‘Active for Climate’: Climate protection pays off – and educates

It is not always easy to reach climate protection goals in public institutions like schools and kindergartens: the Active for Climate programme is positioned structurally within the institutions and motivates its participants through playful activities to have a climate-friendly relationship with natural resources. The programme has already been introduced in many municipalities. The WertSicht GmbH company co-ordinates the project and remains on hand to provide any advice needed.

The project aims to demonstrate potential savings of CO2 and make use of them. The programme is made up of various interlinked elements, which can each be related to the needs of each municipality. A normal programme sequence is spread over four years. One year is used to build up the structures, and the educational institutions are actively involved for three years. The first step is the integration of structures in the administration through new working groups. This allows technical improvement measures to be introduced more easily and restructuring requirements to be more readily identified. Another element is an energy control system, which provides information on exact energy consumption. If the institutions need less energy, they get part of the saving for use in their own budget as a reward.

Engine for progress:

  • Climate protection effect in the four municipalities taking part significantly over 1,000 tonnes of CO2/year
  • Financial advantages for municipalities and educational establishments
  • Wide social awareness-raising
  • Structures ensure sustainability

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WertSicht GmbH

Specific presentations and workshops for all groups of stakeholders involved.

Once the municipal structures have been established, the schools receive, over four years, workshops, motivational activities, working and educational material and support in their public relations activities. The programme is aimed at all stakeholders in the schools: from the head, via the teachers and assistants to the children and young people. Critical for the success of the programme is co-operation between the local authority, the local climate protection manager, the Active for Climate adviser as well as the building manager and teachers at the public establishment.

Motivational activities for children and young people

One motivational activity developed in the Active for Climate programme is the ‘Warm Pullover Day’. How warm and cosy do we really need it to be? Isn’t it better to put on a warm pullover at the cold time of year rather than turn the heating up? On Warm Pullover Day all children, young people and adults in the nurseries and schools put on a warm pullover and set the heating so that the room temperature is one degree lower. Just reducing the heating temperature by one degree results in a saving of 6 per cent in heating energy. Another activity is the yearly ‘Less is More’ action week. Whether it’s clothing, toys, mobiles or transport – children and young people can learn to think about their own consumer behaviour and apply what they learn in their everyday lives.

A progress report

In the Aachen region, some 150 different measures have already been developed and implemented. This means that the project not only leads to energy saving measures and directly measurable CO2 reductions and financial savings, but is also reaching the majority of the children and young people of the region. Both the staff in the schools and the children and young people take impressions and what they have learned from the project back into their private lives and additionally act as disseminators of information. In this way, climate protection in educational establishments is perpetuated beyond the project period and becomes a matter of course.

WertSicht GmbH

“For all of us, climate protection must become an integral part of everyday life, especially in educational establishments – for tomorrow’s decision-makers are in the kindergartens and schools of today.”

Katja Hummert, Managing Director, WertSicht GmbH

Partners and sponsors

  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BmUB)