UK schools lead the way in BSI's sustainable event competition

Press release - 22 September 2008

Seven schools have been rewarded for their entries in GetGreenGo™, BSI British Standards’ sustainable events challenge. Teachers and pupils from the schools received their awards at a ceremony held today at Manchester United Football Club’s Old Trafford ground.

GetGreenGo™ takes BS 8901, the British Standard on sustainable event management, as its starting point and asks schools across the UK to manage the social, environmental and economic impact of their events. The winning schools put on events ranging from a sustainability day highlighting the water and power wastage in the school to a community litter pick.

Pilling St John’s school in Lancashire won the top prize in the primary school category. They built an eco-friendly camp, where pupils learnt about sustainability in an outdoor environment. Food consumed in the camp was locally sourced or grown by pupils and toys were made from recycled materials.

Norham Community Technology College in North Shields ran an Environment Week with a different theme on each day and won first prize in the secondary schools category for their efforts. Climate Change Champions were elected in each class to monitor electric lights and other energy use and a fair trade tuck shop was set up. A tree planting session took place, staff and students were encouraged to use re-useable bags and an energy supplier matched the £500 raised for charity on the school’s ‘Dress Green Day’.

As well as a tour of Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford, the two top prize winners received cheques for £1500 to use on a sustainability project of their choice. Other prize winners also received a tour of Old Trafford and cheques to use on sustainability in their schools.

BS 8901 provides event organizers with a framework within which to develop a system for managing the overall environmental, social and economic impact of an event. The standard has been greeted enthusiastically by the events industry and has been used by Lords Cricket Ground, Manchester International Festival and Reeds Carpets.

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “We have seen a lot of interest in BS 8901 from the events industry and its supply chain. It’s fantastic that GetGreenGo™ is now engaging younger people with sustainability issues. The standard of entries we received in this first year of the competition has really set the bar for what schools can do to improve the sustainability of the events they run. We’ve seen some really imaginative ideas and also a demonstration that small changes do add up to a big difference.”

The competition winners:
Primary School winners
1st Prize: Pilling St John’s CofE School, Pilling, Lancashire
2nd Prize: New York Primary School, New York, Tyne and Wear
3rd Prize: St. Dominic Savio Catholic Primary School, Reading, Berkshire

Secondary School winners
1st Prize: Norham Community Technology College, North Shields, Tyne and Wear
2nd Prize: Kingussie High School, Kingussie, Inverness-shire
3rd Prize: Macmillan Academy, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire

Highly Commended:
Kippax North Junior, Infant and Nursery School, Kippax, Leeds