Sharing the knowledge with the next generation
So, in the UK we collaborate with a diverse range of partners, sponsoring research studies and finding new ways to raise awareness of environmental issues from increasing recycling to fighting plastic pollution on our beaches.
In 2018, we joined forces with a social enterprise – Solutions for the Planet (S4TP) – helping them realise their vision to get ‘young people ready and able to respond to 21st century sustainability challenges’.
S4TP works with businesses, schools and communities in three regions: North England and Scotland, South East and West Midlands. The company tackles social problems and provides valuable services in the open market, reinvesting their profits back into the business to benefit more young people and local communities.
The aim of S4TP is to excite, enthuse and promote education for sustainable development, social enterprise, and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects for the younger generation.
The Big Ideas programme
The Big Ideas programme focuses on STEM subjects and is delivered in partnership through dynamic education programmes with secondary schools and businesses primarily, but not exclusively, in the waste, energy, manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors, supporting students (in KS3 or S1-3) to generate solutions or ‘Big Ideas’ in response to various sustainability issues.
Each year, these creative solutions generated by school children, are submitted to the Big Ideas Competition with regional finals held at universities and the National Final held at the Palace of Westminster in London.
SUEZ works in partnership with S4TP, and alongside our other regional and national partners Tarmac, IGEM, SGN, Brammer Buck & Hickman and Mears Group. During the year, a group of SUEZ employees volunteered to become part of the Big Ideas programme as mentors. The programme encourages and motivates young people to learn about STEM subjects and environmental issues. As specialists in recycling, waste and resource management, mentors from SUEZ have added value to this programme by sharing their expertise and enthusiasm in these key subject areas.
The Solutions for the Planet team has put together a robust programme and local schools including Plashet (East Ham), The Charter School (East Dulwich), Bohunt School (Worthing), Priory, Mayfield, Castle View Academy and Ark Charter Academy (Portsmouth) and Oaks Park High School (Ilford) took part in this fantastic programme.
One of the SUEZ mentors, Stuart May, a Regional Transport Trainer said:
“I am a transport trainer and I was really interested in getting involved with Solutions for the Planet, as I felt that it would help develop my skills especially working with a different audience, this was so far out of my comfort zone! The day was really good, with a mix of engaged students. My role was to assist the students and help them develop their ideas. Students had some great ideas and I was really proud of the team who got up to present their idea at the end of the day, they were really nervous, but did a fantastic job.
I am so glad I got involved with this project and cannot wait for the next S4TP session.”