Environment: GWA Flying the Green Flag Five Years in a Row
Five years and counting
The prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag is awarded for excellence in environmental education and action-based learning. GEMS World Academy has achieved the rare distinction of securing the Green Flag for five consecutive years. By creating opportunities for students to understand, act and commit towards shaping a sustainable future, the school is nurturing a generation of environmentally conscious young individuals, who can go on to make an indelible impact on the worldwide efforts to create a more sustainable civilisation.
The Eco-Schools programme - empowering change
The Foundation for Environmental Education and the Emirates Centre for Arab Towns formulated the Eco-Schools initiative to address the growing need to link environmental awareness with academic curricula. Schools enrolled in the Eco-School programme are required to meet the comprehensive criteria involved and work towards achieving sustainability goals.
GEMS World Academy has an in-house Eco-Schools committee, which comprises a primary eco-council, secondary eco-council and representatives from within the larger school community – including staff, administrators and parents. Measures to save water, conserve energy, reduce waste and promote biodiversity are undertaken through collaborative efforts. In addition, partnering with the Emirates Marine Environmental Group has created unique volunteering opportunities for students.
GWA’s road to success
The school has established a systematic waste collection and recycling system. Using a segregation method, PET plastic waste is collected separately and delivered to a recycling company in order to produce polyester t-shirts as the end product. Also common in schools is e-waste generation, due to the unavoidable use of printer cartridges, light bulbs, wires and electrical equipment. At GEMS World Academy, measures have been put in place for the efficient collection of this waste-stream, so it can be delivered to suitable recycling businesses.
GEMS World Academy uses fruit and vegetable waste from its cafeteria, as well as fallen leaves and plant cuttings from the school garden to generate compost, which is utilised in the organic vegetable garden run by the ECO committee. During a dedicated 'Environment Week', a wide range of fun-filled activities and competitions are carried out to advocate the virtues of three Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Sustaining the momentum
Far from resting on its laurels, GEMS World Academy is always looking at ways to keep the momentum of its ecological initiatives going. As a community, the school has come to realise that creating an eco-friendly world is all about the commitment of the collective - engagement that must grow from strength to strength.