News & Events
Green Gown Award
- Posted by: pembscollegesuperadmin
Continuing its commitment to bringing about change to lower its carbon footprint, Pembrokeshire College gained a very credible second position at a UK-wide environmental competition recently.
The College has consistently done well in the Green Gown awards – this is the third consecutive year that the College has come away with a position – last year winning the coveted ‘Carbon Reduction’ category. This year, the College was highly commended in the Space Efficiency category. Only two Welsh institutions – Pembrokeshire College and Coleg Gwent were in the final list – competing with major universities and educational establishments throughout the UK.
Steve Jones, the College’s director of estates said: ‘this highly commended award reflects our continual work and commitment to sustainability. As well as cutting our carbon footprint we are also very conscious of the need to cut our expenditure on heating and lighting so it really is a very important strategy for organisations large and small to take action in this regard.’
The College has cut its electricity consumption by 20 per cent and its gas by 54 per cent. Changing timetables and cleaning shifts is predicted to save £12,000 during the winter.
Classrooms and College facilities are being managed more efficiently, making better use of space and allowing heating and lighting to be switched off more. Energy-efficient new facilities; such as the engineering wing, utilizes state of the art energy efficiency measures that has also had an impact. Students and staff have signed up to personal pledges to take responsibility for their own energy use, fostering a culture of switching off equipment.
Providing excellent learning facilities is the over-riding priority, while careful planning has allowed more efficient use of the space needed and produced substantial efficiencies. Government inspectors (Estyn) reported that the College’s work in environmental sustainability and energy was an area of ‘outstanding practice’.
Now in their seventh year, The Green Gown Awards were founded in 2004 by the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement project and have grown in reputation and stature year on year. With a record number of entries, the Green Gown Awards are firmly established as the most prestigious recognition of sustainability excellence in the further and higher education sectors.
Chief Executive Iain Patton describes the Green Gown Awards as a shop window for environmental and suitable best practice, stating that “although it is a challenging and anxious time for universities and colleges, this year’s winning and commended entries demonstrate not only that innovative institutions are taking successful action to minimise their environmental footprints and enhance their social contribution, but also that this is often accompanied by other organisational benefits. The financial savings from many sustainability actions are certainly compatible with the belt tightening that seems inevitable in future years. It is therefore all the more important the whole sector learns from the successes of the Green Gown Awards’ winning and commended entries”.