Schools unite to launch Sutton Chamber’s Eco-Pledge at business expo

“Inspirational” Arthur Terry Learning Partnership students demonstrated their green credentials on Friday (7 June) when they helped Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce launch an ‘Eco Pledge’ that encourages businesses to become more sustainable.

Students and staff from ATLP’s Arthur Terry, Hill West and Two Gates academies were VIP guests at the Royal Business Fair – the Chamber’s business expo, at the Ramada Hotel – where they helped president Katie Hale roll out her green vision.  An impressive 13 students took to  the stage in front of delegates, to present their ideas for creating a more sustainable future.  They shared examples of what their schools are doing to become greener, including reducing waste, recycling and caring for school grounds.

Hill West pupils present their eco vision

 

The young professionals were also given the opportunity to run ATLP’s popular ‘Eco’ exhibition stand, featuring displays and examples of their projects. More than 400 visitors attended the Royal Business Fair, including many leading businesses and organisations in the region.

Pupils from ATLP’s Two Gates School were among the young speakers

Katie Hale, a former student from ATLP’s the Coleshill School, hopes that her ‘Eco Pledge’ initiative will encourage businesses to make one change to their operations in order to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

She decided to introduce the pledge after issues surrounding plastic use, and waste dominated the headlines – being inspired by this powerful quote: “It’s only one cup said 8 Billion people..”

As part of the official launch at the Business Fair, ATLP students joined waste and sustainability experts including Gemma Goater from Suez and Ian Humphreys from International Synergies.

Mrs Hale said:

The children were fantastic. Everybody in the room was really inspired by their words and actions. These students are our future business leaders and innovators, for them to be so passionate fills me full of hope that our actions now will make long-term changes to the planet they will inherit.  We are really proud and honoured to have already gained so much support for this initiative and it is wonderful to be able to team up with other prominent organisations, including the ATLP. I spotted a number of budding entrepreneurs and keen environmentalists in our midst!  Eco Pledge is our way of making a difference, by helping companies of all sizes and from all sectors in Sutton Coldfield and the wider region realise that small changes can make a big difference by pledging to make one small change to the way they operate.

Arthur Terry teacher, Anna Martin, who spoke at the launch, said:

Children and young people are extremely passionate about looking after their environment and we are doing lots of work to ensure our schools are sustainable and environmentally friendly. At Arthur Terry, our Eco Team is heavily involved in helping us to go greener, including the pen recycling scheme and the circulation of re-usable water bottles for all staff and students, kindly donated by Richter Associates. All the students at the expo did an incredible job. They presented to a group of business leaders and really won the hearts and minds of everybody in the room. They were so professional and impassioned in their presentations. They also had the opportunity to develop other core skills such as networking, teamwork and communication. It was a beneficial day centred on a worthwhile cause.” 

Students from Arthur Terry School (pictured above, with teacher Anna Martin) said:

This event was an extremely valuable opportunity and we were not only able to educate others on the importance of reducing our reliance in single-use plastic, but we also managed to create connections between our partnership and various other businesses in the wider area. This will prove to be invaluable as we can use these connections to increase our impact on helping to make Sutton Coldfield more environmentally friendly.”

Rebecca Goode, deputy headteacher at Stockland Green School, runs ATLP’s student leadership team. She said:

It was a real privilege to be able to take part in this event and I’m so proud of how our students presented themselves – they’re real ambassadors for our schools and young people. I would like to thank Katie and the Chamber for giving them the chance to step up and help make a meaningful impact on the world around them. Such activities inspire our students to ‘think big’ and to develop lifelong skills outside of the classroom. We are committed to supporting the Eco Pledge further and will endeavour to ensure its vision and values are reflected across schools and communities.”

For further details on the Eco Pledge please visit the GBCC Website; https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com/latest-news/news/2019/6/10/ecopledge-launches-at-sutton-business-fair/

Or email Chris Brewerton; c.brewerton@birmingham-chamber.com