Last week marked a significant milestone on our journey to becoming net zero with the launch of our exciting new ‘Zero’ campaign, and the planting of our 400th tree at our Basford Campus by our CEO Principal Janet Smith and Nottingham North MP Alex Norris.
Our tree planting program, the latest in our series of green initiatives, contributes to our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. To date we’ve successfully planted 400 trees and shrubs across the Basford campus, creating ideal wildlife habitats and enhancing the overall greenscape for the benefit of students, staff, and the wider community.
I’m delighted to be launching our own Zero strategy and to be kicking it all off planting 400 trees! When I joined the college just over a year ago, I joined knowing that Nottingham as a city was streets ahead when it came to climate action and carbon reduction and I knew instinctively that Nottingham College could play a significant part in helping the city meet its carbon emissions targets, and help secure a green and clean future for our young people. Our students are passionate advocates for our own sustainability strategy and our ambitions are to become a trailblazer in our own right.— Janet Smith, CEO and Principal for Nottingham College.
We are passionate about working with our fellow staff and students to continue the journey to carbon net zero and today’s planting is the latest step towards that goal. We know we have a long way to go but we are really enthusiastic about our plans to get there.— Matt Bunn, Nottingham College’s Sustainability Lead
Nottingham has serious sustainability ambitions for the city and as a college we share these ambitions. As a large employer, occupying a sizeable estate, we must set an example for responsible environmental management and we have a duty to raise environmental awareness among our staff and learners. Our Zero strategy launch came on the first day of the international COP 28 climate summit event where world leaders called for “genuine transformational action” on global warming and is underpinned by four key pillars — Reduce, Reuse, Innovate and Educate.
As well as taking bold steps across our campuses and daily operations to drive forward carbon reductions, we’re committed to ensuring our learners are equipped to live and work sustainably too! That’s why the strategy also involves investing in a green curriculum offer; developing bespoke new green skills training packages to support the local green economy and the construction of two new ultra-low carbon buildings at their Basford campus, which will see a new SLDD and Construction Skills centre designed and built with the college’s net zero carbon target by 2030 in mind.
- The two new buildings will go a long way to powering themselves with over 60% of the electricity needed coming from their own solar panels.
- Cutting-edge low energy heat pumps and high spec insulation will mean the buildings need much less energy to heat and any water wastage will be vastly reduced due to state of the art tap and plumbing solutions.
In addition to our Basford developments, a £6.6m government grant from the Local Skills Improvement Fund will help set up a Green Skills Centre at one of our campuses, offering training in automotive, construction, and plumbing/heating, aligning with the broader initiative to develop green skills productivity hubs in the D2N2 region.
Alongside the launch of our Zero campaign for 2030, we have also shown commitment to the local green agenda by signing the pioneering new climate action pledge led by Nottingham City Council.
The City Council, already making waves in the carbon neutral agenda, has cut carbon emissions by 44% since 2005 and last month, was named one of the 119 global leaders in climate action by environmental campaign group the CDP.
Alex Norris MP for Nottingham North was delighted take part in the launch of the college Zero campaign as it aligns well with Nottingham’s aims to carbon net zero by 2028, commenting:
“As a city we are really pushing towards our goal of being net zero by 2028 and a vital part of that is working with partnership across the city with Nottingham’s big organisations and employers to do so. It is great to see Nottingham College doing their best to be part of that effort.”