Sustainable event challenge for UK schools and clubs


11 March 2009

GetGreenGo™, run by BSI British Standards, challenges children across the UK to put their energy into creating truly sustainable events. It could be a school fete, a swimming gala, a scout camp or a youth club jumble sale: whatever your event, why not reduce its environmental, social and economic impact and compete for great prizes?

For the second year running BSI is inviting schools and clubs to create events which create positive memories, without being detrimental to their surroundings. GetGreenGo™ is based on BS 8901:2007 Specification for a sustainable event management system with guidance for use, a British Standard which provides organizers with a framework within which they can manage the overall environmental, social and economic impacts of an event. Potential results include cost savings through reduction of waste, lower energy use and re-use of equipment and infrastructure. BS 8901 is now being used by several London venues as well as forming part of London 2012’s sustainability plans.

GetGreenGo™ is a chance for schools and clubs to apply the principles of BS 8901 to a whole range of activities from sports to a school play or concert. This means making small changes to the sustainable nature of the event, such as sourcing local food and drink and encouraging visitors to use public transport or share cars to travel to the event. GetGreenGo™ is easily integrated into the schools curriculum in the UK, with guidance and hints available for teachers to download now.

In 2008 the winning GetGreenGo™ primary school built an eco-friendly camp, where pupils learnt about sustainability in an outdoor environment and consumed locally sourced or home grown food. The winning secondary school ran an Environment Week with a different theme on each day. Climate Change Champions were elected to monitor electricity and other energy usage and a fair trade tuck shop was set up. A tree planting session took place and staff and students were encouraged to use re-useable bags. Both schools won £1500 to put towards a sustainability project of their choice.

Katrina Bell, Headteacher of Pilling St John’s Primary School, 2008 winner of the primary category, said: “We are a very environmentally conscious school and BSI’s GetGreenGo competition appealed to us. We organised a sleep over for my class, added an extra dimension to make it eco friendly and enabled our pupils to practice everything they had been learning in school.”

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “GetGreenGo™ was a huge success in 2008. The schools that took part found it really beneficial for their work on sustainability and the children had a great time. The competition is a fantastic opportunity for young people to consider the impacts of their events, balancing social, economic and environmental issues. In 2009, we have extended the competition to include children’s clubs: so if you’re a member of the Girl Guides, an orchestra or a youth club – whatever it might be - this is your chance to be more sustainable and win fantastic prizes.”

Schools can now enter GetGreenGo™ and download guidance notes at The competition is open to schools and clubs with students aged 7-19 year olds. The winning schools stand to win prizes of up to £1,500.

For more information on GetGreenGo please visit