Skip to main content

Sustainable actions at DCG

Woodland Trust Logo

DCG have helped raise over £1.37m

Over recent years DCG has played a significant role in helping to raise over £1.37 million for the Woodland Trust, leading to the planting of more than 354,000 trees and the capture of over 82,000 tonnes of CO2. During 2023 alone, by using Woodland Trust Printer Paper, DCG has helped fund 1.35 hectares of new native UK woodland, to capture 404 tonnes of CO2!

Ecosia logo

DCG have switched to ECOSIA

On 1st February 2024 we switched DCG’s default search engine from Google to Ecosia.

When you search for anything on the internet, the web browser generates money from the ads displayed on the screen. Ecosia uses this money to plant trees.

Planting trees has many benefits:

  • Reducing CO2 in the atmosphere
  • Increasing Biodiversity
  • Water Security
  • Clean air

Read more about Ecosia

Race to Zero logo

Race to Zero

Universities & Colleges of the world are signing up to the Race to Zero, a Global Initiative for a Zero Carbon World Derby College Group (DCG) recognizes that climate change, now being referred to as The Climate & Nature Crisis or The Climate Emergency, is one of the most significant global challenges of the century.

As such DCG is preparing to join The Race to Zero or The Race to Resilience! A UN High-Level Climate Champions initiative encouraging institutions to take meaningful action towards halting and reversing the effects of the Climate and Nature Crisis. Led by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), the campaign advocates for a recovery that prevents future threats, creates jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

We are signing up to this global collaboration alongside 1107 Institutions represented by 10,767,654 Students. 147 of those are right here in the UK represented by 1,680,200 British students! Visit the Race to Zero website to find out more.

Students planting trees

DCGs Jubilee tree planting

We are delighted to confirm DCGs Jubilee tree planting has been a success with over 100 trees planted.

Through the Queens Canopy programme initiative DCG has converted approximately 3-4 acres of existing and cultivated grassland to increase and protect the native tree cover and assist the college in its carbon sequestering and biodiversity net gain ambitions.

It is expected that once fully grown the trees will sequester 4.72tCO2e per year! Well done!!

Coal heating system

£3.6 million Salix Fund

£3.6 million Salix Fund Secures DCG Air Source Heat Pump at Broomfield Goodbye COAL!! Great news, the air source heat pump has now been switched on!

After securing £3.6 million Salix funding in 2021 for the replacement of a district coal heating system with several Air and Water sourced heat pumps at Broomfield Hall. This system is now used to heat the some of the college buildings and provide hot water.

Congratulations! This is a great step forward for the college and will contribute massively to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and our CO2 impact on our planet.

Broomfield roof replacement

Salix Fund package of works

No more leaky roofs at Broomfield Hall. Roof replacement has been installed on the Old Hall. The establishment and installation of regenerative PV systems on the roof and Installation of Aluminium framed insular glazing to the Lathkilldale building has also been completed.

Solar panels on college roof


Around 773 solar panels providing kw? Saving CO2 have been installed by the DCG estates team at our Broomfield, Ilkeston, Hudson and Joseph Wright Centre sites.

The panels are expected to continue to produce electricity for up to 40 years.

This development demonstrates DCGs continuing commitment to environmental sustainability and is one of a range of measures that the College is taking to reduce its CO2 emissions.

The education sector makes up over 2% of the UK’s carbon emissions. Institutions such as colleges are responsible for educating the next generation on how to live more sustainably and must lead by example.

Reducing our impact on the environment must be prioritised to remain attractive to prospective students, as ranking systems increasingly include sustainability performance into their criteria.

Staff replace lighting

Net Zero 2050 ambition

DCG are actively phasing out mercury filled fluorescent lights with environmentally friendly LED lights In line with our Net Zero 2050 ambitions. DCG has introduced an ongoing LED replacement regime across the College estate.

Energy-efficient lighting is an important strategy to combating the Climate and Nature Crisis. On average, LED lighting uses 40% less power than fluorescent solutions and 80% less than incandescent bulbs while producing the same amount of light.

The superb efficiency of LEDs also makes them environmentally friendly.

Science lab at Joseph wright centre

Reduce CO2 emissions

In a bid to further reduce CO2 emissions in line with our Net Zero 2050 ambitions. DCG has introduced an ongoing installation of Presence Detection lighting controls. An analysis of the Energy and Cost Savings Potential revealed that Presence Detection lighting controls can save between 35% -55% on electricity consumption.

lagged pipes

Conserving Energy

With a keen focus on conserving energy DCG installs Pipe Insulation lagging across all sites.

DCG Logo

Environment and Sustainability Courses

DCG are currently developing a range of environment and sustainability courses and aims to embed sustainable development into every course by 2025!

DCG have ambitious aims to integrate and deliver environmental and sustainability awareness throughout the College curriculum and ensure that sustainability is embedded within learning and teaching activities, so that students have the relevant knowledge on sustainability within their career paths.

Young people are currently facing a high level of uncertainty and negative news. We have a Duty of Care towards the students to elevate Eco-Anxiety and provide them with the information and skills required to counter the Climate and Nature Crisis on both a personal and professional level, and to assist them to thrive and survive in a changing climate.

Head of Land-based, Jon Collins, the Environmental and Sustainability Officer, Rachael Willshaw and Lynne Brandt, Senior EdTech Coach will lead the implementation and design of the colleges Level 2 in Climate and Nature Crisis, Sustainability and Environmental Awareness.

Bees at Broomfield


During the Salix renovations on the Broomfield Old Hall building, the roofers unearthed a large hive of bees colonizing under the roof joists. The bees were very carefully removed and relocated to a local farm!

Students in the urban garden at joseph wright centre

The Joseph Wright Centre Urban Garden

Staff and a team of dedicated students from the Joseph Wright Centre have transformed a dull grey outside space into a place to sit, relax, talk and enjoy!

This outdoor environment has massive potential for positive learning experiences. We are extremely fortunate to have such a fantastic Urban Garden as a potential resource for Environment and Sustainability course integration in line with DCGs aspirations. The guidance makes it clear that the outdoor environments offer motivating, exciting, different, relevant, and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college!

Hands hold fuel pellets

DCG continuing commitment to Zero Carbon

DCG continuing commitment to Zero Carbon delivering Zero Waste to landfill on commercial waste As part of our waste contract agreement with Veolia contractor sorts through our waste so that it can be fully recycled. In 2021, 40.3% of DCG waste was recycled and the remaining 59.7% was diverted from landfill to produce “RDF – Refuse Derived Fuel”.

From the period of 1st April 2019 – 31st March 2020 DCG emitted 4.99 t/CO2e from its waste activities.