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College Sustainability

Every week we see new reports bringing to the front pages the latest scientific evidence of the causes and consequences of the climate emergency. The social injustices the covid pandemic has left uncovered has awoken many minds and shaken thousands of lives – and for the first time in history we are witnessing a movement of local communities, global citizens and the newest generations worldwide saying, “enough”.

Sustainability is not a subject in and of itself; rather, it is a discipline that feeds from many others and cuts across sectors, silos, departments, and industries. We must prepare our students for the jobs and societies they will encounter moving forward in their lives, equipping them with the knowledge, tools and skills to face and solve the challenges of the current moment.

This starts with ensuring our college leaders and course tutors understand the issues at play, and it is important that they are given recognised training that is backed up by science and data. Young people are inquisitive by nature, and it is during that transition from youth to adulthood that individuals develop our values and become our true self. Encouraging students to think outside the box and look beyond their most immediate reality will be key for them to understand the societal and environmental challenges of today – and work towards solutions that work for all. Sustainability requires systemic thinking and transformation, and therefore it is crucial to bring on board students from across courses and disciplines, from both HE and vocational training. An all-hands-on-deck approach to sustainability will ensure successful education programmes for an empowered, capable and committed (future) workforce that will certainly help to solve the challenges our communities face due to the effects of the climate crisis.

Through the Sustainability Centre, WSC offers a great range of training and capacity building opportunities for departments, lecturers and students alike. Keep browsing to find what most suits your needs to bring sustainability to your discipline – and beyond! Please do get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., our in-house sustainability expert to discuss your needs and assess potential projects and ideas for you to get involved.

  • Sustainability within the departments – curriculum offers

    The UK Government post-pandemic recovery plan builds on a Green Industrial Revolution in which all sectors are called to transition to a low carbon economy, with thriving opportunities for all. In July 2021, the UK Government Taskforce for Green Jobs presented their latest report, in which all educational institutions and businesses from across sectors were urged to work together towards a Net Zero economy by 2050.

    Sustainability does not build on knowledge of climate science and policy making only – most importantly, it requires of a good set of soft skills that will enable the workforce to bring sustainability to their roles, be it in the frontline or from the boardroom.

    Communication, leadership, resilience, negotiation, strategic view, critical and systems thinking, networking, management, stakeholders' engagement, positive and can-do attitude, emotional intelligence, decision-making, public speaking and storytelling... All these skills make a sustainability-minded individual to excel and bring their message across successfully, for synergies and change beyond their immediate sphere of action.

    With this in mind, the Sustainability Centre can help you navigate the different opportunities and potential to embed sustainability and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals to your discipline while also working through and for the WSC Character Strengths. We can also advise you and support you to plan and run activities with a sustainability focus – e.g. appreciation of nature and biodiversity through field trips; promotion of low-carbon lifestyles through outdoor activities; visits to local organisations with ethical business practices; study of a particular issue through the lenses of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals; set up of assignments with a sustainability focus; guest speaker sessions from a great pool of local contacts at the Sustainability Centre network...

    Over the last few months, we have engaged with a good number of varied FE departments across the college: Health & Social Care, Art & Design, Music & Media, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Animal Studies, Sports, Engineering, and Finance & Accountancy. We are looking to unlock all the potential in HE too and bridge the gap between academia and business needs. Please do get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., our in-house sustainability expert to discuss opportunities and ideas for your department or group of students.

  • Sustainability for the students – Student Society, Green Internships and Sustainability Training

    Sustainability may sound like a scary word, but it is indeed a fascinating topic – mainly because we all have something to chip in with!

    If you are a student at West Suffolk College, no matter your age, whether you are in FE or HE, the course you are enrolled in, the type of job you envision yourself doing in the future nor your current knowledge on sustainability – there will always be something you can do to contribute to a better planet for all!

    From the Sustainability Centre, we want to help you find your superpower and use it for the benefit of the people and the planet – two of the three elements of the Triple Bottom Line of sustainability.

    Green Student Society – for you, by you!

    In the academic year 2021/22, a Green Student Society has emerged at WSC. It will be a space for like-minded students across departments of all levels to share your sustainability concerns and organise initiatives and action that help bringing sustainability closer to the college, engages the local community into the conversation, and catalyses action across businesses in East Anglia. Although you will get ongoing support and guidance from the Sustainability Centre, the Green Student Society will be run by its members. Students will get to decide on activities and initiatives organised and topics covered. By joining the Green Student Society, you will benefit from a great and varied network of professional contacts across organisations of all sorts in East Anglia who are implementing sustainability strategies into their business models. You will be able to run a charitable campaign, facilitate discussions and debates, invite guest speakers, collaborate within your local community, organise exhibitions, champion for sustainability helping to raise awareness among the student body and across the local community. By actively advocating for sustainability, you will become a recognised face both in and out of the college, which will help you raise your professional profile, expand your network, master a great range of transferrable skills, and ultimately become a true leader in sustainability. And the good news is that all of this is free, and you will be supported along the way! If you want to get involved, do This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your interests and ideas!

    Green Internships

    Sustainability needs action – so roll up your sleeves! At the Sustainability Centre, we engage with a great number of businesses from across the region. From construction to marketing to management, sustainability touches on every sector and we can support you to take sustainability to the next level! Many of our partners and members of the Sustainability Centre network do offer internships and work placements to those with an interest in having a positive impact on the planet and the local community.

    The Sustainability Centre also works in collaboration with the Careers Service at WSC, and together we can help you find the right opportunity that better matches your skills and interests. Do get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., our in-house sustainability expert, for an initial conversation and she will put you in the right direction!

    IEMA Skills for Sustainability Courses – HE students only

    WSC partners with IEMA, the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment. IEMA is the professional body for everyone working, studying or interested in environment and sustainability. They provide resources, tools, knowledge and research sharing to meet the real world needs of their members. Our in-house sustainability experts and accredited IEMA trainers deliver Level 2 and Level 4 qualifications that will help you raise your professional profile and engage with like-minded peers across the world.

    We offer 1, 2 and 5 full days courses aimed at mature students and professionals from any sector, interested in expanding their knowledge in the subject and implementing sustainability practices at the operational and strategic level. Check our Courses and Events page to find out more!

  • Sustainability for Adult Learners – lecturing and support staff

    In 2021/22, WSC is committed to work towards a more sustainable institution. We want to see sustainability embedded across departments, both through the curriculum of all FE and HE programmes offered as well as throughout all operational levels across the organisation. Sustainability calls for collaboration across departments and disciplines for unlocking potential that helps catalysing bottom-up action and create positive synergies.

    This starts with ensuring our college leaders and course tutors understand the issues at play, and it is important that they are given recognised training that is backed up by science and data.

    WSC partners with IEMA, the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment. IEMA is the professional body for everyone working, studying or interested in environment and sustainability. They provide resources, tools, knowledge and research sharing to meet the real world needs of their members. Our in-house sustainability experts and accredited IEMA trainers deliver Level 2 and Level 4 qualifications that will help you engage with like-minded peers and bring sustainability to your day-to-day job.

    We offer 1, 2 and 5 full days courses aimed at professionals from any sector, interested in expanding their knowledge in the subject and implementing sustainability practices at the operational and strategic level. There are limited fully-funded spaces for WSC staff members from across departments and job functions. Check our Courses and Events page to find out more.

  • Sustainability Pledges and Awards

    2021/22 is a bold year for sustainability at WSC. We are asking all of our stakeholders, from staff members to students to businesses we partner with, to join us on this exciting journey.

    Collaborations will emerge; action will be catalysed; initiatives will be implemented. And all individual and collective efforts will be brought together on the Sustainability Awards Competition.

    Communicating sustainability and celebrating (big and small) success are indeed two key pieces of the puzzle. We encourage all projects and initiatives run and pledges taken are entered to the competition. Whichever your area of interest and scope of application, and whether students, staff members or local businesses, WSC is the glue that sticks us together – so let’s join forces!

    There will be prizes awarded during the Sustainability Awards Ceremony at the end of the academic year, so make sure to enter your sustainability project to the competition! Visit our Pledge and Awards page for all the details.

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