Following the Government's publication of the Green Revolution in 2020, it has become even more important for educational organisations to contribute to this global concern. Across all sectors, the issue of climate change is a factor in planning for the future, from engineering and construction to business and travel.
East Surrey College is in a privileged position to be able to offer its students the opportunity to study in facilities that have been designed with the environment in mind, from recycling rainwater, installation of living roofs to energy efficient lighting systems. These small steps all contribute positively and help to instil a sense of responsibility in our students, staff and visitors.
The College provides a wide range of courses to enable students to learn from industry experts and students are encouraged to develop their thinking to adapt to the current times and towards the future.
Engineering Apprentice, Liberty has been involved in installing solar panels at Gatwick Airport for use on their mobile generators. This renewable energy source ensures that the batteries remain at an optimum level as these mobile units are on standby for extended periods of time.
Travel and Tourism students tackled the subject of ‘Responsible Tourism’ with one student creating a mock-up holiday itinerary to The Gambia which factored in travel from the UK using an environmentally conscious airline which actively works to reduce fuel consumption across their fleet. As well as carbon offsetting being considered in the transport, the eco-lodge accommodation proposed for tourists uses sustainable methods including composting toilets, solar power and using nearby wells for water source.
Applied Science students recently used their research and analytical skills developed on their course to hold an educated debate on whether climate change could be reversed. One student felt that the rate of climate changed could only be slowed and noted some of the effects it is already having:
"The carbon dioxide that is released when fossil fuels are burned, results in a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not only will CO2 over time cause an increase in temperature, but will also affect the lives of those in higher carbon emission zones as it can cause breathing issues, as well as impact them socially by resulting in them having to stay in an indoor environment. By introducing electric cars it may help to slow down climate change, however this will not reduce the effects already occurring."
However there is hope amongst the younger generation for a reversal of climate change, with some of the students researching a range of solutions that could be implemented globally, including tropical forest restoration, adoption of wind power and sustainability supermarkets.
Jiane is a Mechatronics Engineering Apprentice who is passionate about racing. She has been involved in the electric racing car project with Greenpower Education Trust, an educational charity encouraging young people to get involved with science and engineering. Jiane designed, built and raced her own electric racing car as part of this project! Using knowledge and skills she gained from her course she was able to design a vehicle with consideration to lightweight materials, construction techniques, aerodynamics and battery performance in order to construct her racing car and improve performance on the track.
It is very encouraging to hear how our students have been getting involved in projects and activities related to the green agenda. As a leading vocational College in the area we are committed to educate and equip our students with the knowledge and skills to positively contribute to the UK's Green Agenda in whatever direction their future careers lead them.