Sustainable Development

In 2009, Ecolint mandated MANECO (www.maneco.ch) to complete a report analysing its impact on the environment. As Ecolint was looking beyond this report and trying to find ways to undertake practical changes, they contacted WWF International for a presentation on WWF’s One Planet Living (OPL) initiative (www.panda.org/opl) at the Ecolint’s Board. This OPL initiative is structured around ten principles of sustainability and aims at demonstrating that living sustainably is possible and can be affordable and desirable. After this first contact, WWF representatives presented in several occasions to the teachers, the students, the administrative staff of Ecolint their work on ecological footprint reduction.
 
Then Ecolint and WWF decided to develop jointly Sustainability Action Plans (SAPs) for Ecolint’s three campuses in the canton of Geneva and Vaud. SAPs set objectives, targets, and strategies for Ecolint to reduce its ecological footprint. They look at what can be done in terms of infrastructures and behaviour highlighting in some occasions what could be done from a curriculum perspective. The SAPs were jointly developed through workshops with Campus Development Groups from each campus which were a good opportunity for all Ecolint’s stakeholders to participate in the process. The whole SAPs development process came to an end in June 2010 and it is now time for Ecolint to implement the recommended actions.

“I was very pleased by the commitment from Ecolint top management to really try to reduce Ecolint’s ecological footprint. Ecolint is a big institution with lots of buildings, lots of constraints and opportunities. The new building (Minergie) in La Châtaigneraie is a good indication of this commitment from Ecolint.

For WWF, it is very important to work with schools in order to show the next generations what sustainability is about. It was very interesting to see that the students (from age 5 to 18) with whom I have engaged had a very good understanding of their ecological footprint as well as of the actions that they individually and collectively (as a family or as a school) could take to improve the situation. I hope that the work we have done together in developing these Sustainability Action Plans will be put into actions soon so students can spend their childhood in a favourable environment.”

By Gaël Léopold, One Planet Living Coordinator, WWF International, September 2010

 
Implementing the SAP
Having completed the baseline studies with MANECO and having drafted our SAP with WWF the Campus Principals and Campus Administrators will be following progress over the school year.

Foundation Policy for the purchase and use of paper

Aware of the world-wide issues linked to sustainable development and the role of schools in influencing the change in behaviour necessary for a better management of the environment, Ecolint wishes to put into place measures aimed at improvement in this field. In particular the School wishes to establish rules regarding the purchase and use of paper that affect all three of its campuses.

Objectives of the present policy:

  • To raise awareness of the school community as regards the basic rules of the Foundation’s policy on the purchase and use of paper
  • To reduce the overall consumption of paper within the Foundation
  • To make members of the school community conscious of the positive impact on the environment of a more responsible use of paper
  • To involve employees and students in the process.

Introducing "Eco" t-shirts!

It may be less obvious, but the clothes that we wear also have an impact on the environment. Ecolint is piloting a sustainable development project in this area and has ordered approximately 50 t-shirts made by an ecological clothing brand.  This company has had the innvovative idea of supplying an ecological label for each item of clothing it sells, so as to guarantee that each step of its production is environmentally-friendly.

Eco-t-shirtThis label is a world "first" and we are proud to be the first school to offer t-shirts bearing this certification.