Winners announced for the 2015 Ashden Sustainable School Awards
Submitted by Ann Noon
At the Ashden Sustainable School Awards today (21 October), three primary schools and a further education college were announced as the winners of the prestigious green energy awards.
Home Farm Primary School in Colchester, Marton Primary School in Lincolnshire, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College in Nuneaton, and Thornhill Primary School in Cardiff each received a prize of £3,000 at the ceremony held at LSO St Luke’s in London on Wednesday 31 October. The Awards Ceremony was hosted by broadcast news presenter Lisa Aziz.
All four winning establishments are committed to cutting carbon emissions and lowering fuel bills by taking simple steps and inspiring their pupils and students to help save the planet.
Ashden Founder Director Sarah Butler-Sloss said:
"This year we are delighted to see a broad range of school winners – from a small rural primary school with just 97 pupils to a large further education college with over 14,000 students. We have our first Welsh school and a primary demonstrating that an energy-guzzling building can be transformed into an efficient, energy-generating exemplar.”
Details about the winners:
Home Farm Primary School in Colchester is the first primary school in Essex to be awarded a Grade B rating in its Energy Performance Certificate and has managed to turn around a poorly managed heating system and a heat-leaking building to make itself virtually self-sufficient in energy. One of the simplest yet most productive moves was to enclose a central courtyard which has since reduced gas consumption to 60% of what you would expect from a building of this type.
Marton Primary School in Lincolnshire has just four classes but has made impressive savings in its carbon emissions, reducing energy consumption by 30% in the last three years. With 100% LED lighting throughout, this is estimated to save 12 tonnes of CO2 per year. The children have a strong voice in determining the energy saving processes and it was their idea to change their lunch break time so as not to prolong meals being warmed by an electric food warmer – pupil power in action!
North Warwickshire and Hinckley College in Nuneaton is the first further education college to win an Ashden Award and its holistic approach to sustainability has seen it reduce carbon emissions by more than a third in the past five years. In an establishment that covers several different locations and has more than 14,000 students, the energy efficiency measures put in place – such as improved insulation, better boilers, and the introduction of LED lighting and sensor controls - are resulting in major savings to both the college budget and the environment.
Thornhill Primary School in Cardiff is the first Welsh school to win an Ashden Sustainable School Award and the judges were impressed by the school’s willingness to trial new ideas and share the results with others. Their determination to reduce carbon emissions to the absolute minimum is shared by a crack squad of young eco-warriors who keep energy wastage to a minimum with their spot checks on whether lights and appliances have been left on in the classroom.
Now in their 15th year, the Ashden Awards champion practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives in the UK and developing countries. This is the first year that the School Awards have been celebrated in a separate ceremony which also highlighted the achievements of schools participating in Ashden’s LESS CO2 programme.
Detailed case studies, a one-minute video and photographs of School winners: http://www.ashden.org/awards/2015/schools