Staff from Drax’s Community Team also supported the workshops at the schools, helping pupils understand the effects that climate change is having on the planet and how, through reducing both their personal and school’s energy usage, they can help the environment. This included using creative examples of global warming, including how participants in a walking expedition to the North and South Poles would observe its effects on their trek.
The funding for the workshops comes from a £150,000 grant that the Foundation provided to the charity in 2023. This money has helped Bath-based Energy Sparks work with a further 240 schools across the UK by providing free access to their online energy management tool, education programme and support services.
These schools are located in the areas of the country where Drax Group operates: Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, and East of England.
The funding is drawn from a pot of £2.5m that Drax Foundation ringfenced to enable UK schools and other non-profit organisations to install energy-efficient LED lights and solar panels, and deliver energy saving monitoring and education.
This year, the Foundation intends to provide additional funding for a range of measures to help schools reduce their energy consumption.
Shona King, Drax Group Head of Community, said:
“It was fantastic to participate in Energy Sparks’ workshops at Selby Community Primary School and Carlton Primary School. The climate challenge is the biggest issue we face and it is so important that young people learn how they can play a part in solving it by reducing both their personal and school’s energy consumption and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
“That is why we are proud of the funding we provide to Energy Sparks. We have been working closely with the charity over the last few months and we can see first-hand the amazing work they do to support schools and pupils across the UK to cut their energy use, save money and support the fight against climate change.”
Dr Claudia Towner, CEO and Programme Director at Energy Sparks, said:
“We are delighted to be working with the Drax Foundation. Their funding means we can reach even more schools and pupils, and remove financial barriers to ongoing engagement for some of the existing schools using our services.
“Our work equips children and young people with the knowledge, skills, and tools to take measurable action in their school and wider community to reduce carbon emissions. We also enable school leaders, staff and communities to better understand and reduce their school’s energy consumption, save money and introduce wider measures to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Danielle Burton, Deputy Head at Carlton Primary School, said:
“The workshop allowed our School Council group to begin to look at our energy use in school and really opened our eyes to all the things we can do to reduce our usage. The children can’t wait to now take this on themselves and make a real difference.”
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Drax Group’s (Drax) purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.
Drax’s c.3,500 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com
To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community