This post is part of the VET Gazette 3
María José Fernández Campos
CIFP Hostelería y Turismo de Gijón (Asturias), Member of FPEmpresa


By definition, sustainability is the satisfaction of current needs without compromising future generations’ capacity to satisfy theirs, guaranteeing balance between financial growth, environmental care and social welfare.

In order to link present and future, education comes up as the fundamental cornerstone. Its primary objective towards sustainability is to raise awareness of the fact that we live in a planet where our actions affect others, and that the decisions we make today will undoubtedly affect tomorrow. 

We deem it essential for our centre CIFP Hostelería y Turismo in Gijon (Spain) to be much more than just an education and training provider; to be a committed centre with good practices and respect for the environment, where everyone tries their best to make the whole education community understand that they can actually do their bit. We can all contribute proactively and in a responsible way to resource saving, waste reduction and recycling.

Besides having the ISO 9001 quality certificate, EFQM and SICTED tourism quality commitment, we decided to participatein 2010 in the Schools Network for Recycling; a common space organised by COGERSA (a Spanish company for waste management) for information, debate and exchange of teaching experiences with the aim of fostering the European culture of “The 3 Rs”: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

In 2011, we were appointed as the centre with the best regional teaching project on recycling. That allowed us to represent our region, Asturias, in an international event that took place in Paris. In 2016/2017, our centre obtained the highest qualification given by COGERSA: “Triple R”.

Some examples of our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint are the RECAPACICLA initiative for waste classification or the initiative about cigarette butt pollution and plastic waste. In both initiatives, practical solutions were provided. 

Since in our curriculum we also include many courses in the field of Tourism, we are always working hard to further study and promote sustainable tourism.

Additionally, we have carried out other initiatives:

1. Participating in the project “Gijon, sustainable tourism”, promoted by the city council.

2. Social initiatives such as food donations, help to aid organisations, charity fundraising, etc.

3. Participating in the European Week for Waste Reduction, with different activities such as a photography contest, a solidarity calendar, Resaborea, a menu made up with good leftovers or aninitiative to clean regional beaches.

4. Collaborating with the project “La Gran Cadena”, by Ecovidrio.

5. Contributing to the project “Coomida” by COGERSA, an online platform for food donation.

6. Exhibitions, radio interventions and the responsible restaurants campaign “Aquí no sobra nada”, to avoid food waste.

Creativity, commitment, hard work and effort are only some of the present ingredients in our centre. We are always inviting everyone to think about the impact of our actions and promoting collective action.

We may still have some time, but every minute counts!

The best waste is the one that does not exist,
and if it exists the best thing to do is recycling!