We are a leading sustainable college

Harrow College is committed to achieving a sustainable future for ourselves and generations to come. As part of our responsible governance programme, one of our Key Performance Indicators is, “to actively promote a culture of environmental sustainability and be a leading sustainable college.” This is included in our main Strategic Objective which is: “To become an outstanding provider as recognised by Ofsted”.

Harrow College was the first general further education (FE) college to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in 2011.We were re-certified in 2013 and again in 2015 and are committed to being reaccredited in 2017. We also hold the ISO14001 accreditation for environmental management. We produced a 5 year Carbon Reduction Plan in 2010 to reduce our emissions by 25% and are proud that we exceeded our target and reduced our emissions by 33% by the end of 2014. We continue to strive to reduce our Carbon emissions and another five year Carbon Reduction Plan with 2016 as the base year.         Read our Environmental Policy Statement. Read about our Carbon Footprint


carbon-trust-standard-200pxRe-accredited for the CARBON TRUST STANDARD 2015 

Harrow College obtained an overall absolute emissions reduction of 15.3% during the compliance period of 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014. Read the certification report here.  


Harrow College won as joint winner – for the LLDD Students' Bug Hotel project. The Ann Swaine award is a local award for educational environment projects. Click to see the entry presentation. The College had previously won this award in 2013 for the wildlife pond project. The details of the entry can be found here


The College was a Finalist in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category and we were Highly Commended for our ‘Sustainability on a Shoestring!' project. The project reduced energy usage in existing, old, energy inefficient buildings on a limited budget by investing in low cost initiatives and facilitating behavioural changes among students and staff.

Harrow College was also shortlisted for the Times Educational Supplement FE national award for 'Outstanding practice in sustainability' 2012.                           

Our sustainability initiatives include:

• Fitting solar panels on buildings at both campuses, including our two newest buildings
• The new Enterprise Centre has been awarded the BREEAM Excellent standard
• The new Spring House which was opened in 2016 was also built to BREEAM Excellent standard
• Installing power perfector voltage optimisers which reduced energy consumption by 10%
• Loft insultation and pipe insulation
• Using newer, more efficient boilers
• Software installed to automatically turn off computers at the end of the day
• More efficient use of space
• Refurbishment of the science laboratories
• Fitting motion and solar controls to lighting in the toilets and corridors and some classrooms
• An on-going programme of replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs
• Purchasing new bins and re-cycling as much as possible
• Putting up bird nesting boxes and bat boxes on both campuses
• Setting up a wildlife meadow and pond at Harrow Weald
• Having 'Environmental' issues as a fixed agenda item in our termly Departmental Health, Safety and Environment Working Group meetings to discuss and action ideas for improvement
• Promoting cycling to get to College – we have secure cycle shelters and stands
• Setting up a bug hotel
• Termly collections of re-usable/recyclable items for various charities
• We now keep chickens (in the courtyard of Spring House)
• The Student Council includes an Environment Officer position
• Having a monthly Environmental Issues blog
• Having an on-going “Switch it off” campaign to encourage staff and students to turn off appliances when not in use.


wateraid-logoHarrow College participates in a scheme with WaterAid to donate a percentage of any savings on the College's water bills. In 2015 we were able to help bring clean and safe water supplies to over 4,600 people in rural Nepal. To read the complete report, please click here.

Environment Awareness Week 

Previously called Sustainability Week, we now hold an Environment Awareness Week in March each year, which includes information stalls and activities on water, waste and refuse and recycling, bee-keeping, biodiversity, upcycling, solar power, Fair Trade and food packaging to name a few. The local Green Party also attended. At the 2016 event our science students presented on their recent trip to Iceland and on individual carbon footprints, did a quiz on fruit miles and we also had the ever popular 'smoothie bike.' We would like to see more students involved in the future.  

Green Travel Day 

The London Cycling Campaign visit every year to give free maintenance checks on any bicycle brought on the day, plus advice on safer cycling and route planning, as well as the opportunity to try out some new bikes around the Campus. Harrow Council also offered courses to gain confidence in cycling. We encourage staff and students to cycle to College and provide secure sheds and cycle stands at both Campuses.

Embedding sustainability into College Life

MONTHLY BLOGS – because environmental sustainability covers so many different topics, there is a sustainability blog on the Student Portal which features a different topic each month. There is a stall at the Freshers’ Fairs giving information, hints and tips on ways to help with sustainability at College and at home too.

TERMLY CHARITY COLLECTIONS – each term we choose up to 3 different charities who take donations of specific small items and we have a dedicated collection week and send or deliver them to the relevant charity. Mostly these are things which would normally be thrown away, so in a small way we are reducing the amount of rubbish going directly to landfill . . . ‘one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold’!

Since starting these collections in the Summer Term of 2015, we have donated items to six different charities:
• The Animal Welfare Trust Centre in Bushey welcomes donations of old sheets, duvet covers and towels to make beds for their animals. Several bags of these items were taken there by our LLDD students.lldd
Spec Savers branches collect old/unwanted pairs of glasses for the Vision Aid Overseas charity – we gave them 44 pairs
The Children’s Society collect foreign coins (even pre-Euro and pre-decimal British coins) and we donated the equivalent of about £90
• The College already supports Read International by donating old books from the Learning Resource Centres, however, a concerted effort added another 8 boxes to the collection. Any further donations can be given to the Learning Resource Centre on each Campus
• Working with West London Waste we held a WEEE recycling week (waste electrical and electronic equipment) collecting small items resulting in 160 kg of items being recycled, not going to landfill.
• Plastic milk bottle lids, any colour, (they MUST have the symbol) are collected for the Air Ambulance charity. So far over 7 kg have been donated. The collection continues all year, at either Reception
• We collect used postage stamps for Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, donating over 500 g so far. These are collected all year, at Reception on each Campus
If you know of any other charities which we could support in a similar way (by collecting small items brought in by students and staff), please let the Estates Office know, via Reception. Look out for details of our next collection week via the Student Portal, television screens and emails.

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