Askham Bryan College - Sustainability
We are all custodians of our environment, and the demand for sympathetic management of that environment will be paramount to a stable, sustainable future.
Askham Bryan College is dedicated to environmental sustainability and carbon reduction. As a specialist land-based provider, we have a crucial role in promoting and achieving these goals and are in a unique position to provide technical and professional training to meet these profound challenges. Our Strategic Plan 2021 – 2026 incorporates sustainability as one of our key themes, underpinned by our Climate Action Strategy.
We have joined the Race to Zero, a global campaign in the education sector for a Zero Carbon World, and are committed to becoming a net zero organisation and a leader in sustainability practices by 2050. You can read more about our progress and commitments via our Streamlined Energy and Carbon Report 2022-23
Many of our students actively engage in sustainable practices through their study programmes and broader curriculum. We strive to equip them with skills and experiences that will enable them to excel in their chosen industry, not only replicating best practice but providing innovative solutions. Our HE students have made our York campus hedgehog-friendly and received recognition for their efforts.
Staff members have access to a cycle-to-work scheme and can utilize student coach transport, encouraging alternatives to individual car use. Car sharing is promoted when appropriate.
We have installed solar electricity panels (photovoltaics) in several buildings, reducing reliance on traditional fossil fuels. Our new Institute of Technology classroom building is carbon neutral, generating more energy than it consumes. Building Management Systems (BMS) control heating and cooling in many of our buildings, maximizing energy efficiency. Additionally, we have installed 12 electric vehicle charging points at our York campus in 2023, catering to staff and student needs and supporting our incoming electric vehicle fleet. The electricity which we purchase is sourced from SSE Energy Solutions and is 100% renewable, sourced from wind and hydro assets.SSE Energy Solutions
We collaborate closely with contractors to ensure their support for our sustainability goals. Our catering partner, Aramark, utilises veg-based compostable takeaway boxes and works with suppliers actively reducing packaging and focusing on carbon reduction. We have launched a 'Wipe Out Waste' initiative, collecting kitchen food waste for anaerobic digestion and utilizing the Too Good To Go app to rescue unsold food. Furthermore, we are the first in the Further Education sector to implement Aramark's 'Foodprint' program, a carbon footprint scoring system for menus that informs sustainable food choices. Our cleaning partner, RCCN, has transitioned to using super oxygenated water in place of most cleaning chemicals, reducing our environmental impact.Aramark Sustainability
We adopt an integrated approach to crop and livestock production on the College farm, prioritising environmental management. Our practices are backed by science and proven through experience, aiming for sustainable production while enhancing soil health and biodiversity. Through the Higher Level Stewardship scheme, we confer significant benefits in wildlife conservation, natural resource protection, and landscape maintenance. Designated areas of the campus have been allowed to grow wild, while new wildflower planting areas promote biodiversity and protect natural habitats. Wildflowers provide vital food for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Additionally, we are developing a woodland management strategy in collaboration with a consultant to ensure sustainable management of 28 hectares of woodland. These woodlands contribute to water cleaning, flood reduction, and carbon storage.
We are committed to driving the development of habitat and wildlife conservation. Our initiatives include donating a portion of proceeds from school workshops and animal adoptions to the World Land Trust: Operation Ocelot. Each animal talk, tour, encounter, and school workshop emphasizes conservation messages. Our Wildlife Park shop exclusively offers environmentally friendly products. We actively participate in the Tansy Beetle Action Group (TBAG) to conserve the local tansy beetle. Furthermore, we contribute to EAZA European Endangered Species Programmes (EEPs), such as the White-lipped Tamarins.Tansy Beetle Action Group
We prioritise the reuse and recycling of all electrical and electronic waste. Separate waste contracts are in place to recycle batteries and used light bulbs and tubes. Green waste is transformed into compost and soil improver, while coffee grinds from our food outlets are used by our horticultural department or donated to students and staff for use as a fertiliser which adds organic material to soil aiding drainage and water retention. Our waste management practices ensure that no waste goes to landfill, with waste streams separated at the source to maximize recycling opportunities. Recycling bins are conveniently located across all campusesSustainability Statement
Global Partnership: teaching and learning sustainable development - play video below
The Skills Network
Recent Building Projects
Our Digital Skills Academy (completed in 2022) funded by a £1m grant from the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership through the government’s Getting Building Fund had environmental ambitions established early in the concept stage. A design for the building extension was sought to match the longevity and quality of the neighbouring 1930’s campus buildings. The embodied carbon of alternative construction methodologies was assessed, helping to inform more environmentally conscious decisions. The Digital Skills Academy achieved an overall ‘Very Good’ rating for energy consumption and sustainable construction from the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) in its assessment. The building has also been awarded the Sustainability Award in the 2023 York Design Awards, for Commercial or Community (Small) project.
Explore sustainability and biodiversity features around our York campus on our Sustainability MapExplore our sustainability map