Going Green

Saving Creation: Strategic action to combat climate change

The Diocese of Leeds has committed to strive to be carbon net zero by 2030 in line with the Church of England. Join us on the journey to become carbon net zero by 2030. Start by taking a look at the new Toolkit below which has been specifically designed for schools and academies.

Saving Creation Toolkit for Schools

Initially, the Diocese of Leeds and the national Church of England have committed to being carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2 emissions - that means carbon dioxide from any fossil fuels burnt directly (that’s gas and oil heating and petrol/diesel for vehicles) and any emissions from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.

In schools, this looks like switching to a renewable energy tariff, having appropriate insulation, reducing unnecessary travel and generating your own green energy where possible (solar panels, heat pumps and wind turbines).

These initiatives are the ones that will make the greatest impact which is why they have been prioritised for this initial net zero campaign. But there are many other actions that can be taken by schools which will have a dramatic effect on their carbon footprint.

What can schools do?

Make a Declaration

Take ownership of the zero carbon target by issuing a declaration from the governing body or academy board. Collaborate with initiatives like the 'Let's Go Zero' campaign which aims to help all schools achieve zero carbon by 2030. 

Quick Wins

Access the Church of England's Practical Path to Net Zero guide, designed to aid all schools with identifying potential actions and quick wins. 

Audit your Carbon Footprint

Use auditing tools such as Count your Carbon to establish your carbon footprint and gather recommendations for your governing board. Sign up to Energy Sparks - a free online resource empowering schools to trim their carbon emissions through analysing data from smart meters. 

Other ways schools can make a difference

We understand that not all schools have the appropriate site or budget to implement large-scale changes. However, there are still plenty of low-cost or even free actions that can significantly impact attitudes towards climate change, reduce carbon footprints and lower energy bills. Here are some examples you could consider putting into action: 

Energy Use
  • Turn off monitors when not in use
  • Turn off lights when not in use
  • Install motion-detector lighting to reduce unnecessary lighting
  • Encourage less meat (particularly beef) consumption by introducing initiatives like 'Meat-free Mondays', and putting vegetarian options first on the menu
  • Encourage less food waste by composting left-over food from the canteen
  • Encourage the use of reusable bottles to avoid plastic waste
  • Stop the sale of plastic one-use bottles at schools
  • Encourage more food-technology classes to be meat-free
  • Make classroom displays from reusable materials
  • Bulk-buy supplies to reduce packaging and save emissions from delivery
  • Encourage students to read books and watch videos about climate change
  • Recycle where possible
  • Install bike racks to encourage cycling to school
  • Set up a bee friendly garden, or bee hotel (Friends of the Earth)
  • Create a garden kitchen, to encourage students to learn how to grow plants and eat healthily
  • Create a forest garden, to encourage biodiversity of plants and animals and encourage care for the environment
Getting students involved
  • Plant trees (many charities will donate trees for free to schools) (White Rose Forest, Woodland trust)
  • Encourage walking, cycling and carpooling to school to reduce vehicle emissions
  • Set up a school uniform exchange to reduce clothing waste and ease financial pressures for families
  • Encourage students to pioneer their own climate change initiatives and gain certificates and awards for taking action (Woodland Trust)
Involving the community

Great sources for Schools

Friends of the Earth

Earth Cubs

Lets Go Zero

Eden Project

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