Monday 15 November marks the start of the fourth Alleyn’s Sustainability Week. Sustainability and the Climate Emergency have been hitting the national and international headlines recently with discussions taking place at COP26. Head Mrs Lunnon spoke on climate and education at the New York Times Climate Hub last week and how we can prepare future generations for the challenges ahead. So it is timely that next week, we will continue to discuss these issues and take action, at a personal and a School level, to collectively reduce our impact on the environment.
Pupils and staff have been asked to make a sustainability pledge for the week. Popular pledges made so far have been about switching off lights and electronic devices when not needed, making dietary choices that are better for the environment, and reducing the use of single-use plastics.
The School has continued to move towards a sustainable culture, and this year we have continued to “greenify” our operations. For example, our independently measured carbon footprint has reduced by 77% since last year. One of the main ways we have achieved this is by switching our electricity and gas supplies to ones that use renewable sources.
Some of the more visible changes we have implemented include moving away from single-use cups, plates and cutlery. From next week, drinks at the EA Bean café will once again be served in reusable cups only. Meat-free Mondays are now an established part of School lunches, while our first electric minibus is being used for School trips. We have installed solar panels on new buildings such as the Lower School and the current Junior School redevelopment.
Green travel is a big focus. The installation of additional covered bike racks and the opening of the Hillsboro Road School Street are further positive changes made since last year. As part of our Sustainability Week we are encouraging all our cyclists to keep on cycling with the help of Richard from local bike shop Balfe’s.
We are proud of the steps we have taken but of course, more can be done. Sustainability Week is a chance for the whole School community to keep learning about climate and environmental issues and to get involved in finding solutions. We can all make a difference with even the smallest actions, so we look forward to everyone doing their part next week and into the future.
For more about this year's Sustainability Week and to make your pledge, visit the Hub. (Alleyn’s login required).