How do Ecosupporters save millions?

Submitted by admin on Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:14

At the international energy efficiency day on November 11 in St. Petersburg Russian-Finnish seminar was held to summarize the experience of Ecosupporters to help them implement energy efficiency and other green solutions in schools. Seminar was aimed to sum up the results of international project "Step to Ecosupport." Seminar was held by the "Friends of the Baltic" organization in collaboration with the Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education. Ecosupporters talked about their triumphs and difficulties in the environmental solutions implementation.

Seminar was attended by St. Petersburg teachers, representatives from the Committee on Natural Resources Environment and Ecological Safety, Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education, University of Helsinki, University of Applied Sciences Kymenlaakso (Finland), Sennoy District municipality, Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education, and many others.

Main aim of the project "Step to Ecosupport" is creation of the action model that reduces human impact on the environment and promoting environmental management in educational institutions with the entire team participation. Environmental solutions affect: energy, resources, water, waste, purchasing, household chemicals, transport and green yard.

In October 2013 basic training was held for Ecosupporters and since then they have worked with the administration, colleagues, parents, technical staff and children to reduce the load of its institutions on the environment.

Project results exceeded expectations:
- All Ecosupporters did ecoaudit in their educational institutions using techniques developed within the project;
- 80 % of schools have EcoUnion - 7-8 people - teachers, administration, older students, parents;
- Discussion was held about the environmental audit and priority actions during the teachers ' or EcoUnion meeting;
- First steps have been taken - waste paper collection, lighting replacement, turn off “stand by”, aerators on the taps;
- Almost all schools have ecoboxes for hazardous waste collection
- Each school disseminate information among children, parents and staff

More than 100 teachers are involved in the project events (participation in seminars, use of methodological materials in educational and outreach activities, participation in EcoUnions).
42 Ecosupporters carry out practical activities in 33 schools.

Sidorova I. teacher and methodologist from Gymnasium №85 told that she was able to make a difference in the school purchases:
• Preferred choice of environmentally friendly products, eco-labeled products;
• Products made from natural materials;
• Items suitable for recycling;
• Locally produced goods;
• Avoidance of excessive packaging or unrecyclable package.

Bystrova N. and Kulikova G. from the "Peterhof" Center for Children Creativity presented an alternative to regular detergents - cloth for cleaning windows and mirrors made of microfiber. Their experience shows that the cloth does the job and saves water because it does not require rinsing and wiping the windows after using it. And as you know, clean windows - better lighting in the daytime, which can save money and energy.

The most productive Ecosupporter is of course the supply manager. This was illustrated by Lekan V. from the school № 599. His presentation impressed everyone - teachers and colleagues. Vladimir saved 163 thousand rubles only by controlling the water flow in school for 10 months.
In 4 offices, lobby and the principal's office LED bulbs were installed – for 10 months 300 thousand rubles were saved.

"If the director obliges supply manager to go down the basement and regulate the heat supply savings can be up to 700 thousand rubles” - explains Vladimir. “There is an automatic control system depending on the outside temperature, but even if you don’t have such kind of system in your building you can still save allot. Those who say that it’s impossible to save energy in school are telling lies. “
Only on heat, water and electricity for 10 months Mr. Lekan and his colleagues saved 1,163,000 rubles.

Interesting that the level of support from administration and staff is directly dependent on the number of passed trainings. 13% of Ecosupporters passed only one seminar and the level of support they estimate at 2-3 points out of 5. 63% of Ecosupporters passed full course, and they appreciate the support by 4-5 points out of 5 possible.

At the end, participants were asked three questions that Ecosupporters gladly answered.

What was the most difficult?
Centralized accounting (at the district offices of education), they do not want to cooperate on energy efficient procurements and environmental goods for school.

What was the easiest?
To organize the hazardous waste collection, orient children and staff to use the EcoCar.

What surprised you the most?
The very existence of such thing as "Ecosupporter" - which it is taken seriously by many people and it works!

In frames of the "Step to Ecosupport" project online distance learning course was developed for Ecosupporters (by Environmental Bureau KOSMOS) where anyone can take the full course and enter in the register of Ecosupporters.