Saturday, July 20, 2024

Bradford College Wins UK’s Biggest Sustainability Competition in Further Education

Bradford College has triumphed in this year’s Planet Earth Games – the biggest sustainability competition for the UK further education sector.

With over 3,000 good deeds for the planet undertaken since January, Bradford College topped the national leader board of FE colleges. Staff and students racked up an incredible 9,045 points, more than 3,000 points clear of the second-place college.

Planet Earth Games aims to support climate action through sport and physical activity. Using an innovative model, institutions of all types battle it out to help save the planet. The Games run from January to April in partnership with the Association of Colleges. 

By signing up for the initiative, student and staff competitors were encouraged to participate in various challenges of all different types to earn points for the wider College team. These include activities like tree planting, litter picking, and green commuting.

Bradford College student-led activities included a climate march by the Students’ Union and a large-scale community clean-up by the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) department.

Bradford College Sustainability Lead, Chelsie Naylor, said: 

“We are thrilled to win this year’s Planet Earth Games. Although we’re at the start of our sustainability journey, this competition has started the conversation about climate change, sparking an interest in small, local action.

“By taking part in challenges, staff and students engaged with environmental issues in a positive and tangible way; this often feels more empowering than signing a petition or sharing something on social media – it’s real action.

“The staff and students from the ESOL department earned over half over the total points collected by Bradford College throughout the duration of the competition, so special thanks and well done to them! Congratulations also goes to Sarah Cooper who was the highest scoring Vice Principal.

“Winning Planet Earth Games has really put Bradford College on the map and at the heart of conversations with other colleges nationally. We are committed to tackling climate change to support the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and have an ambitious roadmap in place to reach a net-zero target by 2050.”

After securing nearly £32 million in funding over the last two years, the College now aims to make substantial carbon savings from retrofitting estates, energy-efficiency upgrades, and new buildings such as the Future Technologies Centre opening 2025/2026. Work also includes a successful £2.6m Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme grant, run by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and delivered by Salix.

Bradford College is now working on embedding sustainability and green skills across all curriculum areas. Delivery of Carbon Literacy training has already begun with more sessions planned for October and beyond. Electric vehicle (EV) training, sustainable fashion collections, environmental staff development days, water refill stations, and electric vehicle charging points are just some of the successful green initiatives already in place at Bradford College.

Find out more about Bradford College’s Sustainability Plan or see the Capital Projects website for the latest Bradford College estates sustainability news.

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