Merton Council has partnered up with the University of East Anglia to launch a new project to improve energy efficiency across a number of schools in the borough.
This pioneering project, called ‘Green School Giving: A London Schools Carbon Initiative’, will raise sponsorship from the private sector to fund school energy reduction measures. It is being led by the UEA’s Carbon Management MBA students and the council’s Climate Change team.
The project aims to provide opportunities for businesses to demonstrate their corporate citizenship through an initiative that combines an economically sound social investment with fast action on climate change. The council will be going to businesses in Merton and beyond, asking them to invest in energy efficiency measures as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Merton Council has a strong track record of low carbon investment and innovation. Its groundbreaking ‘Merton Rule has’ influenced national planning policy, requiring new developments to generate at least 10 per cent of their energy from onsite renewable energy. Most recently, the council has been successful with its Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone, where residents learned about how to save energy in their homes.
Naomi Baker, a student on the UEA’s Carbon MBA, said: ‘The UEA MBA team is excited to work with Merton Council by leveraging our expertise and network to build a bridge with London’s Corporate Community. This will help schools deliver a high-quality low carbon learning environment for children, keep school running costs down, and meet our collective commitments on climate change. It is paramount that learning facilities reflect and enable children to become sustainable citizens early on and complement their education on climate change’
Councillor Andrew Judge, Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said: ‘Tackling climate change on a local level, as well as a national level, has long been one of Merton Council’s priorities. So often environmental sense makes economic sense, and in these financially difficult times being environmentally conscientious is financially beneficial. This project will help our schools save energy. It will also build on our solar PV programme, which has already seen panels going up on school roofs, harnessing renewable energy to help power the buildings. If we can use this project to educate our children about practical ways to save energy, it will stand them in good stead for a green future.’
Notes to editors:
– UEA’s Strategic Carbon Management MBA is the first of its kind globally, focusing on carbon and climate change management for businesses. As part of its course module, Norwich Business School encourages students to undertake real world projects that make a contribution to a sustainable future. The UEA team estimates that, based on the mix of energy projects to be invested in, every £1,000 donated to increasing a school’s energy efficiency will save a school a minimum £5,000 over the next 15 years.
– According to London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Initiative (2008), London generates 44 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Workplaces are responsible for 42% of this.
– Carbon Trust estimates UK schools currently run a total annual energy bill of £543m, a quarter of this (£135m) could be saved through simple cost effective energy efficiency measures.