The Girls’ Day School Trust will celebrate Earth Day 2022 as a “carbon neutral” organisation for the first time in its history.
The family of 23 independent girls’ schools and two academies has achieved the certification by reducing its emissions internally and supporting four emission reduction projects around the world. These actions offset its carbon footprint in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.
The Girls’ Day School Trust says the certification will provide a route to take immediate action and is a first step towards achieving the Trust’s long-term aspiration to reduce carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2030. It will also be a stepping stone to reaching the net zero carbon target by 2050.
The carbon-reducing projects the trust is supporting include clean cooking using biomass in India, land restoration using funghi in Chile, improved water infrastructure in Africa, and protecting rainforests in Indonesia.
The projects have been carefully selected in partnership with climate impact company Natural Capital Partners to ensure that they align with GDST’s emerging sustainability strategy. The strategy has been shaped by those UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) most closely related to the Trust’s ethos and mission of Good Health and Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production.
The Brookings Institution identified girls’ education as one of the best and most cost-effective investments against climate change. Therefore, the Girls’ Day School Trust aims to show its commitment to Earth Day 2022’s “Invest In Our Planet” theme by continuing to educate girls to ensure they are involved in finding solutions to climate change.
Cheryl Giovannoni, chief executive of GDST, said: “At our 25 schools all across the country, girls are applying their ingenuity and passion in their commitment to sustainability. Every year group, no matter how young, contributes to their individual school’s sustainability programme. Whether they are organising litter picking committees or making ‘pledgehogs’ to make their individual commitments to climate change action, our girls believe that they have the power to make a difference. And they are holding us to account as an organisation too.”