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The Best Independent Schools For Sustainability

Younger generations are leading the way in terms of the environment and sustainability. After all, they’re the ones who will be most affected by climate change, and they are only too aware of the implications of doing nothing. This year, after a decade of campaigning by environmentalists, the Department for Education approved a new Natural History GCSE, which is due to be taught in schools from 2025. With the environment firmly on the syllabus, it will be more important than ever for schools to adopt sustainable practices in order to attract talented students.

According to the Independent Schools Council, more than 30 independent schools are aiming to reach Net Zero by 2030. In this blog, we celebrate the sustainability measures that have been adopted by some of those schools.

Felsted School

Felsted School in Essex has launched a number of eco-initiatives, including partnering with One Tribe Global, an organisation that protects millions of trees that reduce and store carbon from the atmosphere. Felsted has a number of sustainability measures in place, including a Water Week where students research water use and are encouraged to take steps to save water themselves.

University College School

University College School in London has a strong sustainability commitment: “As an educational setting, we are in a key position to educate young people on what can be done to lessen our environmental impact, but also to set an example in tackling emissions generated across the Foundation.” The school is carbon neutral and has triple-gold recognition from the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative.

Westbourne House School

Westbourne House School in Chichester aims to raise ‘earth-friendly children’ and has an ethos of encouraging green behaviour. Pupil activities include beach cleans and tree planting. The school has installed solar panels, encourages students to use public transport, and has a policy of making meals using locally sourced food and sustainable fish.

South Hampstead High School

South Hampstead High School in London has placed huge emphasis on sustainability. It launched a pupil-led initiative – Project Zero – to improve the school’s environmental credentials, including crisp packet recycling and one meat-free school lunch every week. In addition, each student has permission to attend one climate strike every academic year. The school even has a UN-accredited climate change teacher who is helping out with student initiatives.

Lathallan School

Lathallan School near Montrose has its own farm where pupils can learn about respect for the environment and the importance of sustainability, as well as food production, animal care and healthy eating. Farm work is part of the curriculum for all ages. The school’s Eco Club encourages students to live a sustainable lifestyle by reducing, reusing and recycling, and Lathallan has resulted in five successive Green Flag Awards from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Water efficiency

We applaud the sustainability initiatives that independent schools have introduced. Many independent schools provide boarding as well as a huge range of sports facilities – playing fields and pitches, tennis courts, swimming pools and shower facilities for home and away teams. So even small successes in water efficiency could make a huge difference in reducing the amount of water used, as well as utility bills.

Business water services for the education sector

As part of our commitment to schools, education and to you, Castle Water work in partnership with you to reduce your organisation’s water costs, support you to make efficiencies and help you to meet your environmental and sustainability targets.

Castle Water has a proven track record of working with educational institutions, such as Bradfield College, to help them better understand their water usage, identify issues and reduce costs. We can connect you with a wide range of water-related services to ensure you are getting the most from your water and wastewater services.

To find out more about water services for the education sector, please contact us at