Miss Oliver has agreed to become our Environment and Sustainability Co-ordinator to develop and instigate our sustainability strategy, as Sutton Valence School moves to be more environmentally-friendly.
Miss Oliver says, ‘I have been a member of the Sutton Valence School community for over 14 years, previously as a pupil and now as a member of staff.
Throughout my time at the School, I have experienced all the incredible things that it can do for an individual. However, I began to think about how we could harness a proactive attitude and use it as a vehicle for change in the wider sense. For the past year, I have been researching and developing a plan for SVS’s environment and sustainability strategy. It has been quite a revelation in terms of how much we can do to influence our community to be a force for good. It has highlighted how some small changes can make a huge difference and it has been wonderful to see the attitudes of the staff and pupils shifting and the impact we have made in such a short amount of time. Change is never easy, but we must lead the way, and by our actions last year alone, substantial improvements in our carbon footprint were achieved. These improvements were measurable and a great incentive to continue the initiative, for all of us.
What became apparent early on, was that the role I was doing needed to be a permanent one, as this drive to create a more sustainable and greener future is an ongoing task. Whilst I certainly felt there was a desire to be more environmentally aware amongst both the pupil body and the staff, old habits die hard and we all need to be on top of the situation. To this end moving forward, I plan to create a society of like-minded individuals across the entire student body, who will meet regularly and discuss what they believe the School could be doing to become more green, where ideas are shared and everyone has the opportunity to be heard and explore ideas. I hope that together, we can develop initiatives that reflect the voice of the pupils and how they feel about climate change.
It is important that all members of our community work together to reduce our impact on the planet, for the students, it is their future and I hope that, in time, these adjustments to our behaviour become second nature. In the words of Billy Joel, ‘We didn’t start the fire’, but together we will fight it.’