The Northern School of Art understands the importance of contributing positively to our environment and community. We are taking steps to encourage sustainable ideas and practices in our school on an educational and operational level. As a creative community we want to challenge ourselves and our students to make better choices, concepts and designs to benefit our planet. The creative industries have come a long way to make their design and production processes much more sustainable and so it is important that our students understand this language and development. Read more to find out about the wonderful ways our staff and students are getting involved.

Our Aims

At The Northern School of Art we want to promote sustainable living and practices by integrating ethical and environmentally aware principles in to our teaching, community & estate.

• Research and learn about ways in which we can improve and implement sustainable living within our school’s community. • Support and encourage students and staff to contribute to an environmentally friendly campus through things like recycling, using less single use plastics and reducing printing. • Educate our students where possible on ways in which they can use creative sustainable techniques within their practice. • Encourage and inform staff and students on ways in which they can contribute to sustainable/environmentally friendly activities and projects; such as beach cleaning & litter picking. • Promote and share sustainable stories and projects that our staff and students engage with through our social platforms to support and celebrate their contribution’s. • Look for ways within our operations to be more energy efficient and reduce our impact on the environment.

Our Sustainable & Energy Efficient Campus

Our new campus has been designed to reduce the impact our school has on the environment.

The Northern School of Art is currently developing a new state-of-the-art campus building for our Further Education students in the heart of Middlesbrough. This new location will not only enhance the educational experience of our students with new spaces and resources but has been designed to be sustainable and energy efficient.

Transformative Techniques

BA (Hons) Visual Effects and Model Making students and Programme Lead John Noble work to clean Hartlepool Beach.

Transformative Techniques Level 5 BA (Hons) Visual Effects and Model Making students tackle ocean pollution through their semester one Module Transformative Techniques. Students were tasked with making sea creatures which are effected by plastic waste. For this module students performed beach cleans and inter-grated collected discarded rubbish in to their designs. This creative approach not only challenges our students to use recycled materials but helps our environment and supports the local community by caring for our seafront. Further action has been taken by programme leader John Noble who has organised more beach cleans and has sourced ways to make his course more sustainable by inviting industry professionals that use sustainable techniques to reduce waste, encouraging students to re-cycle and by teaching students how to properly dispose of chemicals.

Sustainable Design

Production design students put sustainability at the heart of their large scale set design

Our production design students have lead the way for our school in making their course more sustainable through a number of initiatives. Including completing full scale sets out of recycled biodegradable materials including a full size train replica that had a zero carbon-foot print. Alongside this students have implemented simple rules to reduce waste within the class room including giving feed back through email to reduce paper waste and crowd funding to buy trees to counter the environmental impact of printing designs. Our production design programme lead was invited to speak at BAFTA about working sustainably with his students which now work within the BAFTA Albert sustainable project framework. You can read more about it here.

Reduce Your Single Use Plastic Waste

What is single use plastic?

Single use plastics are disposable plastic items that we use daily and discard after one use including things like: straws, plastic bags, water bottles and food packaging. It is estimated that around 5 millions tonnes of plastic is used in the UK each year and is either recycled of sent to landfill after use. World-wide only 10-13% of plastic items are recycled. The effect that this has on the environment is huge.

One plastic item can take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to break down into toxic particles which can then pollute soils, rivers, oceans and harm the animals that live in those environments. In order to combat this issue we encourage students to use re-usable shopping bags and water bottles on campus; at our main reception points in both our Middlesbrough and Hartlepool Campus we sell tote bags and re-usable coffee cups to encourage students to reduce their plastic waste.