UWC Red Cross Nordic

UWC Red Cross Nordic was ahead of its time in identifying an environmental focus alongside its Nordic and humanitarian foundational pillars and an educational commitment has existed since the first years of the college. Meaningfully responding to the climate crisis in policy, practice and infrastructure requires time and money, which are now part of the campus development plan.

Our outstanding natural environment, our mountains and fjord provide the perfect context for experiential learning, promoting appreciation of the Nordic “friluftsliv” to respect and protect our natural environment. Our students all take outdoor programmes from a basic outdoor course to leadership in specialist areas, on the fjord and in the mountains, following traditions of making and using traditional boats, to navigating across the mountains in summer and winter, on skis, learning to live in and from the land.

Promoting Nordic food culture (Madkulturen) is a Nordic government supported research and development project aiming to change attitudes to promote more sustainable practice, institutionally in what we provide and individually in what we choose.

Energy use is supported by the local authorities with our power grid providing energy from renewable sources and our own energy use and cost being minimised through retro-fitting heating systems utilising heat pumps.

Water and ice are critical elements of climate change and our proximity to the sea and to Jostedalsbreen, continental Europe’s largest glacier and one of 2,534 glaciers in Norway, just a few hours from the college, provides us with an amazing context for learning. In the last 30 years, since RCN was founded, Norway’s glaciers have reduced by 326 sq km, a reduction of around 11%. Our students are part of a CNN project to evaluate the impact of climate change.

These opportunities make our students keen to understand how to bring about meaningful change, politically, socially, and practically on our campus. Support is given to enable students to attend climate action summits and conferences and to participate in projects and programmes locally, nationally and internationally.

There is more to do…

Key facts

Sustainability coordinators

Ulrike Lindfield Roberts

Sustainability score Card

Progress monitoring

Renewable energy

Dedicated paid staff time

Dedicated focal days

Working groups