3 years ago, Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), embarked on a journey to raise awareness of sustainability among students and staff. This month, the College, which offers degree preparation courses for Nottingham Trent University, was presented with a Gold award for the work accomplished as part of the NUS Green Impact scheme.
The NUS (National Union of Students) Green Impact scheme was started in universities in an effort to drive positive sustainability. Now it’s extending beyond the academic world into the wider community, across all of sections of society. And though most of the 182 organisations that took part this year are UK based, the scheme is also expanding to other countries too.
In the last 3 years, NTIC successively won a Bronze award in 2015, a Silver award in 2016, and this year joined the Gold award club of organisations making sustainability an integral part of the UK education system.
During that time, we've seen some exciting projects take place at the College. These range from awareness campaigns encouraging students to reflect on their recycling habits and water consumption, to community building initiatives where staff exchanged plants and encouraged colleagues to grow their own. Changes were made to the building to help students, staff and visitors adopt environmentally friendly behaviours, and sustainable transport options were also promoted.
The College's NUS Green Impact awards
The team’s work also expanded beyond the College, with the NTIC team taking their initiatives into the community. Funds were raised for charitable causes, learning resources were shared with a local women’s centre, and staff volunteered time in a local allotment project growing fruit and vegetables for local food banks. Bird feeders were even installed at the College, resulting in 3 new nests being spotted last year in the NTIC courtyard. A great result, considering the College is in Nottingham city centre!
Nottingham Trent University is no stranger to promoting wildlife in an urban environment; for the last decade, the University’s Newton building has been home to a breeding pair of peregrine falcons. You can watch live footage of them as they lay eggs and rear their chicks on our Falcon Cam.
As a project member for the last 3 years, and the project lead for the last 2, I’ve witnessed all of these great achievements and more. But our work is not finished. Next year, NTIC will work towards the platinum award, taking inspiration from Nottingham Trent University’s tremendous track record on sustainability. Not only has our partner university topped the People & Planet Green League for the 3rd time in the past 8 years, it has also been given the EcoCampus Platinum Award for all 3 campuses; a position that has been further cemented by its strong performance in the international UI Green Metric and its internationally recognised ISO 14001 certification.
This is a fantastic achievement, recognising the hard work of people across NTIC, and demonstrating the College’s commitment to sustainability by encouraging, rewarding and celebrating practical environmental improvements.