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London schools to become energy smart thanks to University of East Anglia project

Thu, 08 Nov 2012

Businesses, educators and policy makers will gather in London today (November 8) to mark the launch of an energy efficiency schools pilot conducted by students from the University of East Anglia's Strategic Carbon Management MBA.

Representatives of Standard Chartered Bank, Carbon War Room and Carbon Trust will be among the speakers at the event at Toynbee Hall in London to launch the 'Green School Giving' project.

The pilot aims to generate sponsorship from the private sector to fund energy efficiency improvement projects in schools. The objective is to provide opportunities for businesses to demonstrate their corporate citizenship through a value-added initiative that combines an economically sound social investment with fast action on climate change.

Speakers will discuss whether smart partnerships with London's corporate community offers an opportunity to help schools to deliver a high quality low carbon learning environment, keep energy bills down, and meet collective commitments to reduce C02 emissions.
MBA student Nicholas Ceasar said: "The UEA MBA team is excited to be working with Merton Council by leveraging our expertise and network to build a bridge with London's Corporate Community to 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."

UEA's Strategic Carbon Management MBA is the first of its kind globally, focusing on carbon and climate change management for businesses. The course leader, Dr Gideon Middleton, said: "While recognizing the importance of delivering low carbon infrastructure and buildings in the capital, we must make sure education on climate change is complemented by learning facilities that reflect and enable children to become sustainable citizens early on".

"At UEA we opt to challenge our MBA students to undertake consultancy work instead of writing final dissertation. We are proud our students have risen to the occasion, contributing to society with real solutions. Low-carbon schools deliver many benefits for children, society and the environment, whilst helping to cut costs as well."

To deliver the concept, the UEA MBA team have partnered with the London Borough of Merton, where schools will be the beneficiaries of any funds raised.

Merton Councils's cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, 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."

Carbon Trust estimates UK schools currently run a total annual energy bill of £543 million - a quarter of this (£135m) could be saved through simple, cost-effective energy efficiency measures.

Tom Tranter at Ardenham Energy. Said "We are excited to be sponsoring this event that will hopefully stimulate greater uptake of renewable energy in our London Schools, thus lowering fuel bills and freeing up more funds to spend on core activities". Tom Tranter Ardenham Energy.