Education and the environment

We have set out our commitment to tackling climate change through our environmental sustainability plan (2011-2020), Green Action for Change

We aim to reduce our carbon footprint by 27% by 2017 and 40% by 2020. The focus for schools is to increase the number with an action plan in place to improve their energy rating year on year.

We will support schools and children's centres through the Low Carbon Schools Project so they can begin to contribute to reductions in energy consumption.

Camden's school estate

  • emits approximately 11,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (approximately one third of Camden Council’s carbon footprint)
  • spends around £1.7M on energy annually (2010/11). At the current rate of projected energy price increases (3.0% per year), this could increase to £2M per year over the next five years if left unchecked
  • the energy use corresponds to an additional annual cost for carbon purchased of £130,000 under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) based on £12/t CO2

Green Action for Change

Green Action for Change includes commitments to support schools to:

  • reduce their ecological footprint and carbon emissions
  • deliver education for sustainable development
  • engage children and young people in sustainability projects
  • showcase sustainable development in action.

How can I reduce my school's carbon footprint?

We have been working in partnership with The Carbon Trust to develop the Low Carbon School Project. The aim is to support schools to take a 'whole school approach' to sustainability. This will include involving the whole school community in energy saving action and embedding carbon reduction in teaching activities.

Schools who take part in the project will become exemplars of good practice and help equip Camden’s children with the skills they need to achieve sustainable development and deal with the environmental, economic and social challenges they face.

The following resources will help schools work through this project and save a minimum of 10% carbon:

Camden sustainable schools guide

The Sustainable Schools Guide will help you begin to tackle climate change as well as work to address other environmental and socioeconomic issues:

Eco schools in Camden

What are Eco-Schools?

Eco-Schools aims to provide a framework which schools and children's centres can follow to embed sustainable practices into everyday life. The international programme focuses on nine environmental themes such as energy, water, transport and waste and once certain criteria have been met, a Bronze, Silver, or Green Flag status is awarded.

Energy is a compulsory theme and all documents Camden have developed are adapted to run with the Eco-School ethos to enable schools reach their award status easily and effectively (see our Low Carbon Schools Project resource – Eco-School Practical Energy Saving Handbook, above).

Within Eco-Schools, schools are expected to set up a framework to involve governors, teachers, pupils, support staff and parents to lead action on Eco-Schools topics and to recognise the important educational opportunity to provide practical hands-on experience to pupils on the environment, responsibility and resource management (see our Camden Sustainable Schools Guide, above).

Display energy certificates in Camden’s schools

We are committed to tackling climate and we aim to reduce our carbon emissions by 40% by 2020. Our focus is to assist all children centres and schools to improve their energy rating year on year. This energy rating is measured as part of the mandatory display energy certificates (DECs), which all public buildings are required to have in place under Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007.

The main purpose of having a DEC is to raise public awareness of a building's energy use and to inform visitors and users to the school about its energy use. DECs provide an energy rating of the building from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient and are based on the actual amount of metered energy used by the building over 12 months.

All public organisations must display a DEC so it is clearly visible to the public and have a valid advisory report. The advisory report contains recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building.

The introduction of DECs has for the first time given publicly accessible information on the energy performance of public buildings. It is important not only that the public sector complies but that it is seen to be setting an example. This is why we are taking steps to ensure this information is in the public domain and we have published a list of DECs:


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