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The Cornwall College Group saves 1,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas with UK first renewable energy contract

Published: 17th March 2021

Cornwall’s largest college group has saved more than 1,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas by moving to a sustainable energy tariff.

In a UK first, The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) was one of just 20 education providers to sign the pioneering deal with The Energy Consortium (TEC), which has led to its electricity being provided from British wind farms since October.

This ground-breaking move means the College, which boasts campuses across Devon and Cornwall, has locked-in a proportion of its power at a fixed price over a 10-year period.

In turn they are directly supporting the availability of renewable energy in the country, whilst making a considerable contribution to a ‘net-zero’ carbon environment – a target that the UK Government must reach by 2050 by law.

It comes as TCCG’s leadership team announce a week dedicated to making their Group even more sustainable.

Due to take place on April 19 to 23, ‘Love our Planet’ week will see the College host leading voices in Cornwall’s environmental community to discuss how to cut down on carbon emissions whilst changing everyday habits of its staff and students.

Adrian Ford, TCCG’s vice principal for operations, said: “As a college, we have made huge strides in becoming more sustainable and this new renewable energy tariff was an important step into making us carbon neutral as an organisation.

“But we want to go even further, so ‘Love our Planet’ week will focus on making sure we all look at how we can be more sustainable, at home, in college and during work.

“With the G7 summit due to take place here in Cornwall, we believe this is the perfect time to be having these conversations and taking meaningful action to achieve net-zero.

“As a college we are proud to be specialise in the types of courses that see students go on to achieve amazing things in the environmental field.”

Students at our Duchy College Stoke Climsland campus are already embarking on an exciting Climate Action Fund backed-project to make East Cornwall’s farms carbon-neutral by 2035.

And with courses in wildlife conservation, marine ecology, land management, marine biology and more; Adrian said the Group was clearly an institution that is passionate about protecting the planet’s future.

“There is no doubt in my mind our students past, present and future will become global voices on this vital topic and I am delighted as a college leadership team we can also show our commitment to this cause,” he added.

The TEC contract signed by the College is providing energy from onshore wind, a totally clean renewable energy product that produces zero carbon and can be reported as such.

Managing Director of TEC, Richard Murphy, said: “The corporate PPA market has long been touted as a means for larger organisations to procure renewable power and enable subsidy-free development.

“But to date, it has largely been the preserve of very large companies, requiring substantial commitments from buyers. By acting together in a collaborative approach facilitated by the energy expertise here at TEC, these institutions, whether large or small, have been able to navigate a previously inaccessible market.

“The combined challenge facing the education and wider public sector is to secure reduced carbon emissions whilst saving money and I am delighted that the TEC team have secured both through this groundbreaking deal.”


The Energy Consortium (TEC)

TEC is a member owned not-for-profit public buying organization. They are committed to supporting their members to effectively manage their energy estate assets from the perspective of cost, consumption and carbon.


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