10th July 2023
We are thrilled to announce that Windsor Academy Trust has been awarded the prestigious Optimus Education MAT Excellence Award for Environmental Trust of the Year. The national award is recognition of the vision we hold to leave the world in a better place and our efforts to create a sustainable and environmentally-conscious educational environment for our young people.
The Optimus Education MAT Excellence Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of multi-academy trusts across the United Kingdom. The Environmental Trust of the Year category recognises the trust that has demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental education, initiatives and sustainable practices.
The judging panel, which was led by Leora Cruddas CEO of the Confederation of School Trusts, commented that our “commitment to a greener future is evident in the range of action around sustainability, in terms of curriculum, careers and estates management” and they commended our “holistic approach, as well the progress made towards net zero”.
Windsor Academy Trust is deeply committed to sustainability. Aligned to the DfE sustainability strategy and the One Planet Living principles, we've developed a comprehensive, trust-wide sustainability strategy. Our ambitious goal? To make WAT a net-zero trust by 2030.
Over the last two years, we have made significant strides towards this goal. We've invested four million pounds to decarbonise our school estate, using School Condition Allocation funding and support from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. These efforts have yielded tangible results. To date, we've reduced our CO2 emissions by over 300 metric tonnes, generated over 630 thousand kilowatt hours of sustainable clean energy for our schools, and cut our annual energy consumption by 12%.
Commenting on the award win, Dawn Haywood, CEO of Windsor Academy Trust, said:
“Receiving the award for Environmental Trust of the Year is a tremendous honour for all of us at Windsor Academy Trust. We are immensely proud of this accomplishment and we will continue to prioritise environmental education and sustainable practices, always striving to be at the forefront of environmental stewardship within the education sector.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to our dedicated staff, students, and parents for their unwavering support. It is through our collective efforts that we can create a sustainable and thriving future for generations to come.”
Chris Berry, Director of Operations, who leads the trust's 'Big Move' on sustainability, commented: "We're incredibly proud of what we've achieved so far on our journey to be net zero by 2030. The positive changes we've made are significant steps towards our ultimate aim – meeting the needs of the present without compromising our ability to meet the needs of future generations."
Winning the Environmental Trust of the Year is a fantastic recognition of our collective efforts and commitment. But our journey doesn't stop here. We understand the crucial role education has to play in combating climate change, and we're committed to building on our progress to foster a greener, healthier world for all.
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