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Coming year

Sustainability goals high priority for St George’s



Students and staff at St George’s International School are reflecting on their sustainability goals and achievements a year after signing their School Climate Pledge St George’s International School

Students and staff at St George’s International School are reflecting on their sustainability goals and achievements a year after signing their School Climate Pledge St George’s International School

St George’s International School is reflecting on its sustainability goals and achievements one year after the signing of its School Climate Pledge.

Launched ahead of the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit in the UK last year, the School Climate Pledge focuses on three key areas: cutting CO2 emissions; protecting biodiversity; and smarter use of resources (reduce, re-use and recycle).

St George’s Sustainability Coordinator Anne-Marie McHugh said that while world leaders were focusing on their climate promises at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, St George’s was reflecting on the promises it made on 26th October 2021 and discussing what more the school community could do to protect the planet.

Among the achievements of the past year, Ms McHugh said, were a 10-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions by introducing a meat-free day in the canteen every two weeks, partnering with a school in the Gambia to help it combat the effects of climate change, establishing a lunchtime gardening and cooking club, and building a sustainability team of students, staff and parents.

In addition to the canteen’s meat-free days, the school also installed food recycling bins to help students be mindful of waste while also recycling food into biofuel.

Secondary students participated in a reforestation programme while art students were shown first-hand the environmental impact of fast fashion and learnt sewing techniques to upcycle clothing. Secondary students are also building a greenhouse out of used plastic water bottles.

The Primary section created an outdoor classroom using recycled and sustainable materials, established a vegetable garden and published an online book called “How to save the world if you are 9-10” after learning about emissions and carbon counting.

“These are just a few of the success stories from the last year,” Ms McHugh said. “We still face challenges in reducing our energy consumption, reducing waste, sourcing recycled resources and increasing the use of low-emission transport to school.”

Goals for the coming year and beyond include investigating the potential for electric school buses and making the school’s upcoming gym project as eco-friendly as possible. “A redesign of the heating system for the new school gym means the future operational emissions of the new building will be reduced from 35 tonnes to 6 tonnes per year,” Ms McHugh said. “The new gym will also have a fully populated roof solar estate, which will deliver 8% of the school’s total electricity. The remainder of the electricity will continue to be sourced from renewable energy.”

Later this term Secondary students will have the opportunity to measure the energy used by St George’s buildings in a new after-school club called Switch Kids.

“It is the beginning of a long journey but the key message is that we empower and support the students as a school community to make it clear that we can make more sustainable choices for the global community,” Ms McHugh said.

St George’s International School is an inclusive, vibrant international community of more than 850 students aged from 3 years to 18+ years, representing over 60 different nationalities. This rich diversity provides a unique and exciting learning environment for every child. To prepare our students to be outstanding 21st century global citizens, we nurture strong values in our students, based on mutual understanding and respect. Learn more at www.st-georges.lu