6 April 2023

What the SDGs Mean to a Small FE College



Shipley College was the first college in the world to sign the SDG Accord in 2017 – what an achievement for a small FE College in West Yorkshire! The UN Sustainable Development Goals encompass 17 areas to address, globally, to make our world a more sustainable place; these cover key aspects of life, even areas you might not have thought of.

To go one step further, Shipley College now leads on an SDG training project in collaboration with West Yorkshire Consortium of College’s (WYCC). Colleges from around West Yorkshire have come together to share best practices on how they can embed the SDGs into college life - in curriculum and teaching, estates maintenance and planning, leadership and governance and stakeholder engagement. It is a true Partnership for the Goals (SDG 17). Initial training on the SDGs was completed at Shipley College and the other college’s were given the knowledge and understanding to cascade the training to their internal staff and students (SDG 4 Quality Education).

To date, all colleges have made great progress; Kirklees College have picked up the FE Climate Change Roadmap (SDG 13 Climate Action), Luminate have been concentrating on SDG 1 No Poverty, to help with the cost of living crisis. Bradford College have made links between the SDG team and the motor vehicle department (SDG 9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure) and Calderdale College have been busy setting up projects, which includes planters to grow food (SDG 2 Zero Hunger) and organise a waste and catering group (SDG 12 Responsible Consumption & Production) – this is to only name a few!

Following on from the SDG project, Shipley College has been hard at work to make the SDGs more visible and raise awareness to students, staff and visitors. Other key points to come out of the project include:

  1. A new staff wellbeing team (SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing)
    SDGs to become a priority in formal reporting - service reviews with senior management and college policies and procedures
    Shipley College Travel Plan (SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities).
  2. Food waste supplier - to ensure the Vegware used at the college is composted, reducing the amount of waste on landfill and in the water systems (SDG 14 Life Below Water and SDG 15 Life on Land)
    Embedding the SDGs in curriculum - Shipley College is to use the WWF Sustainable Futures Certified Course (SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth).
  3. Key staff are Carbon Literacy trained and will roll this out to internal staff.
  4. Initial decarbonisation plan to be completed (SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy).
  5. Promote UN International days throughout the college departments - LRC, marketing and the sustainability team worked together to promote International Women’s Day (SDG 5 Gender Equality and SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities).
  6. Initial plan created to “toilet twin” more toilets at the college (SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation).
Can you spot which SDG is missing - if so, can you think of an example of how your institution promotes this missing SDG?


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