Sustainability Society has hit the ground running, and these two terms have been unparalleled in KES’s history.
During the first lockdown, the team planned and executed a ‘Sustainability Week’ in the week beginning 5 October. The event not only involved a ‘vegetarian menu day’, but also produced the first ever report of the school’s carbon footprint.
However, resting on our laurels has never been our doctrine, and over the next few weeks we constructed a 101-point sustainability strategy. Spanning from divestments in fossil fuels to changes in paper usage, it promises to overhaul the school’s carbon footprint. Implementation, via a schoolwide sustainability team, is already underway.
Decarbonising our school alone is not enough. To make a serious impact, other schools must do the same. In due course, we created the Midlands Schools Eco-Network, inspired by the London Schools Eco-Network, which held its first meeting on 19 November 2020 with over 10 schools present. The organisation is coordinating the efforts of all of these institutions to become carbon neutral by 2030, and is in the process of expanding into a national UK-wide network. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, we aim to put some serious pressure on policymakers and represent the voice of the youth.
The third national lockdown put a wrench in our plans. It seemed as if the sustainability week we had planned was to be thrown on the ash heap of history. However, in a timespan of two weeks we improvised, adapted and overcame the challenge. A digital awareness week, promoting sustainability in the home, will take place on 25 January. Complete with daily challenges, form time activities and the first joint KES/KEHS assembly.
None of this could have been possible without the Herculean effort of Mr Butler and the diligence of the Sustainability Society volunteers, who have devoted their time to tackling the climate crisis with the urgency that it warrants.
The autumn and spring terms have been record-breaking, but records are there to be broken. Hopefully, it proves to be the bridgehead which opens the floodgates for more positive change.