As an organisation we are embarking on a pathway to a more sustainable future and are committed to leaving behind a better world for both current and future students.
Through our new ISP Futures Programme, we reflect on what we want the International Schools Partnership (ISP) and the schools and offices within our group, to be like in ten, twenty and fifty years’ time. We currently have 46 schools in 12 different countries, climates and cultures, but we all have one Earth in common.
Learning and Education is about investing in our future, and our students live in an era of climate emergency where we all need to be constantly addressing climate issues. As global citizens we all must take responsibility for this. What we learn and put into action now helps the Earth and, therefore, our future. We need to prioritise sustainability now to ensure that our students have bright futures wherever their lives may take them.
The ISP Futures programme launches this November and is one of our 11 exciting International Learning Opportunities for Students. It will focus on Education for Sustainable Development, to give the next generation all of the skills and knowledge necessary to handle the social and environmental changes that will occur in the near future. We want to encourage all of our students and staff around the world to develop their knowledge and understanding of environmental issues and take action! We know that many of our schools are already doing many inspiring things to make their schools more sustainable and to embed sustainability into the curriculum, and we want to support this and develop it even further for years to come.
Steve Brown, Group Chief Executive Officer of the International Schools Partnership, comments:
“I firmly believe that we, as a global group of schools, have to act now to make a better future for the world. Our ISP Futures programme focuses on how our students, staff and families can learn about helping the environment today to make it better for our collective future.”
Through ISP Futures we have SIX core commitments. We commit to:
- Reducing the environmental impact of ISP through carbon offsetting by reforestation through our partnership with Tree-Nation.
- Reducing the environmental impact of ISP by supporting our schools and offices to become more sustainable.
- Raising awareness of environmental issues amongst ISP staff, students and wider school communities.
- Supporting students to develop their knowledge and understanding of environmental issues including biodiversity, deforestation, the carbon cycle and climate change.
- Supporting students to develop valuable transferable skills such as event organisation, project management and teamwork.
- Providing opportunities for staff and students to connect on environmental issues and solutions and learn from each other.
What we are doing to achieve these commitments?
The ISP Forest – through our partnership with NGO Tree-Nation, in 2020/2021 we have committed to planting one tree per ISP student and staff member in accredited reforestation projects around the world. This amounts to over 55,000 trees in 10 planting sites around the world. We will continue to plant further trees for our students and staff each year. Additionally, as one of our international learning opportunities, a number of students and staff members will, in future years, have the opportunity to visit planting sites in different countries to learn first-hand about the reforestation projects.
Since 2006 Tree-Nation has managed reforestation programmes in collaboration with local teams of planters. Their main focus is on tropical zones as they host the vast majority of terrestrial biodiversity and unfortunately this is also where deforestation is the most critical. Tree-Nation have planting sites in many countries including Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Thailand and the USA to name a few.
The Tree-Nation mission is to reforest the world. To fight against deforestation and to revert its effects on the world’s climate, to bring sustainable development to communities and preserve the biodiversity for all species (fauna and flora) whose existences are intrinsically bound to the forests.
Through working with Tree-Nation we are able to access communication tools that help to provide maximum transparency to track the growth of the trees that we will be planting with them around the world. Each of our schools will have their own interactive ‘Forest page’ to keep a track and learn more about the trees that have been planted for their staff and students and the projects they are planted in.
To learn more about the importance of Tree Planting for both humans and the environment click here
ISP Change Makers – ISP Schools will be encouraged to organise activities with their students and wider communities around international environmental days: Earth Day on 22nd April 2021, Litter Less Day in May 2021 and World Environment Day on 5th June 2021. ISP will provide a resource pack with a range of ideas and support, and schools will be able to decide what activities they choose to run in their schools. Participation in these days is optional, and schools can take part in just one or all of them. We also encourage ISP staff in our regional offices to support and organise activities around these international environmental days.
Support to become more sustainable – In early 2021, we are creating a dedicated Course and Forum on our unique collaborative digital community The Learning Hub. The course will cover topics such as how to make your school/office more sustainable, embedding sustainability in the curriculum, and supporting student led sustainability projects. This course will help to support school staff and provide an area to share ideas and resources with other ISP teachers and help with one of our commitments to reduce the environmental impact of ISP.
We are only at the beginning of our journey as an organisation to become more sustainable but want to work together collectively to make a difference, not only to be more responsible as an organisation but also encourage and support all of our students, staff and families to be more responsible and join us to be Change Makers for a better future.
If you have a question about the ISP Futures Programme or just want to discuss sustainability at your ISP school or office, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Beejal Parekh, International Opportunities Project Manager [email protected].
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