UWC Changshu China
As a member of the UWC Community, sustainability is a centerpiece of the college’s belief that we are custodians of planet Earth, entrusted with the responsibility to pass on our planet to the generations that will follow us. Accordingly, sustainability has been given a prominent role in our organization in many aspects of our educational and co-curricular programs. This ambition is a mix of idealism and practical initiatives that give our students a sense of agency in achieving tangible changes that contribute to the local environment.
Student involvement is the key to achieving change at the local level. Engendering a sense of the importance of sustainability during their years as students at UWC CSC, as graduates of UWC CSC at educational institutions all over the world, and also in their many and varied roles they will take on in the wider communities where they can continue to make an impact. This starts with the subject “Peace and Sustainability”, which prioritizes challenging students to find ways to make campus-based changes that have a real impact on the college’s impact on the environment. Similarly, the college has a wide range of co-curricular activities that give students opportunities to undertake activities that also prioritize enhancing the sustainability of the college by reducing the environmental impact of various parts of the college. This includes activities such as gardening, zero plastic, local ecology, and biodiversity of the lake upon which the college is located.
Alongside these student-centered activities, UWC CSC is targeting ways to improve the long-term sustainability of the college. An important step in achieving this is through gaining a clearer understanding of our own carbon footprint. With a better understanding of the college’s impact in mind, we are already focusing on operational changes that can result in real improvements. We have introduced constant monitoring with regard to our priorities. Our current working groups are carbon monitoring, food waste and plant-based food, and active lifestyle changes that reduce environmental impacts and repair, reuse and resell. Finally, UWC CSC has adopted the “Anatomy of Action” approach currently being promoted by UN Environment and UNSCHOOL. This approach prioritizes developing everyday actions for enacting sustainable living and lifestyles based on micro-actions that can lead to macro changes. This fits in with the college’s vision of improving sustainability through empowering our students to realize change.