10 Jul 14

EDF Energy wins Education Award at BITC Responsible Business Awards

The award was presented at a ceremony on Tuesday evening at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The event was attended by 1,400 representatives from leading companies, in the presence of BITC’s president HRH The Prince of Wales, who was accompanied by his sons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The award, supported by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), recognises businesses that are building sustainable partnerships with schools in the UK, to raise aspirations of young people and enable them to build successful working lives.

The awards programme is judged by senior industry leaders and has showcased the best of responsible business since its inception in 1997.

EDF Energy’s winning entry demonstrated that it is cutting energy costs for schools by raising energy efficiency awareness while driving student engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths. The company worked with Okehampton College in Devon to make STEM subjects more attractive to children by introducing energy awareness and sustainability as key topics within the curriculum, making energy use more visible through user-friendly monitors and meters as well as putting signs in place to encourage sensible energy use and recycling.

The programme at the College saw 57% of students inform their parents about how to save energy and 34% encourage relatives to implement energy-saving ideas. The school is now close to reducing its energy bills to zero – savings of over £100,000 – and has reduced CO2 emissions by nearly 300 tonnes per year. 30% of students who had no previous interest in STEM subjects said they are now more likely to pursue a science-related career. The company’s work with schools has also increased employee satisfaction and helped staff develop new skills.

Alongside the main award, EDF Energy was also a finalist in the ‘Workwell’ category and in the major ‘Responsible Business of the Year’ category, and has been awarded seven ‘Big Ticks’ already this year. ‘Big Ticks’ are awarded to companies who have demonstrated significant achievement in their responsible business programmes.

Darren Towers, EDF Energy’s Head of Sustainability and Environmental Leadership, said “This achievement is a fantastic endorsement of the wide range of social and environmental initiatives that our people are involved in right across our business and throughout the communities we’re part of. They reflect the passion we have for putting sustainable and responsible business at the heart of our approach at EDF Energy. We really hope these examples inspire more to follow our lead.”

Commenting on the win, Tulsi Naidu, Executive Director, UK & Offshore, Prudential UK & Europe, who chaired the judging panel, said: “Through their partnership with Okehampton, EDF Energy has really brought its business to life for students. This partnership has had an inspirational effect on young people many of whom are now considering careers in STEM subjects when previously they weren’t. The school has also saved a considerable amount of money on energy that it can now spend on education. The partnership is absolutely rooted in the needs of the school and it has delivered some really impressive results for both sides.”

For further information about the Responsible Business Awards visit: http://www.bitc.org.uk/services/awards-recognition/responsible-business-awards