A picture of Jim O'Boyle at a table speaking to children

E.ON's latest sustainability workshops are paving the way for a greener future by educating and inspiring the next generation in environmental awareness.

More than 450 school pupils from across Coventry are taking part in a series of sustainability classes run by E.ON, our Strategic Energy Partner, learning about renewable energy sources and what is going on in their city to promote new types of energy, cleaner air and new green jobs and skills.

The first of the brand new ‘Let’s Go Green in Coventry’ workshops included Year 5 and 6 pupils at Aldermoor Farm primary school taking part in one of 16 sessions in six primary schools across the city. The half-day sessions are designed to help pupils’ understanding of renewable energy and answer questions including ‘why do we need to use energy at home?’, ‘where does our energy come from?’, ‘how does our energy use affect the environment?’ and ‘how can we solve these issues?’.

Working together in groups they applied their understanding to invent or redesign a household appliance incorporating some form of renewable technology. The sessions concluded with the children designing their own vision of a classroom of the future and showcasing the futuristic features to classmates, as well as taking a look at some of the skills and career paths they can look forward to among the green jobs of the future.

Emma Hardy, Assistant Head and Curriculum Lead at Aldermoor Farm, said: "This was an excellent learning opportunity for our pupils. Learning about sustainability through workshops like these enhances the coverage in our school curriculum of this important subject. We already look at sustainability through our PSHE, Geography and Science lessons as we are aware how vital this is for our children's future.”

Councillor Jim O’Boyle Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, said: “Young people are the driving force when it comes to tackling climate change, so I wasn’t surprised to see both their enthusiasm and their keenness to innovate.

“Hopefully they have learnt something new about how they can play their part to reduce carbon emissions, as well as having the chance to learn about the ways their own city is innovating in this area.

“In the future there will be a big demand for new, green skills so inspiring local kids to see themselves in these roles is really important. This work may not have happened without our partnership with E.ON so it’s great to see some of the first benefits felt by our city’s young people.” 

Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer for Energy Infrastructure Services at E.ON, said: “The idea behind ‘Let’s Go Green in Coventry’ is to inspire students to discover for themselves how we all rely on energy and the different ways we can produce it and store it – while also providing a bit of fun and entertainment in the classroom!

“These hands-on activities have been specifically designed to fit within the primary school syllabus and to promote not just wider environmental and energy knowledge but hopefully to inspire some interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) topics.”

The schools events form part of E.ON’s broader educational activities, developed to inform children about where energy comes from and how it is used in our everyday lives. Online lessons at E.ON Energise Anything help teachers with online and classroom activities which support the curriculum and help pupils understand all stages of energy production, distribution and consumption.

E.ON and Coventry City Council recently agreed a pioneering 15-year Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) aiming to create a city more self-sufficient in sustainable energy and to support the delivery of the council’s Climate Change Strategy and One Coventry Plan. 

The SEP has already secured Government funding for energy efficiency improvements to homes across the city, with further projects in the pipeline including solar energy for public buildings and schools, along with electrification of local transport. 

An overarching aim of the Strategic Energy Partnership is to bring wider benefits to communities across the city, ensuring long term benefits around sustainability. The six schools and 480 pupils taking part in ‘Let’s Go Green in Coventry’ are hoped to be the first, with more schools and lessons for different age groups in the future.

E.ON, which has been based in the city for nearly 30 years, recently announced it is to partner with the Godiva music festival and the MotoFest Coventry motoring exhibition. E.ON Next, the customer-facing arm of E.ON, is the new major sponsor of the Godiva Festival in July and has pledged to bring a wealth of support and resources to not only enhance the festival experience but also contribute to its sustainability and growth.

MotoFest Coventry announced E.ON as lead partner for this year’s event, as the city-wide showcase of the latest in automotive and electric vehicle (EV) technology celebrates a decade as the UK’s largest free to attend motoring festival.

To find out more about E.ON's work in Coventry, visit eonenergy.com/sustainable-cities/coventry

Published: Wednesday, 29th May 2024