St Francis Xavier School joins national zero carbon campaign

Joshua Greenwell, head of biodiversity within the SFX eco team.

St Francis Xavier School has joined schools across the UK to get behind a national Let’s Go Zero campaign.

The school has set a target of becoming zero carbon by 2030 and is inviting politicians to work with them to reach this goal.

Over the next decade, the campaign will create a network of schools and sustainability organisations to share information and learning about how to get to zero carbon.

St Francis Xavier School is one of the trailblazer Let’s Go Zero schools committing to cut carbon in seven key areas – energy, food, procurement, waste, water, travel and school grounds, as well as addressing the place of climate in the curriculum.

A number of these areas have already been tackled by the school which has successfully reduced its food waste by over 20 per cent and staff and students have together continued to tackle the school’s energy usage.

The student eco team continues to undertake regular lunchtime litter picks and has made many improvements to increase the biodiversity in its school grounds.

Headteacher Stuart McGhee recently signed St Francis Xavier School up to the campaign,

He said: “The enthusiasm and commitment to the environment that the eco-team at St Francis Xavier has shown has been truly inspiring.

“It has not just led to changes in habits within the school but also in the wider community.

“As a school we care passionately about the future we are giving our young people and as well as providing the best educational outcomes, we also want to give them the best possible environment.

“That is why we felt so strongly about signing up to the Go Zero pledge and playing our part for all our tomorrows.”

Year 9 pupil Joshua Greenwell, head of the biodiversity department within the SFX eco team, said: “I have always been passionate about our living world and when I came to SFX three years ago I was determined to make a positive impact on the schools biodiversity.

“Since the departments inception I have been conducting surveys as well as trying to increase animal numbers, including birds, mammals and amphibians, throughout the school through various projects.

“I have installed two wildlife cameras; a micro-pond; two hedgehog homes and several bird feeding stations. The team and I are currently working on creating a wildlife corridor around the school perimeter.”

The Let’s Go Zero campaign is being launched at the national Youth Climate Summit with daily presentations and discussions on how to move to zero carbon.

The summit is being held with a year to go before the key global climate talks, COP26, being hosted by the UK Government in Glasgow in 2021.

Let’s Go Zero webinar sessions are being held at 4pm every day during the Youth Climate Summit showcasing schools that have already started their zero carbon journey and sharing learnings and inspiration.

St. Francis Xavier School is planning to participate in the Youth Climate summit events being hosted online throughout the week.

Mathilde Iveson, Year 9, has written to Rishi Sunak to ask him to meet with the school’s student eco team next week as part of the virtual summit.

Any school can sign up to Let’s Go Zero.

See the campaign website for more details.

1 Comment

  1. This is great news! The whole issue of the climate crisis is receiving so much attention now despite the Covid-19 problem being at the forefront of the minds of all of us. The change of president of the US heralds a welcome change in that country’s policy and attitude to the Paris Climate Agreement and our own government is moving fast to bringing forward a ban on the production and sale of new cars powered by petrol and diesel engines in 2030. The initiatives of the students at St Francis Xavier School are a welcome example to us all of how we can address the climate crisis locally and I commend their actions.

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