Our Commitment to the Environment
For Field Studies Council a commitment to the environment is at the heart of everything we do: how we run the charity, what people learn on our courses and through our publications. Sustainability for the future is one of our four values.
A reduction in carbon footprint is embedded in our future plans. As an environmental education charity, FSC has rightly set itself ambitious targets to reduce its carbon footprint by 40% per learner by 2020.
Here are some of the ways we are demonstrating our commitment to the environment and this target:
Carbon Management Plan
The FSC Carbon Management Plan details our aims in reducing the organisation’s carbon footprint and some of the ways this will be carried out. It considers how the efficiency of our buildings can be improved as well as changing the behaviours of staff and visitors to reduce our carbon.
As a result of the Carbon Management Plan and actions already carried out FSC is proud to have been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in 2015.
The Carbon Trust Standard publicly recognises an organisation's efforts in reducing carbon emissions and provides tangible proof to its employees, customers and suppliers that it is committed to making future reductions.
By the end of 2015 FSC reduced carbon emissions by 20% per learner which is significant progress towards our target of a reduction of 25% per learner by the end of 2017.
Sustainability co-ordinators at each of our locations work with colleagues to communicate to the many people who visit us each year not only to help us reduce our impact but also to encourage behaviour change when they return to their homes.
The programme of projects to improve our environmental performance includes the installation of solar panels at Dale Fort, a biomass boiler at FSC Millport and improvements to heating systems at FSC Castle Head and FSC Preston Montford. Over £397k was invested on this in 2015.
FSC is delighted to have beeen awarded two fantastic prizes in 2016; a second Green Apple Award and Best Newcomer at the Green Gown Awards. See our short video below:
FSC has an environmental policy which supports the FSC Vision for 2020 to ‘ensure the Charity’s activities are sustainable’. This policy complements the Carbon Management Plan.
It includes ways our staff, buildings and grounds, procurement and investment will all help towards our commitment to reducing carbon.
FSC Environmental Policy
In 2014 FSC launched its Green Fund - a pot of money set aside each year which FSC Centres can bid to for innovative projects that will help carbon reduction. We showcase some of the successful bids here:
An electrical charging point for vehicles was installed at FSC Blencathra allowing FSC to further the benefits of the 2013 hydropower scheme which generates the electricity. The installation of the charging point was included in our successful bid to be a Twizy host during the See More Programme. This expands a fleet of pay as you drive low emission cars across Cumbria. Two of the quirky Twizy cars will be based at Blencathra.
The Green Fund grant has been used to purchase pallet scales as part of the waste monitoring programme. This was initially for landfill waste for the first six weeks and now recycling waste has been added to the routine. The data collected will be analysed and used to create display to inform staff and as part of a learning resource at the centre.
Two projects were funded both of which involved cycling and related infrastructure. This includes purchase of bike stands and bike lock planters which will be planted with bee friendly plants.. Bikes and clothing have been bought and tutors are working on interpretation for the projects.
FSC Slapton Ley
A project to increase the number of compost bins and associated interpretation for the bins to ensure appropriate use, engage visitors and educate people about how the system works and what they can do at home. This should greatly increase the educational in addition to the obvious visual impact.
FSC Juniper Hall
A project to install solar panels on the roof of the Cedars accommodation block. The specification is complete and has now been approved by National Trust. Planning permission is now being sought from the local Council with the aim of installation soon after.
What we deliver
Our learning opportunities focus on the natural world. FSC believes that the more we understand about and take inspiration from the world around us the more we can appreciate its needs and protect its diversity and beauty for future generations.
By incorporating our values into the content that we teach we aim to encourage others to take them on board and affect their own behaviour.
Some invasive non-native species can cause problems for native species and global biodiversity. FSC Centres are fully aware of good biosecurity practices to reduce the spread of non-native species, and work to record native species.
Find out more about managing non-native species