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How independent schools can boost efficiency

First published: February 2023

Reducing your independent schools’ Scope 3 emissions

Looking to reduce your Scope 3 emissions and increase efficiency? We look at how a digital approach to insurance management can reduce the environmental impact of the amount of waste independent schools produce with a paperless approach to insurance management.

In March 2019, climate campaigners across the world, inspired by Greta Thunberg, came together to co-ordinate the first Global Strike for Climate. More than 1.6 million people from 125 countries took part!

Greta brought climate change activism to students and they have taken up the mantle with younger generations leading the fight in terms of the environment and sustainability.

Schools account for 2% of UK greenhouse gas emissions

Following COP26, sustainability in education has been put front and centre. If the UK is to reach its legally binding target of net zero by 2050, the whole of the education sector will need to play its part in reducing operational emissions.

Schools account for around 2% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, roughly the same as all the energy and transport emissions of Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol combined. This is equivalent to 15% of the country’s public sector emissions. One of the biggest environmental issues is the amount of paper used and wasted each day. According to a study, education is the sector that relies most on paper (80%), followed by the finance sector.

Scope 3 - The highest proportion of emissions

Carbon emissions can be categorised into Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions which help to define the different types of emissions a school produces directly through its own operations as well as via its wider supply chain.

Scope 1

These are emissions from sources that a school owns or controls directly – for example from burning fuel in a fleet of vehicles (if they’re not electrically-powered).

Scope 2

These are emissions that a school causes indirectly when the energy it purchases and uses is produced.

For this blog post we will look at Scope 3 emissions which account for by far the highest proportion of total emissions. Unfortunately these are also usually the hardest to reduce as this category includes the emissions that schools are indirectly responsible for, such as buying products from suppliers: paper used, supplier emissions and waste disposal.

Parent stood in their kitcken on their iPad

Net Zero by 2030

According to the Independent Schools Council, more than 30 independent schools are aiming to reach Net Zero by 2030. One of those schools is Magdalen College School (MCS) in Oxford. As part of their sustainability commitments, MCS has produced a sustainability policy stating environmental five and ten-year objectives and targets. One of those is their commitment to responsible consumption and production by adopting sustainable purchasing, reducing consumption and so reducing waste.

In 2019, Brighton College banned the misuse of plastics on campus. Each pupil and member of staff was issued with a bottle made from sugarcane (biologically sustainable and with zero net carbon impact) saving 31,200 bottles of water per year. Members of the college community are expected to carry a 'Keep Cup', eliminating 8,000 disposable cups each week from their waste stream.

In line with Scope 3 emissions, a section on Procurement and Third Parties is included within Highgate School’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

Parent logged into the Endsleigh Insurance Portal reviewing their child's account

Reduced emissions, increased efficiency

The Endsleigh Insurance portal takes a step towards supporting independent schools with their Scope 3 emissions by:

  • Reducing the environmental impact of the waste they produce with a paperless approach to insurance management.
  • Reducing the administrative burden for schools.
  • When it comes to school groups, creates greater efficiencies as one portal account can be managed from a central hub.

Gone are the days of printing out and administering lengthy insurance documents. Not only does the portal eliminate all this, but it also serves as a one-stop shop for everything pupil insurance related.

Schools can send a single communication to parents that allows them to register with the portal, then add children and opt in or out of cover. Schools will have a secure location within the portal for storing and managing their key insurance documents such as the Policy and Cover summary.

With 65% of headteachers looking to take steps to become a more sustainable and eco-friendly school*, working with the right type of supplier is key. Sustainability is an important element in how we do things at Endsleigh. By working closely with our customers and listening to their pain points, we recognised the need to change our traditional insurance method to make the insurance process more environmentally friendly and efficient for parents and schools.

Find out more about our insurance portal for independent schools.

*The Pearson School Report | Pearson UK

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