Waste management service that doesn’t cost the earth

People, planet and prosperity

While traditionally the measure of success for a business has been centred around profitability, recently a more sustainable approach has gained ground. More organisations are appreciating the benefits of considering the ‘triple bottom line’ approach – people, planet and prosperity, which fundamentally rests on the belief that companies should focus as much on social and environmental impacts as they do on financial aspects.   

There are many cross-industry organisations doing remarkable things to show how much social, environmental, and economic value can be created by following a triple bottom line approach. SUEZ recycling and recovery UK is one of them. They are a leading waste and resource management company, delivering environmentally responsible solutions for more than 30,000 local authority and business customers across the UK. Some of you may know SUEZ already, as their customer portfolio in education sector is large and well-established.

Embracing triple bottom line, SUEZ has recognised the importance of embedding this approach even further into their business and reporting on performance based on its impact on the planet, people and prosperity.

Teaching and inspiring the future generations

In 2019, a survey commissioned by Oxfam found that 69% of teachers believe there should be teaching more about climate change in UK schools. It also found that 75% of teachers don’t feel they’ve received adequate training to educate students about climate change.

Last year during the COVID-19 crisis, the pandemic made lesson planning challenging for teachers at schools up and down the country. An opportunity was identified to help support them and SUEZ launched a suite of educational resources designed to bring STEM education to life in classrooms for primary and secondary school students.

STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and enables the next generation of innovators to help solve the environmental problems we all face.

Developed by SUEZ, the resources for primary school children cover both key stage 1 and 2 with detailed lesson plans for teachers and home educators accompanied by supporting resources. There is also a range of step-by-step upcycling activities to transform everyday household packaging and items that might otherwise be discarded to promote reuse.

For older students, SUEZ has produced a series of videos aimed at secondary school students at key stages 3 and 4 who are considering their future career options. Featuring SUEZ employees, these promote the varied roles available within the recycling and resource management sector, explaining the different paths that brought people into these roles and how studying STEM subjects supports their career choices.

Linked to STEM subjects, these resources encourage children to think of materials as a valuable resource and consider how we can reduce the amount of waste produced, and reuse or repurpose waste before recycling. Free resources for schools are available here: bit.ly/3hXhMQF

SUEZ sought feedback from teachers before launching the resources to ensure they aligned with the national curriculum and worked in a classroom setting and has been delighted by the reaction so far.

Jo Higgon, Careers Leader at Claydon High School in Suffolk said: "These are a fantastic resource for careers education in schools. Each video answers key questions which allow students to find out the important information about these roles as potential jobs for the future. This set of videos includes a focus on skills and qualifications as well as favourite school subjects for a range of STEM related careers, allowing students to see how their GCSE and post 16 subjects link into these jobs. The job roles are equally represented by different genders helping to raise aspirations in those students looking for a STEM related career pathway. Thank you team SUEZ!"

Liz Sampson, Key Stage 1 Teacher at Gorran School in Cornwall said: "These resources have been meticulously planned to meet the curriculum for primary schools and to address the wider focus on the environment, addressing reduce, reuse and recycle through a series of well planned, engaging and investigative lessons."

Claire Payne, a Year 1 Teacher at St Mary’s School in Evesham commented: "The lessons are well-planned, and jam packed full of interactive activities, the children have thoroughly enjoyed them."

Practice what you preach

From an environmental perspective, SUEZ has developed a number of projects to assist with preserving and improving biodiversity. For example, their facilities in Severnside, Suffolk, Teesside, and others have run an initiative to improve local biodiversity, by providing education activity days for local schools, as well as helping to halt the declining bee population. With beehives installed onsite, there are now over 100,000 bees calling it home.

SUEZ has been working hard to deliver meaningful social and environmental benefits through their services. If your organisation is looking for a reliable waste management service that doesn’t cost the earth, contact their friendly team today.