2015 Ashden Sustainable School Awards winners

Thornhill Primary School is a case study of best practice in carbon reduction

Thornhill Primary School, Cardiff

Young eco warriors make big energy savings  

Thornhill Primary School’s crack squad of student eco-warriors keep energy wastage to a minimum with their spot checks on whether lights and appliances have been left on in the classroom. The school’s willingness to trial new ideas and share the results with others, along with its determination to reduce carbon emissions to the absolute minimum, is what makes it the first Welsh school to be a winner in the Ashden Sustainable School Awards.

Solar PV, LED lighting, a building management system and more efficient IT facilities mean that electricity consumption has reduced by over a third since 2011/12. Little wonder that Cardiff City Council use Thornhill as a case study of best practice in carbon reduction.

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North Warwickshire and Hinckley College has made major energy savings in the past five years

North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, Nuneaton

Joined up approach to carbon management equals win-win

North Warwickshire & Hinckley College in Nuneaton is the first further education college to be a winner of 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. Improved insulation, better boilers, and the introduction of LED lighting and sensor controls are just some of the energy efficiency measures the college has put in place. IT team leader Maj, himself a former student, has actually redesigned the IT facilities to reduce electricity use by 35%. 

A team attitude to reducing consumption and building energy efficiency awareness, involving senior facilities managers and maintenance staff, is resulting in major savings to both the college budget and the environment. Now that’s what we call a win-win, especially in an establishment that covers several different locations and has more than 14,000 students.

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Home Farm Primary has transformed both the school environment and energy efficiency

Home Farm Primary School, Colchester

Essex Primary School on its very best behaviour

The first primary school in Essex to be awarded a Grade B rating in its Energy Performance Certificate, Home Farm is a model of good behaviour. Between the dream team of Head Teacher Richard Potter and school Business Manager Ceri Stammers, they have managed to turn around a poorly managed heating system and a heat-leaking building to make Home Farm virtually self-sufficient in energy.

The school has an active student Eco Committee, solar panels on the roof and a new building management system has been installed, all contributing to the impressive turnaround in energy efficiency. One of the simplest yet most productive moves was to enclose a central courtyard which has reduced gas consumption to 60% of what you would expect from a building of this type. The school has also seen a 61% reduction in its electricity use.

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At Marton Primary School, the pupils are the driving force behind reducing carbon emissions

Marton Primary School, Lincolnshire

Pupils’ efforts to reduce carbon footprint of school brings big rewards

Being a very small school, all staff and the 97 pupils are aware of the carbon saving efforts at Marton Primary School. There are just four classes and Head Teacher Ben Stephenson and Senior Teacher Naomi Maguire go the extra mile to ensure that the children have a strong voice in determining the energy saving processes. It was the youngsters who insisted on changing their lunch break time so as not to prolong meals being warmed by an electric food warmer – pupil power in action!

The school has made some impressive savings, reducing energy consumption by 30% between 2011 and 2014 and the fact that they have 100% LED lighting throughout is estimated to save 12 tonnes of C02 per year.

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