As you may have seen, we took the difficult decision to not go ahead with a fundraising event for our LESS CO2 sustainable schools programme, on Thursday 12 March, due to the on-going situation with coronavirus. This event was to raise money for our work to get England's schools to zero-carbon by 2030, an essential plan if we are meet targets to mitigate the worst effects of the climate emergency.
Many charities are suffering the effects of shutting down events during this concerning time. We'd love for you to read more below about the programme, and donate to the appeal in way that you're able.
LESS CO2 is on a mission to decarbonize schools in the UK. This charge is critically important to the UK’s future as a leader in sustainability.
England’s school buildings, 65% of which are over eighty years old, desperately need to be propelled into the 21st century. The carbon-cutting tactics employed by LESS CO2 give schools the opportunity to take the future into their own hands.
With over 100,000 school buildings across the UK, an increase in energy efficiency across the board would have a critically important impact on carbon usage as well as facilitate considerable savings on energy bills. In fact, the free programme has, thus far, saved a whopping 3 million kWh of energy and 16,952 tonnes of CO2. What’s more, the programme, which is available to any UK school, has amassed total savings of £829k.
First and foremost, however, LESS CO2 strives to inspire the hundreds of thousands of impressionable and motivated young minds who populate these schools. An upcoming generation of mindful energy users is a decidedly priceless consequence of such an initiative.
Over the last seven years, LESS CO2 has had over 950 schools register for the programme. As of now, 500 schools have officially taken part. The intention of this entire operation is for all schools to have the roadmap to becoming zero carbon by 2025, and for all schools to actually reach zero carbon by 2030.
Holistic curriculums, like that of LESS CO2, give students, teachers, and administrators the opportunity to reduce emissions and become more educated about the climate crisis as a whole. Waste is not necessarily perpetuated by the agents that one might think. Only 40% of carbon emissions from schools is due to energy use on site – the rest is from travel, food, purchasing, water, waste, and land use.
Beyond the raw numbers and savings, LESS CO2 is rooted in education. The programme has delivered 194 workshops to school staff. Such workshops have a 50:50 ratio of teaching staff to administrative staff. LESS CO2 believes that energy efficiency is a learning opportunity for the entire school.
The goal of zero carbon by 2030 is an ambitious one, but it would be entirely impossible to achieve without programmes such as LESS CO2. It is utterly unfortunate that we find ourselves in such a time of crisis, due to both the impending climate situation as well as the global health emergency that is currently unfolding.
In times of uncertainty it becomes even more critical that we embolden the next generation to take on a personal responsibility for the circumstances that they find themselves in.