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GMColleges Goes Green

Written on 8th May 2024

GMColleges Green Week (22nd – 26th April) aims to celebrate and raise awareness of climate change and sustainability while encouraging the communities we support across our nine General Further Education Colleges to take action. 

There are a number of important initiatives being implemented across our network to ensure that sustainable choices are easier for our staff and learners, while also limiting our collective impact on the environment.


During the week, many of our colleges held workshops and events dedicated to showcasing and encouraging more sustainable travel options. From car sharing and cycling to using buses and trams, our staff and learners used Green Week to try new ways of commuting to college.

Transport for Greater Manchester also visited our colleges to discuss the BeeNetwork and sustainable travel options. 

Our colleges provided practical workshops and resources to support sustainable travel long term including bike maintenance sessions and electric vehicle webinars to ensure that those choosing to go greener were aware of the most suitable option to choose from.

Climate-friendly Courses

Our colleges provide a range of courses that encompass sustainability from engineering and construction to beauty and catering. Bolton College has recently launched a new employer-driven Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship, custom-designed to meet the demand in the plumbing industry for professionals skilled in renewables and sustainable technology.

Food & Drink

Our colleges offer fantastic catering facilities for both staff and students every single day, which enabled us to offer meat and dairy free alternatives throughout Green Week. The dedicated teams also shared a range of climate friendly recipes, from burritos to baked feta – there was a sustainable option for everyone. 

Many of our colleges delivered Skills for Life workshops focused on sustainable cooking, empowering their learners with the practical skills needed to introduce sustainability at home.

Bury College provided learners with a unique opportunity to plant a range of vegetables on campus including seasonal tomatoes. While Wigan & Leigh College had fun creating delicious fruit smoothies by generating power through pedalling on a bike!

Swap Shops

Another really popular event with learners from across the region were swap swaps – an opportunity for staff and learners to bring in their pre-loved items including clothes, books, home decor and accessories and upcycle or donate them, rather than buying new!

ESOL learners from both Oldham College and Hopwood Hall College did a fantastic job of running the swap shop enterprises.

Community Support

Level 1 Carpentry and Joinery students from Tameside College designed and built wooden planters for St Gabriel’s Church nearby to the college, to help encourage wildlife into the gardens ahead of summer. Meanwhile students from Salford City College Group took part in a litter pick with other members of the local community, to clean up the local parks and streets.

While Green Week aims to highlight and celebrate the hard work and dedication of our nine colleges becoming greener and more sustainable, the commitment to reducing our collective carbon footprint doesn’t just stop after this week. Our colleges are working on initiatives to reduce and reuse waste, embrace offline and generate awareness and education around climate change throughout the year.