PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
WINDSOR ACADEMY TRUST: LEADING THE WAY FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN SCHOOLS
Windsor Academy Trust is leading the way for sustainability in schools following an investment of over £2m.
The Trust, which has over 7,000 children in nine schools across the West Midlands, has completed improvements across seven of its schools to reduce its environmental impact and create a more sustainable future.
The work included installing solar panels, fitting double glazed windows, upgrading to LED lighting, enhancing mechanical infrastructures, and improving energy management and monitoring systems.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and powering the future
These enhancements significantly improve energy efficiencies and reduce the reliance on non-renewable energy sources. The improvements will provide the ability to generate 600,000 kWhrs of electricity per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 257 tonnes every year - the equivalent of powering 31 homes for one year.
The work was funded through School Condition Allocation funding and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). Windsor Academy Trust's investment is among the highest in the school sector. The Trust successfully secured the fourth highest PSDS funding of all schools/multi-academy trusts in the country.
Sustainability at the heart of school life
Investment in sustainability hasn’t been limited to the school buildings. Sustainability and the environment are an important part of the culture at the Windsor Academy Trust family.
Sustainability plays a vital role in school life, with activity to raise awareness and encourage action to protect the environment taking place daily across schools.
In the classroom, children learn about sustainability as part of the Global and Current Affairs theme.
Topics include recycling, pollution and sustainable development, and children are encouraged to think about the big questions on environmental issues.
Forest school programmes allow students to connect with nature and take responsibility for protecting the environment. Children have taken direct action through initiatives such as tree planting and litter picking and have supported the creation of site management plans to ensure sustainability.
The work doesn't end there. Eco clubs and committees implement important sustainability initiatives put forward by students and staff, and several schools have already successfully achieved Eco-School awards recognising the environmental actions of schools and their children.
Combined with recycling initiatives and the phasing out of single-use plastic, there is a high awareness of environmental issues and direct action being taken across the schools.
Leaving the world in a better place for future generations
Windsor Academy Trust is committed to a more sustainable future and leaving the world in a better place for future generations. Reflecting this commitment, the Trust has set an ambitious target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
This goal is well ahead of the government's 2050 target, and speaking about the Trust’s commitment, Keith Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer at Windsor Academy Trust, told Prosper, “We are committed to reducing our environmental impact, and this work will go a significant way in helping us achieve our target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
"The environment and sustainability are extremely important to our children and communities, and I am delighted that we have been able to invest in these improvements thanks to the hard work of our staff and partners.
"I am proud of the work that has and continues to take place across the Trust to leave the world in a better place for future generations”.
Further improvement works will be taking place at schools over the summer. The Trust will also be focusing on the environmental and ethical sourcing of goods and services and reducing its carbon footprint as it drives towards a more sustainable future.