Virtual Sustainable Schools Conference – ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’

Released:

Staff from schools across the borough met with local businesses online on Friday to receive Greener Schools Awards – which encourage sustainability activities in schools - and to share ideas about the environment at Solihull’s Sustainable Schools Conference.

The Mayor of Solihull Councillor Stuart Davis congratulated all the schools for taking part in this year’s Greener Schools Award during very difficult circumstances. He also thanked the eco-leaders, teachers and other school staff for their hard work and acknowledged the contribution of local businesses.  Reflecting on the fact that this year’s conference was virtual, he said:

“Historically, there was only one way of doing things: one way of having a conference, and one way to be with the environment. By adapting so quickly over 2020, we have shown that, where there’s a will, there’s a way. This can be applied to the environment and sustainability too.”

This year Business Champions presented the following Greener School awards:

  • Robert Elliot from Solihull Chamber of Commerce presented Levels 1, 2 and 3 awards to Monkspath Junior and Infant School
  • David Murphy from Telephone Europe presented Levels 1, 2 and 3 awards to Balsall Common Primary and Olton Primary School.
  • Andy Holding from Birmingham Airport presented Levels 1, 2 and 3 awards St Patricks School.
  • Stacey Ryan from Oxbridge presented a Level 1 award to Blossomfield Infant School
  • Elec Services Ltd championed Dorridge Primary. They achieved Levels 1 and 2 but didn’t attend.
  • Birmingham Business Park championed St Annes RC School. They achieved Level 1but didn’t attend.

Each school receives an English maple wooden trophy, hand crafted at Newlands Bishop Farm which gives people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions work experiences in a range of areas including woodwork.

The conference included information and sessions on:

  • energy saving technologies, low-cost energy efficiency measures and the schools’ energy programme
  • the Less CO2 programme led by the Ashden Trust
  • Fairtrade Foundation, LEAF UK, Practical Action and the Appliance Recycling Group
  • Wildlife Ways – a £16.8 million borough-wide project, part-financed by the ERDF
  • the council’s Sustainable Travel team
  • Fairtrade Fortnight and Switch off Fortnight
  • Global Goals teaching activities
  • Interclimate Network

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Solihull Greener Schools Awards help to develop a sense of pride in sustainability activities and encourage further activities by highlighting positive stories and role models.  The awards have three levels ranging from Level 1 which is given when a team of pupils help to raise awareness and improve their school environment, to Level 3 which is given when the whole school introduces the internationally agreed Global Goals and finds links to the curriculum. The Global Goals initiative is a target of 17 goals for a better world by 2030, agreed by world leaders in 2015 with the intention that governments, businesses, civil society and the general public work together to build a better future. For more information visit -  https://www.solgrid.org.uk/education/support-services/education-for-sustainable-development/

For more information about Newlands Bishop Farm visit - www.newlandsbishopfarm.co.uk

For more information about the Ashden Trust Less CO2 and Zero Carbon Campaign visit - https://ashden.org/schools-campaign/

For more information about the Interclimate Network visit - https://interclimate.org/

For more information about Wildlife Ways visit - www.wildlifeways.co.uk