MPCT was formed in 1999 and is the UK’s largest Military Preparation College. The College has been dedicated to supporting opportunities for young people through training and education for post-16 learners, but has since broadened its provision to include an alternative education programme for pre-16 learners.
Currently they have 21 locations across England and Wales with over 1000 learners engaging in courses at anyone time. To date, the college has been extremely successful in progressing over 6000 learners into a career or further training of their choice and as such has been recognised as a Grade 1 Learning Provider by Ofsted.
Phillip Jones, Director of Schools for MPCT, talks to us about the Green Dragon certification process and how it has benefitted MPCT:
What was the organisation’s reason for seeking Green Dragon Certification?
MPCT has always been committed to ESDGC, embedding the educational element into all aspects of our delivery model. The Company had also made a commitment to sustainability within its operations but needed a recognised certification by which to measure the progress. Green Dragon is a prestigious award and a proven process to give both baseline and improvement assessments. The assessment process is rigorous, but also allows for professional dialogue - allowing for each company to demonstrate its individual character but still be judged consistently within the Standard.
How does Green Dragon support the organisation’s aims and objectives?
Green Dragon supports MPCT by helping to identify our main environmental impacts and priorities, which then become a part of the overall planning for the company. The process allows for reflection as well as providing challenging tasks - which help to maintain momentum and to ensure that all goals are achieved. The annual certification process maintains the focus and energy of all involved. Indeed seldom have I come across a process which engages with staff so effectively - to the point that they readily volunteer to contribute to the final assessment process!
What has changed as a result of implementing Green Dragon?
A number of new initiatives have been implemented such as a Cycle to Work Scheme, monitoring of printing, monitoring of energy use, further promotion of the environment/sustainability and the introduction of a car sharing scheme. These changes have contributed to the environment becoming a key priority for the company. There is also a major focus on changing both learner and staff behaviours with regards to the environment.
How has the organisation benefitted from Green Dragon certification?
Headline figures are impressive. £50,000 has been saved on printing alone, through changes in printing practices within the company. We have saved a further £8000 in energy bills – through improved office/schools practices and a change in provider. The Company has also been involved in producing a film about ESDGC for students. However, it has been the change in behaviour within the company which has been most pleasing to observe and this is affecting practices beyond the work or learning boundaries.
Without the Green Dragon Award we would have undoubtedly lost our focus at certain times of the year. However the readiness of the Green Dragon Staff to answer questions and support discussions has been a welcomed benefit of being involved in the assessment process. It has also given us measureable outcomes which we can celebrate with learners and staff.