We're dedicated to building a more sustainable energy future for our customers. As a company, we're also committed to the environment and communities around us. That's why we work in partnership with a number of organisations on various charity projects and environmental initiatives. We also encourage our employees to volunteer and contribute as much as they can, working together to leave the right kind of impression.
Educational Volunteering Programmes
Big Energy Project
In November 2012, working with education charity, the Transformation Trust, we developed an educational project that would not only engage students to consider energy consumption – both environmental and financial – but would also target teachers, volunteers and wider communities.
Our goal is to encourage youngsters within areas of deprivation to consider energy issues from an early age and to inspire their peers, families and communities to change energy efficiency behaviours. Now in 2016 and entering its fourth year, ‘The Big Energy Project’ continues to grow and develop.
Since the project began in 2012, 93 schools have taken part and approximately 4,773 students have been reached. Through the amazing projects that students have worked on, over 174,000 community members have also been impacted.
Science into Schools
The Pod, our award-winning education programme for schools and community groups runs a campaign called Science into Schools in conjunction with Waste Buster and the British Science Association.
In support of this campaign, our employee volunteers go into local primary schools to deliver an assembly on the importance of recycling unwanted textiles.
The children learn about recycling, how it works and what they can do to become more sustainable. Schools organise a textile collection and then vouchers are issued for free science equipment against the weight of the recycled textiles.
In 2015 50 volunteers took part and spoke to 5,538 children through the volunteering programme.
The Science into Schools campaign through the Pod is now in its 4th year, having reached 370,000 children. It is estimated there are 1.7 billion items of unused clothing sitting in wardrobes around the country, that’s about 27 items for every person in the UK and so this recycling campaign has the potential to make a real difference.
Citizen Advice Helpline
EDF Energy have teamed up with the Citizens Advice Bureau to provide extra help and support to our customers struggling with debt. Through a dedicated money advice service, the Citizens Advice Bureau help customers looking for independent advice on everything from making the most of their income and claiming Benefits and Tax Credits, to managing their money and paying their bills.
EDF Energy customers can call the Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau’s independent debt helpline on 0808 156 6666 or 0300 330 0519 from a mobile phone. They can also visit their local Citizens Advice Bureau if they’d prefer to speak to someone face to face.
School programme - The Pod
The Pod – EDF Energy’s environmental education programme – was launched in 2008 in a bid to meet our sustainability commitment of teaching 2.5 million children about the sustainable use of energy. We met our target two years ahead of schedule at the end of 2010, and as at the start of 2014, the Pod has engaged with over 10 million children through almost 18,000 registered schools. The programme has three main aims:
- To inspire young people and their families to choose a more sustainable lifestyle
- To understand that a low carbon, secure and affordable energy supply is vital for the future
- To promote STEM in schools and encourage science and engineering as a career choice
As part of the programme, our interactive website for teachers, www.jointhepod.org provides free lesson plans, practical activities, assemblies, games and information, all with cross curricular links and covering the topics of energy, waste, water, transport, biodiversity and climate science.
The ethos of the Pod is 'Learn, Act, and Inspire others', which is why the site also encourages pupils and teachers to blog about their activities and to post photos and videos to showcase their green projects.
Through initiatives like Switch Off Fortnight and Waste Week, the Pod runs national campaigns designed to help the whole school, parents and the local community to engage with an environmental message. Over 4,200 schools and 1.4 million children took part in the Pods 4th Switch Off Fortnight in November 2012 and more than 3700 schools took part in the first Pod Waste Week which first ran between 12-19 March in 2012. Find out more about Pod campaigns.
The Pod works with a number of key and influential partners to develop its resources and activities – partners like Eco-Schools, the Met Office and the British Science Association. All activities on the Pod have been endorsed by Eco-Schools England, the largest environmental schools programme in the world. Completing any Pod activity will help with a school’s application for a bronze, silver and green flag Eco-Schools award.
Marie Curie was chosen as our company charity partner by an employee vote, with more than 7,000 employees across EDF Energy taking part.
Our employees’ fundraising target was £100,000 for each year of the three year partnership (2013-2016), and EDF Energy committed to match-fund this up to the value of £100,000 per year.
After exceeding the initial three year fundraising target of £300,000 in just over a year, staff at EDF Energy went on to raise more than £665,000 for the charity. The company boosted the total raised by employees with £100,000 each year of the partnership taking the final amount to more than £965,000.
Employees took part in many of Marie Curie’s national fundraising activities such as the Blooming Great Tea Party and the Great Daffodil Appeal which takes place annually in March. They also took every opportunity to organise their own events. Popular activities included cycle rides, marathon running, book sales and cake bakes. Apart from fundraising we have also left a legacy with Marie Curie helping them to have lower energy costs and carbon emissions. Included in our total figure is £40,000 of consultancy service from our B2B Energy Services team to help Marie Curie identify and implement energy efficiency improvements in their nine hospices.
Last year alone, the charity cared for more than 40,000 people living with a terminal across the UK and provided emotional support to their families. The money raised by EDF Energy employees is enough to provide the equivalent of 48,250 hours of vital hands-on nursing care and support.
Employees across EDF Energy will be able to vote for a new charity partner later this year. Until then, the company will be supporting the British Paralympic Association’s campaign to Supercharge ParalympicsGB, raising funds to make sure that British athletes have the best possible support to compete at Rio 2016 and beyond.
Through our Helping Hands volunteering programme, our employees have the opportunity to spend two days of company time each year supporting local community and environmental projects.
By donating their time and energy, employees build relationships with community groups and charities, as well as contributing to projects that support the delivery of our sustainability strategy.
Climate & Us
A collaboration between EDF Energy, the University of Exeter and the Met Office, the Climate & Us programme was launched in February 2014 to help people, businesses and communities better understand climate change and its relevance to the UK.
The programme is all about communicating clear, simple messages about climate science and showcasing examples of what can be done now and in the future to help tackle and adapt to our changing climate.
It brings together a wealth of resources and content on an interactive platform which will evolve as the programme grows. The platform will feature regional and national information, regularly updated news stories, case studies and blogs. Things like an interactive map that shows the challenges and opportunities each region in the UK faces, a community area with regular guest blog posts from experts, news items and information from regional partners and a forum for users to discuss and share comments on topics regarding climate change.
As the site develops it will become a highly useful resource for young people and adults alike and build on the very successful work achieved by the Pod.