At Highbury, we have created an inspiring 21st-century College for use by the whole community.

A commitment to the issue of sustainability has been at the heart of our redevelopment - this is demonstrated by the building of a new ‘green' campus, the introduction of significant sustainable technology, college-wide recycling and waste management, and an ambitious travel plan.

The new Campus was ‘Highly Commended' at the Hampshire Sustainable Business Awards in May 2010 and was described by the judges as 'inspirational', demonstrating the College's “strong commitment to the use of renewable energies”.

Travel plan

Our travel plan was introduced in 2007 with the target of a 9% reduction in commuting car traffic. Two hundred bike parking spaces have been built at the new campus to support the plan. In addition the plan has resulted in:

  • The reduction of car permit spaces from 450 to 319 at the new Campus to reduce car journeys
  • The purchase of low-carbon Smart cars for inter-site use
  • A free cycle scheme for students

Highbury College came top in the Extra-large Category of Portsmouth's annual Big Green Commuter Challenge in May 2012.

The new Campus

The multi-million pound Highbury Campus opened in 2009. It was built on a brownfield site to reduce the impact on the local eco system; local contractors were used and sustainable materials, including FSC timber and Marmoleum flooring, were incorporated where possible.

The new Campus includes one of the largest geothermal (or 'ground source heat pumps' (GSHP)) in the UK, capable of saving an annual 2,275,000kWh of electricity or 548 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Additional sustainable features at the new Campus include:

  • A Building Management System (BMS) to reduce waste by close monitoring of energy use
  • 500 square meters of photovoltaic cells capable of generating 42,500kWh a year
  • A motorised brise soleil to reduce solar gain during warmer seasons and allow passive solar heating during the winter
  • Automatic motion and external light sensor lighting in classrooms, saving 50,000kWh a year
  • Active chilled beams for temperature control, saving 217,000kWh a year over more usual fan coil units
  • Sustainable IT
  • Introduction of virtual server technology to reduce the physical number of servers reducing power and associated cooling costs
  • New eFinance and eHR IT systems to reduce paper and internal postage and speed up business processes
  • Introduction of Canvas virtual learning environment, reducing reliance on paper
  • PCs with auto shutdown software, saving 135,000kWh a year


Eco-friendly students filmed taking part in our Sustainability Fair held at Lakeside in 2015

Finance and suppliers

Environmental practices at the College now cover every aspect of College life. Sustainable concerns form part of the ordering and procurement process with a preferred use of local and regional suppliers and the use of recycled materials where appropriate. Chartwells, the College's caterers, were selected in part on the basis of their commitment to corporate responsibility, including the procurement of Fairtrade produce. In addition the College has introduced a requirement for suppliers to take away packaging, reducing waste, and to submit details of their environmental policies as part of the tender process.

Waste management

Following a review of the College's waste disposal procedures, College-wide cardboard and paper recycling, oil recycling and general waste compaction were introduced in 2007, reducing traffic movements and carbon emissions. Waste is now segregated and monitored to manage reductions and there is a preferred use of non-hazardous materials.