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Making Sense of Sustainability?. National Governors Association Conference Birmingham 2007 Stan M Terry Heads Teachers and Industry [HTI]. Sustainable Schools. Being part of the solution rather than the problem. Governors need to ensure their schools are addressing this issue NOW .

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making sense of sustainability

Making Sense of Sustainability?

National Governors Association Conference

Birmingham 2007

Stan M Terry

Heads Teachers and Industry [HTI]

sustainable schools
Sustainable Schools

Being part of the solution rather than the problem.

Governors need to ensure their schools are addressing this issue NOW.

sustainable development
Sustainable Development
  • An issue of fundamental importance at national, community and school level.
  • Our current rate of development is not sustainable.
  • We are at a tipping point in the history of the World
what is sustainable development
What is Sustainable Development?
  • No one knows what the future will be, except different from what life is today. Decisions about whether the future is a sustainable one or not depends on changes in human behaviour.
  • Underpinning all our images of a sustainable future is the key principle that sustainability is about 'thinking about forever'.
one planet
One Planet!

The free services that the Earth provides- air fresh water, disposal of waste, recycling of nutrients, provision of food etc - are being eroded rapidly by humanity's destructive impact on the complex biological network of the planet.

We are living on Earths capital, while destroying the natural systems that are its principal source of income.


Carbon Footprints


5.35 hectares


0.53 hectares

Global Average:

2.28 hectares

Source: WWF Living Planet Report 2002

an option we don t have
An Option We Don’t Have

No 3 planet solution exists!

defining sustainable development
Defining Sustainable Development.

“Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

Brundtland Commission, 1987

education for sustainable development
Education for Sustainable Development

ESD enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things :

  • individually and collectively,
  • locally and globally,

that will enhance their quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.

sustainable development1
Sustainable Development
  • It is a Vision and a Process.
  • It rests on the 3 pillars of:-
  • Environmental protection
  • Economic Development
  • Social Progress.
why bother
Why Bother?
  • Its someone else’s future problem
  • We are OK
  • We don’t need to concern ourselves with the problems of the rest of the World or their possible futures.


  • By 2050, global energy demand will double as populations rise and developing countries expand their economies.
co2 uk 2006
CO2 UK 2006
  • “Education” responsible for 15% of all CO2 emissions in public sector!
schools carbon emissions
Schools carbon emissions.

SDC Schools Carbon Footprinting Scoping study 2005.

school facts
School Facts
  • UK schools are estimated to deliver 9.245 million tonnes of CO2 [Sec.4.73mt/Pr.3.68mt]
  • Energy Consumption attributable to ICT doubled in 5 years.
  • 1.3mt of CO2 attributed to transporting children to school
  • 26% of Govt emissions attributed to school consumption patterns [goods/services] 16.5mt
  • The cost of wasted natural resources to UK manufacturing industry is equivalent to around 7% of profit, and energy efficiency improvements by business and individuals alone could save £12 billion annually across the UK economy.
  • A.839,500 tonnes 2003.
facts water
  • Since 1950, global water use has more than tripled; within 25 years, half the world’s population could have trouble finding enough freshwater for drinking and irrigation
  • WHAT is the consumption level in your school?
  • Average =Pr.7.3m3 SEC. 11.m3 per student
  • Cost.?
building design
Building design?
  • More than 80% of all product-related environmental impacts are determined by product design.
  • What environmental impact will your BSF project have?
  • Should you demand a sustainable BSF project? YES
cost of education uk
Cost of Education UK
  • £23 Billion + Annually
  • State sector =5%+ of Government expenditure
  • Increasing consumption of physical resources


·   Furniture

·   Construction materials

·   Cleaning materials

·   Increasingly large volumes of energy and water

  • ICT associated cost e.g. Air Conditioning
  • Extended schools
doing nothing
Doing nothing?
  • Energy Costs in UK up by 42% in last 12 months.
  • Water cost have risen by 23% in last 12 months.
  • Waste costs are set to increase at Inflation + 5% for the next 10 years
jonathon porritt forum for the future
Jonathon Porritt “Forum for the Future.”

One key aspect is not so much about teaching about the environment, as living the environment.

How many UK schools get anywhere near practicing what they preach in terms of environmental performance?”

can schools act sustainably
Can schools act sustainably?

Many school management teams suffer the common perception that nothing can be done.


high levels of consumption, larger and growing energy, water and waste bills. Is it inevitable consequence of the Extended Schools agenda. NO!!!!

schools need to walk the talk
Schools need to Walk the Talk”

Schools need to ACT rather than talk.

A significant impact on UK CO2 emissions could be achieved.

Schools could reduce their energy bills by 20 % simply by implementing an environmental monitoring/management programme.

monitor your performance

Most schools do little to monitor/ manage their environmental impact.

The impact of all of the tangible goods and services they consume which are directly controlled by the management of the school must be monitored.

If you don’t monitor it you can’t measure it! And without measurement you can’t control it.

the environmental impact of a school can be reduced by management decisions to
The environmental impact of a school can be reduced by management decisions to:

Reduce the impact of the mass flows;

e.g paper, energy,water ,construction materials,food;


by introducing efficiency measures or recycling within the school or changing to a less polluting supply e.g local sourcing.

Reductions in emissions can be brought about by improvements in efficiency or changing to a less polluting fuel, e.g green energy source such as a CHP plant or

e.g. Switch to a Green Energy supplier and save the Climate Change Levy on your energy bills. [5% moving to 7%]


School food

  • Travel planning
  • School building and refurbishment

Campus values and ways of working

Curriculum teaching provision and learning

  • Curriculum
  • Out of classroom education
  • Global dimension
  • Every Child Matters
  • Extended schools
  • Education Improvement Partnerships

Community wider influence and partnerships

ESD is about:

leadership on sustainability campus
Leadership on sustainability. Campus.

Leadership is about finding and implementing new approaches.

Sustainability in BSF for example begins with finding out what people need and want in a new/refurbished school. A school which does not meet the needs of its community will not be sustainable.

think differently
Think Differently

Water: Rainwater collection systems, push taps, efficient cisterns can reduce water consumption by 20%+ Payback is within 3 or less years.

Combined Heat and energy Plant [CHP] or ground source heating installations as well as Solar collection may significantly reduce energy costs. Passive design measures [heating/ventilation, insulation /automatic controls produce Energy savings of 20%+.

leadership on sustainability campus1
Leadership on sustainability. Campus

Locally sourced food reduces food miles, promotes a healthy lifestyle and supports local producers.

Purchase Fair Trade products. Promote principles of sustainability to students and the community.

Encouraging biodiversity enhances opportunities for learning experiences. e.g. Outdoor Classroom.

Refurbishment or building work is underpinned with principles of sustainability. E.g recycled materials utilised, sustainably sourced materials. Working with businesses who understand the principles.

BEST VALUE does not mean CHEAPEST!

leadership on curriculum
Leadership on Curriculum

The curriculum provides for the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes to help young people live successful lives now and in the future.

A curriculum for the future?

esd curriculum
ESD: Curriculum
  • Teaching and Learning.
  • The school estate and its local area should be used as a resource for teaching about SD as well as teaching in core subjects. Is joined up delivery part of your school approach?
  • Pupil Achievement.
  • SD is about real concerns and problems. It helps make learning relevant, evidence that student performance increases.
  • Pupil well-being.
  • A safe, caring environment is good for students physical and emotional well being. Healthy food, safe and comfortable facilities, enhanced fitness increases pupils’ concentration and alertness.
leadership on community
Leadership on Community.
  • TRUST.
  • Working with the local community on shared concerns demonstrates a school’s commitment to its community
  • Projects addressing environmental, community or global concerns provide opportunities to involve other stakeholders in the school
  • A Green/Sustainable image can be a significant marketing factor in an increasingly competitive market, attracting pupils whilst reducing environmental impact of the school.
help 2 tools
HELP 2 Tools.
  • s3 Tool
  • Leading for the Future
  • Chronos
  • Think Leadership
  • LTL School Grounds Evaluation
  • Waste Watch
  • Resource Review Tool
  • WWF whole-school pathway tool
help 4 award schemes
Help 4 Award Schemes
  • Eco Schools
  • Growing Schools “Get out more”
  • Trailblazer [Hampshire schools]
go 4 it
Go 4 IT!

Sustainability is a process.

We co-create the world in everything we do each day.

What you do is less important than startingthe process.

governors role
Governors Role?
  • You may need to take the lead!
  • As a critical friend you need to be asking Questions about where the school is going on this important agenda.
  • Students need to be prepared for the world they will inhabit. That will have to be a sustainable world.
questions 3 groups
Questions. 3 Groups

1.What 3 questions should you raise at your next Governors meeting about your schools approach to Sustainability?

2. IF you are to be part of a BSF wave what questions on sustainability should you be asking of the LA?

3.How can you ensure that your school takes Educational for Sustainable Development seriously?

group responses
Group responses
  • Group 1.
  • Have we done an Audit?
  • What part of our school curriculum has sustainability embedded within it.
  • Has our school got an established policy on sustainability
  • Group 2.
  • In terms of energy. What kind of energy system is to be installed? What reasons for this choice have been made. How will we know its level of efficiency.
  • How will the building be oriented and why were these choices made?
  • What choices of building materials will be utilised and why those choices
  • How will it be lit? Natural/Artificial and how will that be controlled
  • Does the building need ICT suites? Or can we find alternative approaches
  • Is energy management an integral part of the build process
  • Group3.
  • a Regularly raise the issue at Governors meetings [standing item?]
  • b School provide termly reports
  • c School undertake regular [termly] analysis of energy costs and how to implement reduction strategies
  • d Ensure that a Governing Body member has responsibility for Environment/sustainability issues
  • e. Ancillary staff training programme developed
  • g. Undertake retrospective review of school energy/ waste and water costs