School Improvement Episode 32: Zero cost initiatives for reducing carbon emissions in schools

05.26.2021 - By Teacher Magazine (ACER)

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In this episode in our School Improvement series, we're joined by Vanessa Rauland, Portia Odell and Karen Murcia, who have recently published an examination of a two-year pilot study which encouraged schools to actively try to reduce their carbon emissions. Their study, and resulting report titled Schools: An Untapped Opportunity for a Carbon Neutral Future assessed which actions proved to be most effective, considering both the cost involved and the outcome achieved.
The study came about after Vanessa Rauland and her colleagues conducted the two-year pilot program, the Low Carbon School’s Pilot Program, between 2015 and 2017. Fifteen schools were involved in this, and then PhD candidate Portia Odell, decided to investigate further as part of her PhD research. Thirteen of the original 15 schools jumped on board for this further examination, and it’s the examination of these schools which we’ll discuss today. Alongside Vanessa and Portia, we’re joined by Karen who was the supervisor for this research of Portia’s.
As we’ll discuss in the episode, their report reveals that 60 per cent of the actions employed by schools involved no cost at all. Some of these actions included things like using less paper, improving recycling habits, obtaining quotes for solar panels and many other initiatives. The schools worked as a network throughout the pilot, meaning they could access each other’s energy consumption data, which proved to be particularly useful. All of this work led to the development of ClimateClever, Vanessa Rauland’s organisation, and specifically their app, which helps schools, businesses and homes reduce their carbon emissions.
Host: Dominique Russell
Guests: Vanessa Rauland, Portia Odell, Karen Murcia
Sponsor: Quality Teaching Academy

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