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Campaigning and lobbying

Join our campaign for greener inspection criteria

Every four years, the British Council refreshes their inspection criteria for English language teaching centres in the UK. This year, for the first time, they are inviting input from all accredited members. Let’s push for the first ever inclusion of environmental action and responsibility in the Accreditation UK scheme.

We are suggesting two new management criteria:

• Accredited language centres have an environmental policy;
• Any marketing claims made to environmental commitments should be accurate and supported by evidence.

If you agree and you are participating in the survey, use our suggested text below in your submission.

The first requirement will help embed environmental responsibility across our sector, while acknowledging that different centres are at different stages in their response. Putting an environmental policy in place will give all types of language centre the chance to consider what steps they can reasonably take to reduce their negative impact.

The second offers important protection against greenwashing – falsely marketing a language school as ‘greener’ than it is. As customers are increasingly prioritising sustainable businesses, we must ensure our sector communicates honestly about environmental action in marketing and publicity.

These new criteria will help give our sector’s environmental impact the status it needs.

Together they not only acknowledge the environmental crisis but also set the foundation for action, helping to prepare our sector for change, potential new regulation as the government moves to meet climate change commitments, as well as protecting students against false advertising.

If your school is recognised by Accredited UK, we encourage you to include a call for these two new environmental criteria when you complete the survey. We have included suggested text and sections for submission below.

This is the perfect opportunity to push for real change in our sector. So please share this call to action across your networks! #GreenELT

Suggested text

Strategic and quality management M1-M7 section:

Our organisation believes that the scheme should require accredited language centres to have an environmental policy in order to embed environmental responsibility across our sector.

Publicity M22-M29 section:

Our organisation believes that the scheme should require that any marketing claims made by accredited language centres with regards to environment commitments are accurate and supported by evidence to prevent greenwashing.

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