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Waltham Forest College is ready to play its part and help tackle the Climate Emergency.  We recognise that every single student can make a difference and we have empowered our students to help us drive that change. 

The first termly Student Conference themed ‘Climate Emergency’ was held on Thursday 25th November, and it focused on ways the College could further help tackle the climate emergency. Action on climate change is pressing and our students attended in their numbers to discuss issues and agree on actions to take forward for the short, medium and long term. 

Student Conference Climate Emergency 6

BTEC L3 Business student and Students’ Union Green Team Representative, Ashanti Aleica France, said: “The Students Conference was incredibly inspiring as it opened my eyes to see that achieving the goal of making Waltham Forest College more green, sustainable and climate-friendly is not just a one-man task. It is an operation in need of collective efforts from students and staff members with small objectives to make a bigger impact.

“Sustainability for me is about taking action and developing habits within ourselves to the point where we can still meet our needs without compromising the health of our environment. I will embark on my sustainability journey by educating myself on exactly what is unethical or not and slowly start to make changes.”

The conference was used as an effective platform to initiate these discussions and to help raise the awareness for them to take action now and to highlight ways in which students and staff could collaborate to make Waltham Forest College a sustainable college of the future.

During the event, Class Reps engaged in team discussions on what they can do to help with the climate emergency and the College’s green agenda. 

Student Conference Climate Emergency 5

Over the course of the discussions, they collaborated on ideas on how to make a difference by doing their bit to help slow the rate and limit the amount of global warming in three ways:

  • Reduce – opt for a reduction mindset
  • Replace – opt for an eco-friendly choice.
  • Reuse – opt to choose to reuse what you have (where necessary)

These conversations culminated in physical changes that could be made, new objectives to aim for and ways in which each individual could make a difference whilst attending Waltham Forest College and beyond. These include the introduction of solar panels, sink sensors, electric car charging points, transport incentive schemes, meat-free Mondays and more.

Ideas such as these were collated by The Student Union Team who then attended the college senior leadership meeting to present their ideas and plan that can be incorporated into the wider college sustainability strategy. 

Principal and CEO, Janet Gardner, said:

“We are committed to making our campus as sustainable as possible and making a positive contribution towards climate change. The Student Conference provided an opportunity to improve the awareness and understanding of environmental issues and to capture our students’ voice, supporting and empowering them to drive change.   These proposed solutions and collaborative efforts will be incorporated in the College’s wider strategy to address these environmental challenges together to create a sustainable carbon-neutral college.  To learn more about the College, their pledge to help fight the climate emergency and how they will accomplish it, head over to their website: www.waltham.ac.uk.

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