Chris Graham discusses sustainability at Hills with The Green Edge

Chris Graham, the Head of Biology at Hills Road, sat down with The Green Edge to discuss how Hills Road is doing their bit to help the environment.

Thank you for all of your hard work Chris!

Chris Graham, the Head of Biology at Hills Road, recently sat down with Fraser Harper and Michael Cross of The Green Edge to discuss a wide range of environmental issues and how Hills Road is doing their bit to help with decarbonisation.

Chris, Sustainability Lead at Hills Road Sixth Form College has been a pivotal part of the College’s efforts to go green, become more eco-conscious, and help teach students about the environmental issues of today.

Chris has also done some incredible work outside the College to raise awareness about key issues and support others within the education sector. In a recent volume of the Journal of Biological Education, Chris vocalised his perspective on ‘The role of the education sector in shaping a sustainable future’. Here, he provides a “short, snappy and salient” view of how schools can play a central role in the generation of a sustainable future.

“I didn't think we could legitimately push sustainability in our education if we weren't doing what we said we were going to do. We need to be an authentic voice and I believe it's urgent. I don't want to put all the responsibility onto my students and say I'm going to teach you all about sustainability, then you go and solve it. That'll be too late. We want to crack on and start the journey with our own decarbonisation”. Chris Graham, Head of Biology

When speaking with The Green Edge, Chris voiced some of Hills Road’s environmental targets, including the College’s pledge to reduce their carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050.

He went on to discuss what the College has done, and plans to continue to do, to achieve this ambitious, although not unrealistic, goal. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Stopping air travel for school trips
  • Switching to a renewable energy supplier
  • Using solar energy
  • Using air source heat pumps
  • Bike to work/car share schemes

These efforts have not been separated from the teaching activities at Hills Road. Instead, environmental awareness has been incorporated at a variety of different levels. A level Environmental Science has recently been introduced into the College’s curriculum, while the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) gives all students the opportunity to choose sustainability-related projects.

We want to thank Chris for all his incredible efforts at raising awareness and supporting the College to tackle the climate crisis. His efforts and guidance have helped steer Hills Road in a positive direction that we all hope will continue to grow and make important changes in the years to come.

I'm speculating quite a lot now, but in the future, I'd love to see our expectation for the offer for students to be your choice of three A levels plus half an A level in a sustainability qualification. I think that would in some respects be better than weaving sustainability into every subject, where it might get lost a bit. But I believe everyone can enhance their future prospects by having training in sustainability. No matter what they want to go into in the future, a grounding in sustainability is brilliant for the future of humanity, and also brilliant for their career prospects. So that's what I would really like to see. We're a little way off, but we’re currently exploring options

Chris Graham, Head of Biology