“It’s always going to be difficult to come up with sustainable ways to support our unsustainable lifestyle”
Charles Wyman New Scientist 2008
Shebbear College is committed to the concept and practice of sustainability. This takes many forms. In no particular order, we have a catering policy which favours locally sourced produce, we have comprehensive energy and waste management systems in place, we have an annual tree planting programme, students attend training events on sustainability and environmental matters, we participate in the Eco Schools programme as well as the World Action in Methodist Schools Programme. (World AIMS), and also run a Fair Trade shop.
This list is not exhaustive, as many small initiatives regularly take place. Our new sustainability suite located alongside our Biomass Plant will provide a focal point for ensuring that being sustainable is well ingrained in the education we provide at Shebbear College. It is hoped that this will inspire questions in the minds of our whole community about the numerous pressure faced by planet earth, so that we can all do our bit.
In and beyond the classroom we are making strong efforts to make ourselves more sustainable.One of the most measurable ways is through our Renewable Energy strategy. It has a number of components:
Our 200kw Biomass plant, will provide heat and hot water to our main building. The scale of the scheme is such that it will replace 25% of our energy produced by fossil fuel. In this case it will reduce the heating oil we use on the site by 50%, in one hit. The planning application has been submitted and all being well it will be installed early summer 2013. The system will run on wood chip sourced from local sustainable supplies. If this scheme works there is scope to add further biomass boilers to the site.
There is a well-developed plan to apply to site a 50kw Solar Array on the school site on a piece of available ground. This system will feed in to our electricity usage and should provide around 5% of the electricity we consume which currently comes from fossil fuels.
Biodiesel (Viridian Fuels Ltd)
Shebbear College have been awarded Associate status in the Royal Society Associate Schools and Colleges Scheme for Excellence in Science following the success of Viridian Fuels Ltd, a company set up by students. The company converts waste vegetable oil, supplied by Tamar Foods, into biodiesel. This is used as vehicle fuel and as heating oil.
In 2012 the company received the North Devon Manufacturing Association Environmental Project Award. Viridian was founded by sixth formers in 2010. They became directors of the company and sold shares to provide the start-up capital. Pupils are involved at every stage of the process from company logo design, through to production and accounting.
In late 2011, following a lengthy process, and in acknowledgement of the opposition voiced by villagers, Shebbear College withdrew its planning application to erect a 50Kw, 46m Wind Turbine. Although the College is, and will continue to be, very keen to explore alternative power sources, the preservation of its long term excellent relationship with the village is thought more important than the potential gains from the proposed initiative at this time.
This action has been taken by the Governors and the Headmaster after having listened to number of presentations on behalf of the village from local residents. The College has always appreciated the support it receives from the local community and is committed to maintaining strong bonds within the parish of Shebbear.
Electric Car Charging Point
Consultations are currently on-going about the possibility of siting an electric car charging point (or 2) at the College.
Shebbear College is an independent UK school, a co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18, located in rural North Devon.