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ECSA is awarded new funding to help respond to the Climate Emergency

Posted: 2nd April 2020

Edinburgh College Students’ Association (ECSA) has been awarded over £190,000 as part of the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), allowing it respond to the Climate Emergency.

Building on a previous project, this funding will lead to the creation of a new climate change project that will run through to 2022.

The new project will offer free support to help Edinburgh College students to travel more sustainably, and to reduce their food and textile waste.

Activities will include cycle training and bike maintenance workshops, continuing the current Liftshare scheme, introducing a Community Fridge at each campus, and running swap-shop events.

In addition, the team will work to increase understanding of climate change among our student community by running workshops during class time and providing opportunities to develop sustainability skills through extracurricular and voluntary activities.

ECSA Director Al Wilson said: “We’re thrilled to receive this funding from the Scottish Government to continue our Go Green project. Our aim is not only to help the College and our students reduce their carbon footprint, but also to increase climate literacy, help change behaviours, and to support the wider community – through schemes like our Community Fridge.”

Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “I’m delighted that our Students’ Association have been allocated this funding to allow them to continue carrying out their fantastic work in Sustainability. Our students are hugely passionate about the increasing climate challenges facing us all.

“The team has already achieved so much, inspiring many students and staff to factor climate change into their daily lives, ensuring that we all contribute to a greener society.

“We all look forward to the next project getting underway and seeing the College community come together raise awareness of climate change and take action to protect our planet.”

In April 2018, ECSA became the first college students’ association to be awarded CCF funding, which led to the current Go Green low-carbon travel project. That project is now close to completion and has achieved astounding results – saving 321 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

This leads to a projected lifetime saving1 of 1009 tonnes of CO2 equivalent – a 244% increase on the target initially set out by the team.

In addition, ECSA has engaged with more than 1200 students throughout the project, delivering classes focused on Sustainability over the past two years. Feedback gathered found that 54% of students felt their climate knowledge increased through these sessions.

If you would like to hear more about plans for the next project, contact the team by email go.green@ecsa.scot.

1– Here, ‘lifetime’ means 3 years. The CCF carbon reporting tool uses this length of time as the assumed persistency factor of any behaviour changes made by project participants.

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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