ECS is a caring school. We care about our pupils and the world they will inhabit in the future. The following describes how we try to reduce our impact on the environment and encourage sustainable living.
Carbon mitigation. Most pupils travel to ECS by plane. We recognise that this has an environmental impact. We encourage parents to offset half the carbon cost of their child's return journey; ECS will contribute the other half. The sum parents pay is usually small - typically around £5 depending on distance and travel class. The proceeds will be donated to a CO2 reducing project chosen by pupils and staff. In 2019 we will be supporting a project to improve cookstoves in Uganda - helping to improve lives while reducing CO2 emissions. You can read more here.
We also offer the following travel advice to parents and pupils:
Take direct flights if possible. Take offs and landings cause most of a plane’s carbon emissions. Sometimes a flight connection is unavoidable and we will take this into account when we calculate the carbon cost of the journey.
Choose UM. If there is a choice between travelling in the care of the airline (UM) or travelling with an adult relative, choose UM. It’s safe and better for the environment.
Fly economy. We understand that you sometimes prefer to fly in more comfort especially if you have a long journey but this contributes to a much larger carbon footprint. Our flight offset calculator takes into account how you choose to travel.
Pack light. Refer to our clothes list. Think carefully about what you really need to bring and leave out or replace the heaviest items.
AT THE SCHOOL
Attending a residential summer school like ECS is relatively environmentally friendly. This is because everyone lives together in boarding houses instead of separate residences; and on campus there is no need for further travel except to go out on excursions.
To further encourage sustainable living we will:
- Try to arrange the most environmentally friendly form of travel for pupils in the UK. We will arrange train journeys where possible or coach journeys with the most environmentally aware operator we can find. When we have to use taxis we will try to arrange shared journeys in fuel-efficient vehicles.
- Find out what the host school is doing to reduce CO2 emissions and encourage environmental awareness. Communicate this to our pupils and staff.
- Try to deepen our pupils' connection to nature and environmental awareness through our choice of teaching materials and through activities such as countryside walks, nature photography workshops, nature projects and nature documentary screenings.
- Encourage staff to reduce paper photocopying.
- Provide reusable water containers to avoid the need for plastic bottles and single use plastic cups.
- Provide drawstring backpacks to avoid the need for pupils to accept shop bags on excursions.
- Provide a vegetarian alternative at every meal and encourage pupils to try alternatives to meat.
- Encourage pupils and staff to turn off lights and reduce water consumption.
- Encourage pupils to avoid food waste.
- Encourage pupils to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings of the school campus.
- Encourage pupils to keep their surroundings clean / discourage litter.
- Encourage pupils to label and look after their possessions in order to reduce lost property waste.
- Consult pupils and staff in order to find new ways of reducing our impact on the environment.
PUPIL ADVICE DOCUMENT
Our advice document for older pupils on environmental responsibility - 'Get Real!' - is available here.
ELT & The Environment
Chris Etchells of ECS is chair of the UK ELT and The Environment working party looking into ways of reducing and mitigating the impact of English Language Teaching on the environment. You can read the group's latest report here or for further general information search for #ELTfootprint