Bringing about real change can be challenging, but we are determined to embed sustainability in our conversations, classrooms and business. We have set out ambitious goals for the future and already committed a substantial amount of time, planning, and investment to begin to make these a reality.

The definition of sustainability is the ability to exist and develop without depleting natural resources or doing harm. It’s something we do now as a matter of course and the reason we do it is because it’s the right thing to do for the future of our pupils.

Pupil-led sustainability

Communicating and acting on issues of sustainability is crucial in educating and inspiring our pupils, who will shape the future sustainability agenda.

It is important that our pupils have a voice on sustainable initiatives and that they feel empowered to hold College accountable for the commitments that are made. College has a Sustainability Committee, made up of pupils from across the year groups, that meets regularly and generates ideas. College feeds back on all the suggestions, as well as the actions taken and the successes of each project.

A recent pupil-led sustainability aim was to reduce meat consumption and lower carbon emissions, through a ‘Meat Free Mondays’ initiative. College worked with suppliers to reduce waste and promoted a Buy Local strategy, which reduced the carbon footprint and hit a target of zero waste to landfill.

“We soon know if we are not doing enough or are not doing it properly. Children want to have a voice. The pupils lead on this and it’s incredibly empowering for them.”
Mr Nigel Richards
Chief Operating Officer
Nigel Richards, COO at Cheltenham Ladies' College

Carbon net zero

One of the largest College-wide projects currently underway is our aim of achieving carbon net zero by 2030. An exercise has been undertaken to measure College’s carbon footprint and create a baseline, so that improvements and goals can be tracked.

To begin to reduce the gas used on site and the fuel used in vehicles, College has started a programme of improvements to the estate, including our old and listed buildings, many of which date back to 1800s. We have retrofitted to reduce heat loss, adding insulation, secondary glazing, and a system to enable temperature control. We are also replacing gas hobs with energy efficient electric hobs and LED lighting systems are being introduced.

Our aim is move from gas to electricity across College and begin generating electricity using solar cells, as well as replacing diesel vehicles with electric ones and adding charging points.

It’s important that our suppliers reflect our carbon net zero and wider sustainability aims. From our insurance to photocopier supplier, and school uniform to carpet manufacturer, we aim to work with sustainable and carbon neutral companies across College.