Pupils rise to carbon cutting challenge

Coun John Stirling with headteacher Ian Wilkinson and pupils.
Coun John Stirling with headteacher Ian Wilkinson and pupils.

Pupils and staff at a North Tyneside school have found the right formula for helping the environment.

George Stephenson High School in Killingworth has exceeded all energy reduction expectations and has cut its electricity consumption by 18 per cent and its gas use by an impressive 22 per cent.

It all means the school has saved £11,250 off its bills.

The school formed a carbon reduction working team, which has found ways to cut excessive use of electricity, gas and water, and recently invested in software to help manage and monitor areas where energy is being wasted.

Their initiatives have involved replacing all the old lighting in corridor and communal spaces with modern, energy efficient LED units, and adjusting heating to appropriate levels.

The work is part of a challenge North Tyneside Council has set to reduce its own carbon footprint by 34 per cent by 2015.

As schools make up 40 per cent of the overall council carbon footprint, the local authority is working with headteachers on the carbon reduction agenda.

George Stephenson headteacher Ian Wilkinson said: “Eighteen months ago our carbon consumption was a concern to all involved.

“I am delighted on our outstanding improvement, however, the work is not yet complete as we will continue to make further improvements to systems and practices.”

The school will be participating with others in developing a new council guide to ‘Reshaping the Carbon Footprint in Schools’ booklet, which is due out next year.