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A clear and feasible path to climate action for UK colleges

02 July 2020

The Climate Commission for Higher and Further Education Students and Leaders is delighted to announce the launch of the Climate Action Roadmap for Further Education Colleges today. Produced in partnership with award-winning management consultancy, Nous Group, the Roadmap outlines clear, feasible and cost-effective actions UK colleges can take to advance sustainability across estates, governance, teaching and engagement, and respond impactfully to the climate emergency. From today the Roadmap will be available on the Climate Commission’s website. The Climate Commission, a unique partnership between Association of Colleges, EAUC - The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education, GuildHE and Universities UK, is coordinating action across the further and higher education sector to produce a clear, consistent and cohesive response to the climate emergency by the end of 2020. The Climate Action Roadmap for Colleges serves as one of the Climate Commission’s key outputs, providing an excellent path to mobilising strong climate action within the sector. In June, Nous Group workshopped a draft of the Roadmap with a group of 12 Principals representing colleges across the UK at different levels of maturity in their approach to sustainability to ensure the work is relevant and beneficial to the sector. The Principals in attendance enthusiastically welcomed the Roadmap which will now be freely available to all UK colleges to support coordinated and feasible climate action. Steve Frampton MBE, President of the Association of Colleges and the college sector Climate Commissioner, has been a key advocate for colleges to undertake coordinated climate action and is delighted by the launch of the Roadmap. He said: “Today’s Roadmap for the Climate Commission is constructed by the sector for the sector. I must give huge thanks to the principals and students who helped create this. It will be an incredibly useful and practical guide for principals, leaders, governors and students to aide progress on this important agenda. I look forward to seeing the sector develop their ideas on what is one of the most crucial pieces of work for the future." Principal and Nous Group UK Lead, Simon Lancaster said: “We are delighted to launch the Climate Action Roadmap for the FE sector, which sets out a clear path for colleges at all stages of their sustainability journey. It has been a pleasure to shape the roadmap and to work with the Climate Commission on this critical initiative, as well as to see first-hand the enthusiasm for and commitment to environmental action across the sector.” David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said: “It’s great to see such a comprehensive plan for sustainability in the sector. As we look to what the future holds and the ‘new normal’, action on climate change and creating an education system that embeds climate responsibility in everything it does needs to be a top priority. Responding to the climate crisis will take dedication and requires activity, change and action in teaching, research, buildings and infrastructure along with community cohesion and revisiting partnerships and suppliers. This blueprint covers all that and more, it is the ideal document for all colleges whether they are further along the road in working towards net zero emissions or just starting out. I look forward to seeing the results in colleges across the UK in the months and years ahead.” On 16 July, the Climate Commission is hosting a Student-Led Discussion with the Further Education Sector to ensure the Commission’s direction speaks to the needs and priorities of the sector. The event will see further discussions on how the Roadmap can be used and implemented across UK colleges. Register for the event here.