Providing young people with the opportunity to manage their own environmental impact and reduce carbon emissions at their school.

The biggest impact of climate change is going to be felt by the younger generations. We want to inspire children to understand and act on climate change.

That’s why in 2017, we launched the Carbon Credentials Schools Project, with the aim of donating our time and expertise to a UK school and its students to reduce the school’s carbon emissions and cut its energy costs.

In August 2017 we partnered with Hayes School, a mixed comprehensive based in the London Borough of Bromley, which one of our own employees attended.
The objective was to provide the school with a selection of our services to give them the tools and knowledge to manage and reduce their own environmental impact.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with and benefiting from the expertise of the team at Carbon Credentials. We recognise that being environmentally responsible starts at school and in childhood. We hope that the conversations we have started in school will have continued at home and will establish lifelong habits and attitudes for our young people. We have made both small and significant changes to student and staff behaviours in school and are focussed on looking at as many areas of our business as possible to bring about carbon reductions. Our students have gained from the project, developing specialist knowledge and benefiting from opportunities. Thank you to all the team for their support, enthusiasm and ideas.”

Steve Whittle, Principal, Hayes School.

Engaging the students

The project kicked off with a workshop attended by volunteers from years 10, 11, 12 and 13 who have a keen interest in the environment, sustainability and STEM subjects.

Students were able to select from one of four workstreams:

1. An energy audit of the school to understand where the opportunities to save energy are.
2. A GHG reporting workgroup to identify and measure the school’s Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
3. An engagement and behaviour change workgroup to identify how students and teachers can help.
4. A data and reporting workgroup to understand how to collect and report on environmental data.
The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for students to use the skills they’ve learnt in Science, Maths, Geography and many more subjects, and apply this to a real-world situation.

Assessing the interest

Following the workshop, students had the chance to tell us what they thought by completing an anonymous online survey. This received a fantastic response with 1,010 students submitting their thoughts and ideas.

Ready for action!

Using the information collected by students on the energy audit, our teams helped identify projects to reduce energy and cut carbon emissions. Working with students and teachers, a clear Action Plan for the future was set out.
To keep momentum high, Carbon Credentials attended a monthly conference call with teachers and students to review the Action Plan and provide ongoing support and guidance.
To track performance, quarterly energy reports are provided alongside access to our online portal for a real-time view of Hayes’ energy consumption data.

Keeping up communication

It was important to us that the students were given every opportunity to feed into the programme and that the wider student body understood how they could help.
A second workshop was held with the student volunteers to increase their understanding of climate change and how energy use at the school could be reduced.
At this workshop the final logo for the programme was announced. Students were given the opportunity to develop a logo that would act as a recognisable brand for the programme. The logos were entered into a competition and the winning logo was selected by the students.

Using this logo and ideas from the students, communications materials were developed to engage the rest of the student body. Furthermore, materials and support were provided to enable student volunteers to present a series of assemblies to the rest of the school.

“It was a really good experience to be able to do this. I enjoyed seeing my improvements each day and I gained a lot of confidence, so thank you” – Hayes Student feedback on the assemblies

Partnered with Ashden, enrolled in ‘Less CO2’

Through our partnership with Ashden, Hayes School is also simultaneously enrolled in the LESS CO2 programme which is a free energy efficiency programme available to any UK school. The programme equips staff with the knowledge and experience they need to reduce energy at their school and lower their CO2 emissions.

The result

As a result of the work that Carbon Credentials has completed, Hayes was able to cut its energy budget for the following year.
In addition, two students from Hayes will be joining Carbon Credentials for one week’s work experience, learning how to apply their knowledge to real world situations and clients.
Further investigation is currently underway to understand the opportunity at Hayes for investing in and installing on-site renewable energy.

We are excited to see the results of this work and what’s to come from our relationship with Ashen and Hayes.
For more information about our data, engagement, GHG reporting or auditing services, please contact us here.

  

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