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Weymouth College has been commended in the Association of College’s prestigious Beacon Awards, for its commitment to sustainability and tackling the climate crisis.

The Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice in further education colleges across the UK, with the aim of demonstrating and promoting the far-reaching impact of colleges on their students and the communities they serve.

The commended and winning case studies across multiple categories will be used to increase the understanding of colleges’ contribution to educational skills policy and economic and social development.

Weymouth College has been commended for The Incenco Award for Education for Sustainable Development, recognising its commitment to sustainability and environmental issues.

The College is committed to the promotion and delivery of sustainable practices that positively impact on the climate change emergency. It has adopted a sustainability strategy and holds sustainability tactical group meetings to monitor, progress and celebrate actions across the College.

Weymouth College also embraces the FE Climate Action Roadmap and has pledged its support for the Race to Zero agenda, with a firm commitment to become carbon neutral by 2035.

Our ‘Code Red’ initiative raises awareness of all aspects of the environmental crisis and embeds sustainability in the culture of the college.

This initiative has included the following:

  • Free Green Skills courses for students and employers in Solar PV Panel Installation, Electric Vehicle Charging, Heat Pump Installation, Domestic Retrofit and Traditional Building Retrofit.
  • An annual Environment Week running parallel to the international COP Conference, with specialist external speakers covering nuclear and hydrogen energy, climate science, recycling and waste management, energy reduction and carbon capture, bio diversity and animal welfare, against the backdrop of exploring what we as individuals can do to mitigate environmental degradation.
  • Separate versions of the Carbon Literacy Project produced and in use for Level 1, 2 & 3 students.
  • A ‘Back to the Rack’ recycled fashion shop in the College’s reception area, managed by Business students and staffed by high-needs students.
  • 420 saplings from the Woodland Trust planted annually.
  • A student-led Environment Group which reports to the Principal.
  • A staff-led Sustainability Tactical Group sharing best sustainability practice.
  • Progressing the FE Climate Action Roadmap Net zero electricity, annual reductions in energy water and waste. Free travel for over 50% of students using public transport.

Weymouth will face competition from Solihull College & University Centre, Suffolk New College, New City College and Shipley College in this category. Finalists will be announced next week ­– as the College hosts its annual Environment Week – and winning colleges will be announced at an awards celebration event in London in spring 2024.

This commendation further highlights Weymouth College’s commitment to sustainability, following student Haydn Quartermaine’s recent nomination for a Student of the Year Award, for exceptional dedication to his own personal development and environmental work at a local community farm.

Haydn was shortlisted last month for the Student Green Commitment category at the Association of Colleges’ Student of the Year Awards after being nominated by Weymouth College staff.

You can find out more about the AoC Beacon Awards and all nominees here.

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