off campaigns and students helping with re-wilding projects and bringing their own ideas to reduce waste, the use of plastic, etc. That team has included people outside the college as well.”

The College has worked with several community and other stakeholder groups to achieve these positive steps and they have all been mentioned in the process. Groups like Plastic Free Worcester, Worcester City Council, the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Worcester Environmental Group, Worcestershire County Council, as well as Worcester Bosch in a recent talk on “The Hope of Hydrogen”.

This is a great achievement for HoW College and demonstrates the hard work and commitment of their students, staff and eco team.

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