Dundee and Angus College’s principal Simon Hewitt has been appointed lead principal for climate emergency by Colleges Scotland, to champion the sector’s contribution to achieving net-zero goals.
As Scotland works towards a target of 2045 for achieving net-zero carbon emissions, Scotland’s colleges aim to meet the goal by 2040 or earlier.
As well as leading the wider sector, Hewitt has also set ambitious targets for his own college, which has stood at the forefront of the sector for some time.
Since 2010, the Dundee and Angus College has reduced its carbon emissions by an impressive 63% through various activities and projects and has installed a range of sustainable technologies.
They have also vowed to replace all gas-fired technology with renewable technology, and replace all fossil-fuel powered vehicles with electric versions.
No business flights will be permitted by college staff within the UK and all plastic waste will be phased out by the end of 2022.
Hewitt is also chairperson of ESP, a collaboration of Scotland’s colleges and industry partners established to increase Scotland’s capability and capacity to deliver the right skills for the energy, engineering and construction sectors to meet industry demand.
Mr Hewitt said: “Since the Scottish Government declared a climate emergency in 2019, Scotland’s colleges have responded at an institutional level by addressing a range of environmental issues.
“Now, as Scotland prepares to host the COP26, it’s only fitting we all come together to commit collectively and collaboratively – not just as colleges but working alongside other strategic and curriculum partners within our communities through our hosting of ESP.
“Here at Dundee and Angus, we have been playing a lead role within the sector for around 10 years so it’s fitting that we’re committing to reaching some of the targets sooner.
As part of my role with Colleges Scotland, we will be defining the drivers which we collectively should be focusing on and driving that agenda.
“For me, it’s primarily ensuring that our students are ready for the green agenda and that local businesses have the workforce they need to excel.
“By representing the sector on a national level and seeking funding where needed, it’s our duty as educators to pull together and leave a lasting legacy for the next generation.”
Image: Billy Grace, head of estates, (left) with Principal Simon Hewitt (Credit: Dundee and Angus College)
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