At Orkney College UHI we are dedicated to promoting the principles of sustainability to both staff and students. This involves making sure that we operate in a way that is supportive and protective of the environment, while considering the various economic and social impacts.

Our objectives include:

  • Engaging staff and students in promoting sustainable development within the College.
  • Increasing energy efficiency and waste awareness.
  • Working with stakeholders to promote sustainability within the college.

Orkney College UHI promotes sustainability by carrying out the following:


  • Providing designated collection bins in the foyer for Glass, Plastic and Cans.
  • Depositing used batteries in the battery tower located at reception.
  • Recycling cardboard (see College Caretaker for collection).
  • Re-using unwanted single sided printouts.
  • Recycling scrap paper in designated recycling bins throughout the college buildings.
  • Re-using folders, files and polythene wallets.
  • Shredding unwanted confidential paper and passing on for horse bedding.
  • Re-using envelopes for sending internal mail.
  • Collecting used stamps for passing to charity.


Energy Saving

  • Maintaining heating at as low a level as possible.
  • Switching off lights when rooms are vacant.
  • Switching off PCs overnight.
  • Walking to meetings that are short distances away to save on emissions and fuel.


Waste Awareness

  • Using on-line materials as much as possible rather than producing photocopies.
  • Setting all photocopiers/printers to duplex printing by default.


What are our departments doing?


  • Recycling tubs for re-use.
  • Using local produce as far as possible.
  • Using bio-degradable paper towels and chemicals.


Art and Design

  • Re-using discarded wood from the Construction Department for projects.
  • Promoting sustainability through ‘Up-cycling’ projects with students.
  • Re-using materials as much as possible.


  • Using local, natural and sustainable materials and sustainable construction Techniques as much as possible.
  • Using lime mortars which are preferable to Portland cement mortars in terms of recycling such as bricks bonded with lime mortar can be reused many times over and hydrated lime can be used for remixing and reusing.
  • Cutting broken or damaged bricks to size (1/4 , ½ and ¾) and re-using to suit various bonding patterns.
  • Re-using  removed screws and bolts etc, insulation for cavity wall construction, wall ties, wall starter kits, sills, lintels and special bricks.
  • Using both sides of drawing paper and once used twice is then given to the Art Department.
  • Using offcuts as hard core for various college projects and re-using them for smaller projects or packers and wedges and setting out profiles.
  • Re-using pallets for site storage of un-palletised materials.
  • Using only timber from sustainable sources i.e. FSC approved.
  • Stripping and re-using timber from past projects.
  • Reducing size of windows, doors and floors etc to get more than one use of the timber.
  • Ensuring pre-planning of accurate setting out – “measure twice, cut once”.
  • Selling projects in Clive’s Shop.
  • Separating different types of waste – inert, non-hazardous and hazardous.
  • Ensuring sustainability is an integral part of our apprentices SVQ and Training and Assessment Programme.