In 2019 Brighton College banned the misuse of plastics on campus, and banned single-use water bottles. In a whole school initiative, each pupil and member of staff was issued with a bottle made from sugarcane (biologically sustainable and with zero net carbon impact) saving 31,200 bottles of water per year. Members of our College community are also expected to carry a 'Keep Cup', eliminating 8,000 disposable cups each week from our waste stream.
There are recycling hubs across the school, in every social space. These are managed by our maintenance team, and we are in partnership with 14 different private recycling schemes. This means we are able to recycle items such as crisp packets, tooth brushes, batteries, pens and bread bags - which the local council cannot. All other waste is managed by our maintenance team so that nothing from Brighton College goes to landfill.
All food on campus comes from sustainable sources and packaging, where possible, is fully compostable. Food waste is also collected and used to make animal food or fertiliser. Our catering regularly run “pop-up” vegan and vegetarian events and have a rotating educational display for pupils about the energy footprint of their diet choices.
Each House at the college has a Green Rep who attends meetings each term to discuss environmental issues as they relate to the school. Green Reps have the responsibility of feeding back to their peers and being involved in school-wide education campaign materials and assembly topics.
In addition to this, Sixth Form pupils can join 'Green Team' as a service option on their timetables. This involves pupils and staff spending time discussing, planning and actioning green causes to create whole-school projects and resources. Over the past 4 years we have planted 1400 trees on our site or with other schools around Brighton.
As part of our new BC Change course, pupils learn how to create and action a political campaign, with many choosing environmental issues as their focus. Many of our pupils also actively engage with outside agencies to campaign for various causes. In the past, several pupils have been elected to the city-wide Environmental Education Committee, and have hosted Q&A sessions with local MPs.
In 2019 we encouraged our pupils to be involved in the global Youth Strike for Climate - a part of the international climate movement. Those with parental permissions were allowed to attend demonstrations, and shared their experiences with the whole school as a part of Green Week.
At Brighton College we believe that climate change is the most pressing issue of our age, and we are proud that our pupils act of their own accord to hold all of us to account, and to help leave the world a better place than they found it.