Environmental Sustainability Policy

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Environmental Sustainability Policy

Policy Statement

Express English College is fully committed to ensuring the college undertakes positive actions, and promotes a suitable educational ethos, that contributes to global environmental sustainability. The college believes that unnecessary waste/wastage, needless use of fossil fuels, and careless or uninformed attitudes to recycling, repurposing, and reusing, have no place in a forward-thinking educational organisation. Therefore, Express English College fosters values that help to raise awareness of environmental dangers and embeds actions and procedures that contribute to a responsible use of, and care for, the earth’s resources.

The following procedures cover all key areas of the policy statement:

1.Monitoring of Resources/Use of Energy

EEC monitors and records the amount of energy used on a quarterly basis. Comparative analysis is undertaken to ensure that usage has not risen in any untoward manner, and indeed to note decreases in usage. EEC aims to decrease ‘everyday’ usage by ensuring there is no energy wastage throughout the college at any time. All staff take responsibility for this, including attending to such simple things as turning off unnecessary lights, heating, devices, etc. Students are also strongly encouraged to follow their teacher’s lead.

Where possible, energy suppliers are chosen to reflect and underpin the college ethos. EEC’s electricity supplier guarantees to generate some or all of its electricity from renewable sources, for example. Supplier choices are reviewed during an annual policy review meeting between the Operations Manager and the Academic Manager. This meeting also seeks ways to monitor and reduce the use of fossil fuels as part of energy usage. Significant reduction has been achieved, but our aim is to completely eliminate fossil fuel usage. Similarly, EEC aims to reduce recyclable waste, which is monitored through collection of items for recycling, and inspection of recycle bins on a weekly basis. Waste reduction is reviewed at the policy review meeting.

2. Water/hot drinks

EEC supplies filtered drinking water to all students and staff. We also use filtered water to prepare all hot drinks. Students use reusable drinking mugs (wood-made) or glasses all of which are kept onsite as permanent items of crockery. Students are also instructed to use their own reusable bottles, which can be refilled with water when empty. EEC does NOT use disposable plastic or paper cups for drinking water/hot drinks.

3. Use of Cleaning and Bathroom Products

EEC’s policy is to source environmentally friendly products for all cleaning and washing purposes, such as bio-washing up liquid, handwash, etc.

4. Buying Locally, Buying Ethically

EEC sources local products as and when needed for college purposes, avoidance an over-reliance on global chains. Equally, product information is checked to ensure they conform to current regulatory environmental standards, wherever possible.

5. Paper Resources

The amount of paper used in the college is strictly monitored. EEC has taken major steps to reduce use of paper, by investing significantly in electronic learning resources, using drop box to store all policies, procedures, forms, Independent Learning Plans, HR files, etc, and we have introduced an electronic learner management system.

Our current goal is to become a completely paperless operation by 12/2021

As a result of this aim, we instruct teachers to adopt a ‘green’ approach when preparing their lessons: since all classrooms are fully equipped with facilities to screen e books (a choice of two per level as provided by EEC), online learning materials, audio-visual materials, etc, teachers should not print or photocopy additional paper resources. Teachers can supplement their course books with scanned materials presented online as PDF, JPEG, etc. Please see: Academic Resources Policy and Procedure for further information.

Students borrow paper-based coursebooks (in stock in the college) where appropriate. Students are instructed to make notes/write answers using their own paper, and they must return the coursebooks they have borrowed from the college after completing their programme. These are then reused in class.

EEC partners with ECO DOCUMENT to avoid unnecessary printing of documents for signing, annotation, etc.

6. Recycling – paper/cardboard; glass and plastic; food/compostable waste

The college fulfils its recycling obligations by collecting, sorting, and preparing waste materials into relevant piles to be placed in the appropriate recycling bins, which are then emptied by refuse removal service providers on a weekly or fortnightly basis, as per council policy. Recycling routines are taken extremely seriously by all staff in the college, who have a responsibility to contributing to careful disposal of recyclable waste. Students are also encouraged to foster this attitude of care and concern. The recycling bins include: paper/cardboard; glass and plastic; food/compostable waste.

7. Recycling: Metals, E-waste, hazardous waste, etc

Electronic items/devices, spent batteries, used print cartridges, etc are collected from their last point of use and stored, to be removed on the first day of each month by a specialist recycling centre company, who disposes of such items securely and safely.

8. Travel

Express English College embraces the opportunities online meeting platforms offer when conducting meetings with agencies, agents, students, staff, etc based aboard or throughout the UK. Wherever possible, environmentally damaging travel will be reduced to the absolute minimum or eliminated altogether through use of online video conferencing platforms.

In the event of unavoidable foreign travel having to take place, and as a method of raising awareness of environmental issues amongst student groups, activities such as the planting of trees (or donating to organisations that plant trees) will be encouraged. Currently this suggestion is made informally during appropriate classes, but the college aims to seek ways to formalise this through a specific activity or trip/visit. As an example, students could visit the ‘tree for life’ area at Dovestones Reservoir, Oldham, Lancashire.

Staff and students are encouraged to use local public transport, such as bus and metro, to ride bicycles, and to walk to and from college wherever possible, for environmental reasons, and, in the case of walking and cycling, for health reasons (our duty of care). We also remind staff of the possibility to carpool and invite teachers living in similar areas to do so, if they do indeed use a car. Furthermore, staff are incentivised to buy a bicycle, by offering to find 10% of the total cost of a bicycle.

Many of our student activities and trips involve visits to National Trust locations, where areas of greenery and outstanding natural beauty can be enjoyed and reflected upon. We offer a 10% payment towards the cost of a season ticket to National Trust locations.

9. Lesson Plans, Schemes of Work, Syllabus

EEC has made a conscious decision to theme lessons, courses, and programmes around coursebooks (e-books) that offer higher-than-average environmental awareness content. These are: Cambridge Empower, and, especially, Life (National Geographic). Units in both books focus on improving reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through engagement with global environmental concerns, such as pollution and recycling. Academic English books used also engage with such issues.

Teachers are encouraged, through CPD (which is conducted on a monthly basis) to focus on key issues facing the world today, very much including environmental problems and solutions. Teachers are also encouraged to use additional material of their own in class, that reflect environmental themes as well as promoting social and environmental responsibility. Lessons may also raise awareness of environmental protection groups and The Green party. Schemes of work and the syllabus reflect our environmentally aware ethos, and systematically include a focus on environmental topics appropriate to the language level of the group.

Regarding the saving of resources and reducing our carbon footprint, some lessons/courses are conducted online. This is subject to demand and may fluctuate as a result of government health guidance.

10. Our college environment and virtual environment

The college is set on premises with outdoor areas. The front and side (outdoor) areas have been converted into a garden, where trees, plants, and flowers, are grown. This garden is maintained and nurtured on a regular basis.

Our website and social media channels promote environmental awareness and what the college is doing to motivate students to participate in such themes.

11. Training

Staff – both teaching and non-teaching – are trained in how to implement this policy, and its attendant procedures. Further CPD is arranged according to need.

Review: Reviewed August 2021 (TC)

This document to be reviewed by the management team not less than every six months. Next review due February 2022. It may also be subject to any changes based on UK law.