D&A praised for its sustainability work

Dundee and Angus College have recently been applauded by EAUC Scotland (The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education) for the way it is embedding sustainability into all aspects of college life.

At the EAUC Scotland “Step-change for sustainability” conference which took place earlier in the year, we were praised for our work on sustainability and the way it has become ingrained in college life.

The conference was opened by Dundee and Angus College’s Christine Calder who is also Academic Development Lead and Advisory Group Chair for EAUC.

College Principal, Simon Hewitt, was one of the conference’s plenary speakers and spoke on the subject of the role of Scottish Colleges and Universities in a climate, ecological and social emergency.

We were praised for setting the example and for rooting sustainability into all of our operations through many different means.

The college’s emergency action plan has the curriculum included throughout which illustrates the importance of educating students and staff on sustainability issues and highlights how everyone can play their part. The action plan includes a number of other strands including, leadership and governance, estates and operations, learning and teaching, partnerships and engagement and data collection.

There are currently a number of departments at the college who are taking part in a pilot exercise, mapping out their courses to the Sustainable Development Goals. This allows each department to see where they clearly cover any of the Sustainable Development Goals as they are included within the curriculum. It also provides an overview of any Sustainable Development Goals that are covered even if they are not explicitly in the curriculum. No college has done this yet and there is great interest from the SQA and other colleges to see the outcome of the pilot.

In 2019 a group was set up with a representative from each curricular department to be trained in sustainability by EAUC and Learning for Sustainability Scotland. The group has remained and has grown in number, it is open to all who are interested, and this means there are many advocates in all the different departments throughout the college.  

At the start of this year, we received the bronze award for being a hedgehog-friendly campus by SOS-UK, (Students Organising for Sustainability). The hedgehog-friendly campus is open to all in the college to get involved with. Those in the group have developed various skills in areas such as biodiversity, data collection, organisation of data, research skills, practical building, and the skill of measuring.

Sustainability is already an integral part of the student experience at the college, but we are keen that our journey continues to advance further to ensure that all learners increasingly gain a wide appreciation of sustainability, the foundation of which will be formed by the Sustainable Development Goals.

We are committed to achieving full Net-Zero by 2040 in line with the Scottish Colleges’ Statement of Commitment on the Climate Emergency. The Climate Commission, in collaboration with the management consultancy Nous Group, have developed The Climate Action for UK FE Colleges Roadmap. We have used this roadmap to review our current performance and to assist us to develop our strategy to net zero.

The 5 roadmap elements:

  • Leadership and Governance
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Estates and Operations
  • Partnership and Engagement
  • Data Collection

D&A’s Climate Emergency Action Plan 2021 – 2026, our path to Net-zero can be found below -