Both educational institutions received a prize of £5,000 at a ceremony held at the Royal Geographic Society in London on May 22.
Both winners are committed to cutting carbon emissions and lowering fuel bills by taking simple steps and inspiring their students to help save the planet.
Ashden Founder Director Sarah Butler-Sloss said:â€¨’Schools have a vital role to play in educating young people about the solutions to climate change that they can participate in making happen, for example instilling energy-saving habits to last a lifetime. Sir George Monoux College and St Faith’s are inspiring examples of how this can be done.’
The awards were presented by winner of the BBC’s ‘The Voice’ Jermain Jackman, a former student of Sir George Monoux College. “It’s so inspiring to see young people and children paving the way to save energy in creative and educational ways,” said Jackman. “Climate change and the need to manage diminishing fossil fuel reserves are two of the biggest challenges for our planet. To secure our future for ourselves and generations to follow, it is widely accepted that we must act now to reduce energy consumption and substantially reduce greenhouse gases.’
Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow, London, switched to low-energy lighting and installed efficient boilers. The Principal, Paolo Ramella, also inspired students to embrace his vision of a carbon-neutral college. The College has set up an open-air ‘eco gym’ where students can use their own energy to charge their mobiles. Even more impressively, the income from electricity generated from the College’s solar panels is financing scholarships for ten students.
St Faith’s in Cambridge installed solar panels on the school roofs, while further low-cost steps for cutting carbon included pupils making simple heat reflectors for radiators out of cardboard and kitchen foil, besides improved insulation. The school has also recently built a Passivhaus building that hardly needs any heating in the winter, and all efforts are backed up by a rigorous regime for monitoring energy use and incentives for all staff and pupils to conserve energy.
The runner-up of the category wa s the Ashton Vale Primary School in Bristol.
Now in their 14th year, the Ashden Awards champion practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives in the UK and developing world.