Greening Education Conference May 2013

I attended this conference recently in London and found the speakers very interesting. I gained a few useful contacts and tips, as well as viewing some very impressive technology to improve the energy efficiency, install new renewables, better ambient temperatures, natural lighting, CO2 levels etc, etc. in schools. Click on some of the websites included below for best insight.

Di Dale, CEO of Wiltshire College talked about ESD, Education for Sustainable Development in teriary education and gave some interesting case studies of best practice eg The Earth Centre, www.bictonearth.co.uk, Somerset College, Genesis Centre and others. She also said how important it was to start SD education at primary school level. When I asked her about Gove’s plans to water down this learning at KS1 and KS2, she said that lobbying was the best thing to do- add your name to http://peopleandplanet.org/teach-climate to keep up the pressure!

Tim Pryce from the Carbon Trust spoke and gave some interesting facts- apparently schools spend between £20 and £300 per head on energy per year!!! There are cost effective projects out there but basic carbon management saves the most.  Multiple usage saves  energy- look at the website of the space management group www.smg.ac.uk. Tim is the Head of Public Sector and is happy to answer questions on time.pryce@carbontrust.co.uk . There is also a Carbon Trust Empowerment tool with good ideas. www.carbonbrainprint.co.uk . Walker Institute at the Uni of Reading is leading in this way and says “30% of energy use is within the occupants’ control”

Andrew Parkin from Cundall Acoustics (cowriter of BB93 and BB101) talked about future building design- back to natural light and ventilation!

The most useful contact I picked up was Phil Williams, who came highly recommended. He is a speaker who visits schools and institutions giving training days for teachers and interactive programmes to students at a reasonable rate KS2- tertiary, as well as  workshops/seminars for businesses, local authorities and members of the public. Look at his website http://plan-iteco.com/  07798802087. His aim is changing attitudes and modifying behaviour and he has had success in his involvement with the Sustainability Act in Wales.

I was recommended to go to the website http://www.oneplanetliving.net/take-action/personal-action-plan-calculator/  and was horrified that I still came out as needing 4 planets despite thinking I am really careful with my energy usage and life style L Try it yourself?

http://www.esta.org.uk/RESOURCES/CASE_STUDIES/Case_Studies_Education.php  is interesting too. Some of their golden rules are:-

1. Only heat or cool when needed!

2. React to the outside temperature.

3. NEVER heat and cool at the same time.

4. ALWAYS involve maintenance staff and building users.

5. Train staff to use new energy systems properly.

Overall an interesting morning, even though I left after an overly ornate lunch, as I was too cold to stay, despite it being 24 degrees outside….. did they practice what they preach?

Hilary Griffiths

1 Comment

  1. I suggest an addition to the list of Golden Rules for managing energy and water consumption in shared buildings of any size, e.g. schools. Make one manager/teacher responsible for measuring and reporting to the board / management committee / Governors on consumption and how it will be reduced.

    Shared or ill-defined responsibility usually means little effective action.

    And follow the established practice for managing money. Improve visibility and literacy concerning energy. The CEO or head of most organisations will know to a fair degree of accuracy the basics of her organisation’s finances. How many would know what their energy consumption – in the units that matter, i.e. kWh – is per quarter or even per year?

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