New report from Chartwells calls for educators to adopt a whole-school-approach to sustainability

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We have launched a report in partnership with sustainability experts Footprint, that looks holistically at how educators can adopt a whole school approach to sustainability.

The timely report aims to support State and Independent schools implement sustainable change, with the Department of Education’s Sustainability team requiring that all state schools report their emissions by 2024 and have Climate Action Plans in place by 2025.

The content for the report has been generated through qualitative data, with the expert team at Footprint interviewing industry experts and innovators from across the education industry, in both State and Independent schools, including Headteachers, sustainability experts, suppliers, and charities.

The findings have been distilled into six key topics, focusing on – energy, water, food waste, packaging, menu development, and education – all of which capture the current best practices in these areas, whilst also digging deeper into the challenges and opportunities for driving sustainable change in each category.

Olivia Pratt, Head of Nutrition and Sustainability, Chartwells said: “Schools have a fundamental role to play in educating and inspiring future generations about sustainability. However, in trying to achieve this, schools face a vast and complex world of interconnected challenges, which they must learn to navigate quickly if they are to meet upcoming policy requirements.

“At Chartwells, we are supporting Compass Group UK & Ireland’s target of Net-zero emissions by 2030, which we are determined to materialise through tireless work tackling food waste, reducing carbon across our menus, and educating our teams and the pupils they serve. But this is only one part of the puzzle. To drive real change, we want to collaborate across the industry, share best practice, and work collectively with schools and all suppliers to achieve material change.”

On the launch of the report, Charles Miers, Co-CEO & Founder, Footprint added: “As demonstrated in this report, schools have a number of opportunities to reduce their environmental impact – from minimising food waste to reducing their water and energy consumption. Positive steps have been made by some to address these issues, but more needs to be done.”

“However, for many schools, particularly those at the start of their sustainability journey, it can seem like a daunting task. Capitalising on the current desire amongst young people to drive positive environmental change, encouraging wider industry engagement and knowledge sharing, and engaging other key stakeholders such as parents and caterers to introduce more sustainable practices, will all be vital in helping schools tackle their environmental impact in a holistic way.”

A full copy of the report can be found on our website, by visiting