Borders College, United Kingdom


Our sustainability journey

At the beginning of the 20/21 academic year Borders College embarked on an ambitious project to develop our new Sustainability Strategy in response to the Scottish Government’s commitment to be a net-zero country by 2045, the climate emergency and the UN Sustainable Development goals.

Our objectives are to implement good sustainable sector practice, influence positive sustainable behaviours across the community, adopt ethical, sustainable social practice in our operations and promote sustainable innovation and technological breakthroughs with our stakeholders.

The climate emergency is happening now, and we recognise that achieving our strategic objectives requires a fundamental shift in how we behave as individuals and as a community, and how we measure our impact on the world we live in. With the strategy and resulting projects we aim to be sector leading and innovative instigators of change, demonstrating the importance of moving towards a sustainable society.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

CO2t savings over the life cycle of the project: 50% reduction in CO2 by 2025 based on 2015 baseline. 

What the Judges Thought

This was an excellent application and brought many elements of a true whole institution approach was particularly good for a 'small' institution. It was very clear about what has been done, but also honest about what still remained to be achieved. Their strategy sets out some excellent foundations for the future that will be interesting to watch - keep up the excellent work! 

What it Means to Win

"Sustainability is at our core. This award recognises Borders College as an exemplar of sustainable practice that our community, businesses and stakeholders can look to. Learning, operational, and behavioural changes are integral to achieving net zero and we are committed to supporting our region on that journey."

Angela Cox, Principal

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Don’t be afraid to start afresh from top to bottom.
  2. Past success does not always guarantee future success.
  3. Getting buy-in at the very top of the organisation is critical.
9 - Industry Innovation and Infrastructure 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action
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