Find support for your business or enter our awards for 2023.

Join for support in implementing sustainability into your business or organisation

This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund

Please complete this form to become a member of the West Suffolk College Sustainability Centre Business Programme.

As a member you are confirming you will work towards learning and adopting sustainability into your business model; work and engage with our Sustainability Business Lead, use our resources and attend our webinars & events when possible. We look forward to working with you to track your progress and create case studies to celebrate.

Additionally you can also make a pledge to our sustainability business goals (view pledges) and work towards achieving a Sustainability Award.

Sustainable development is the development or evolution that meets the needs of the present generations without sacrificing or compromising the needs of future generations. Tied into that is development without depleting natural resources of our environment. But it is much bigger than just the environment. Sustainable development includes stability and growth in economy, social justice and inclusion and the wealth of the environment.

Adopting sustainability into a business model, framework and practices can benefit a business in money saving, efficiency, lowering risk, opportunity for grants or investment, innovation, growth and being a positive advocate for protecting the planet. In which can also gain competitive advantage and improve business performance.

For all SME’s and businesses, it is important that sustainable practices are adopted for the recovery of the climate crisis. To do this all must understand their social and environmental impact to then be able to adopt meaningful change and solutions.

As a business you could start by making the pledge below and working with us at the Sustainability Centre. Where we will provide you with resources, advise, tools and more to help you in achieving these important changes. You can join us by just receiving updates, just pledging, or joining as a member for support. Otherwise, you can do all three. 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are made up of 17 goals created from the United Nations Summit in 2015. They include 169 targets aimed at tackling climate change, ending poverty, and fighting inequality and injustice that all UN members have agreed to achieve by 2030. You can explore them here: THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development (

*SDG Video* – This one if we are allowed to use it:

 Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times | Presented by Thandie Newton – YouTube

Sustainable development has many definitions however one of the most accepted definitions was “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Written in the 1987 Bruntland Commission Report.

If you need support as a business you can now use this free SGD Action Manager that has been provided by B Corp & UN

The action manager tool allows you to find starting points and a model whilst becoming aware of your company’s current impact. You can then set out goals to create improvements.

The circular economy is a circular model, regenerative by design opposed to the common ‘take-make-waste’ linear model that is most often used. It is a systemic approach to enhance and benefit businesses, societies, and the environment. In its most general terms it is looking at how we can reuse our resources and keeping it into a closed loop instead of the need of needed raw finite resources that end up in landfills.

To learn more about the circular economy and frame work, you can view this page by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which is leading in the development and promotion of the 21st century economic model: What is a Circular Economy? | Ellen MacArthur Foundation

For other resources/organisations in Circular Economy:

-Cradle to Cradle Certification, framework, and book: About the Institute – Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (

-ReThink Global circular economy talks, workshops, coaching (

-WRAP- WRAP and the circular economy | WRAP

Environmental & social standards in sustainability are important and beneficial for so many reasons, so of them being saving money, cutting carbon emissions, saving energy and saving the environment. In a market where citizens are becoming more aware they are also becoming more educated and choosing companies that have accredited standards. However many companies take this as an opportunity to ‘green wash’. Which means to make false claims of benefits to the environment to be on trend knowingly to attract consumers or even lack of knowledge.

By having standards in sustainability, it can not only assist a business to become more sustainable but also to have the approved accreditation to go with it. To find out more and to see standards available: Becoming more sustainable with standards | BSI (

One of the main accredited standards globally is ISO40041, an environmental Management system for businesses of all sizes. ISO40041 looks across day to day operations across the businesses to adopt sustainable practice. You can find out more here: ISO – Developing sustainably

B Lab is a not-for-profit organisation that certifies the voluntary B Corp Certification for-profit entity. A B Certified Corporation means being a business that meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, with public transparency and legal accountability to consider and balance both profit and purpose.

To become a B Corp you will have to be assessed by the B Lab and meet their standards. To find out more about the B Corp Certification and B Lab, click here- Certified B Corporation

B corp have also partnered with the United Nations to create the SDC Action Manager tool for businesses to that is free and confidential. You can find out more here Welcome to the SDG Action Manager | Certified B Corporation  and use the tool here: B Impact Assessment.

The UK Government post-pandemic recovery plan builds on a Green Industrial Revolution in which all sectors are called to transition to a low carbon economy, with thriving opportunities for all. In July 2021, the UK Government Taskforce for Green Jobs presented their latest report, in which all educational institutions and businesses from across sectors were urged to work together towards a Net Zero economy by 2050.

Sustainability does not build on knowledge of climate science and policy making only – most importantly, it requires of a good set of soft skills that will enable the workforce to bring sustainability to their roles, be it in the frontline or from the boardroom.

Communication, leadership, resilience, negotiation, strategic view, critical and systems thinking, networking, management, stakeholders’ engagement, positive and can-do attitude, emotional intelligence, decision-making, public speaking and storytelling… All these skills make a sustainability-minded individual to excel and bring their message across successfully, for synergies and change beyond their immediate sphere of action.

With this in mind, the Sustainability Centre can help you navigate the different opportunities and potential to embed sustainability and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals to your discipline while also working through and for the WSC Character Strengths. We can also advise you and support you to plan and run activities with a sustainability focus – e.g. appreciation of nature and biodiversity through field trips; promotion of low-carbon lifestyles through outdoor activities; visits to local organisations with ethical business practices; study of a particular issue through the lenses of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals; set up of assignments with a sustainability focus; guest speaker sessions from a great pool of local contacts at the Sustainability Centre network…

Over the last few months, we have engaged with a good number of varied FE departments across the college: Health & Social Care, Art & Design, Music & Media, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Animal Studies, Sports, Engineering, and Finance & Accountancy. We are looking to unlock all the potential in HE too and bridge the gap between academia and business needs. 

A Green Student Society has emerged at WSC. It will be a space for like-minded students across departments of all levels to share your sustainability concerns and organise initiatives and action that help bringing sustainability closer to the college, engages the local community into the conversation, and catalyses action across businesses in East Anglia. Although you will get ongoing support and guidance from the Sustainability Centre, the Green Student Society will be run by its members. Students will get to decide on activities and initiatives organised and topics covered. By joining the Green Student Society, you will benefit from a great and varied network of professional contacts across organisations of all sorts in East Anglia who are implementing sustainability strategies into their business models. You will be able to run a charitable campaign, facilitate discussions and debates, invite guest speakers, collaborate within your local community, organise exhibitions, champion for sustainability helping to raise awareness among the student body and across the local community. By actively advocating for sustainability, you will become a recognised face both in and out of the college, which will help you raise your professional profile, expand your network, master a great range of transferrable skills, and ultimately become a true leader in sustainability. And the good news is that all of this is free, and you will be supported along the way! If you want to get involved, do drop us a line to discuss your interests and ideas!

Green Internships

Sustainability needs action – so roll up your sleeves! At the Sustainability Centre, we engage with a great number of businesses from across the region. From construction to marketing to management, sustainability touches on every sector and we can support you to take sustainability to the next level! Many of our partners and members of the Sustainability Centre network do offer internships and work placements to those with an interest in having a positive impact on the planet and the local community.

The Sustainability Centre also works in collaboration with the Careers Service at WSC, and together we can help you find the right opportunity that better matches your skills and interests. 

IEMA Skills for Sustainability Courses – HE students only

WSC partners with IEMA, the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment. IEMA is the professional body for everyone working, studying or interested in environment and sustainability. They provide resources, tools, knowledge and research sharing to meet the real world needs of their members. Our in-house sustainability experts and accredited IEMA trainers deliver Level 2 and Level 4 qualifications that will help you raise your professional profile and engage with like-minded peers across the world.

We offer 1, 2 and 5 full days courses aimed at mature students and professionals from any sector, interested in expanding their knowledge in the subject and implementing sustainability practices at the operational and strategic level. 

WSC is committed to work towards a more sustainable institution. We want to see sustainability embedded across departments, both through the curriculum of all FE and HE programmes offered as well as throughout all operational levels across the organisation. Sustainability calls for collaboration across departments and disciplines for unlocking potential that helps catalysing bottom-up action and create positive synergies.

This starts with ensuring our college leaders and course tutors understand the issues at play, and it is important that they are given recognised training that is backed up by science and data.

WSC partners with IEMA, the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment. IEMA is the professional body for everyone working, studying or interested in environment and sustainability. They provide resources, tools, knowledge and research sharing to meet the real world needs of their members. Our in-house sustainability experts and accredited IEMA trainers deliver Level 2 and Level 4 qualifications that will help you engage with like-minded peers and bring sustainability to your day-to-day job.

We offer 1, 2 and 5 full days courses aimed at professionals from any sector, interested in expanding their knowledge in the subject and implementing sustainability practices at the operational and strategic level. There are limited fully-funded spaces for WSC staff members from across departments and job functions. 

We are asking all of our stakeholders, from staff members to students to businesses we partner with, to join us on this exciting journey.

Collaborations will emerge; action will be catalysed; initiatives will be implemented. And all individual and collective efforts will be brought together on the Sustainability Awards Competition.

Communicating sustainability and celebrating (big and small) success are indeed two key pieces of the puzzle. We encourage all projects and initiatives run and pledges taken are entered to the competition. Whichever your area of interest and scope of application, and whether students, staff members or local businesses, WSC is the glue that sticks us together – so let’s join forces!

There will be prizes awarded during the Sustainability Awards Ceremony at the end of the academic year, so make sure to enter your sustainability project to the competition!

College Sustainability

Every week we see new reports bringing to the front pages the latest scientific evidence of the causes and consequences of the climate emergency. The social injustices the covid pandemic has left uncovered has awoken many minds and shaken thousands of lives – and for the first time in history we are witnessing a movement of local communities, global citizens and the newest generations worldwide saying, “enough”.

Sustainability is not a subject in and of itself; rather, it is a discipline that feeds from many others and cuts across sectors, silos, departments, and industries. We must prepare our students for the jobs and societies they will encounter moving forward in their lives, equipping them with the knowledge, tools and skills to face and solve the challenges of the current moment.

This starts with ensuring our college leaders and course tutors understand the issues at play, and it is important that they are given recognised training that is backed up by science and data. Young people are inquisitive by nature, and it is during that transition from youth to adulthood that individuals develop our values and become our true self. Encouraging students to think outside the box and look beyond their most immediate reality will be key for them to understand the societal and environmental challenges of today – and work towards solutions that work for all. Sustainability requires systemic thinking and transformation, and therefore it is crucial to bring on board students from across courses and disciplines, from both HE and vocational training. An all-hands-on-deck approach to sustainability will ensure successful education programmes for an empowered, capable and committed (future) workforce that will certainly help to solve the challenges our communities face due to the effects of the climate crisis.

Through the Sustainability Centre, WSC offers a great range of training and capacity building opportunities for departments, lecturers and students alike. Keep browsing to find what most suits your needs to bring sustainability to your discipline – and beyond! Please do get in touch to discuss your needs and assess potential projects and ideas for you to get involved.

Pledges & Awards

Whether you are a business, college department or individual – you can take a pledge here to aim to adopt sustainability into your work, personal life, business, or studies. See below based on your category and sign your pledge now!



The Sustainability Awards will evaluate action towards the above pledges. There will be different categories – business, student(s), staff, department, class – culminating all in an Awards Ceremony before the end of the academic year.

The awards will consist of two areas the internal college and external college and will then have four to five award categories each:

Award Submission

The Sustainability Awards will evaluate action towards the sustainability pledges. There will be different categories – business, student, staff, department, class – culminating all in an Awards Ceremony before the end of the academic year 2021/22.


Projects and initiatives can be to be implemented and run either in the college or within the local community. Regardless of physical context, all projects and initiatives entered into the competition should:  

  • Demonstrate action towards the sustainability pledges 
  • Tackle at least 2 Sustainable Development Goals of your choice – bonus for more 
  • Be easy to implement and have no direct costs associated – with the exception of SMEs, who will be able to decide on sustainability strategies according to their business priorities and financial capacity – we’re therefore asking those at the college for behavioural changes, sustainability awareness and literacy development, which in essence are the first steps towards sustainability.

The judging panel will then evaluate:  

  • Impact and influence – how the initiatives create positive synergies outside of their specific context of implementation
  • Scope – extent to which the initiatives tackle the SDGs chosen
  • Participation – the more, the merrier! Although individual entries will also be welcomed, sustainability is all about collaboration. We encourage people to come up with collective ideas that engage as many people as possible
  • 3Ps – often times sustainability is reduced to carbon emissions and biodiversity loss, but there is way more than that! Initiatives that consider all 3Ps – People, Planet, Profit – will then be preferred
  • Originality – recycling cans is helpful and indeed very much needed, but boring!

For any queries or comments, email


Skip to content