Nursey goes 'climate positive' by offsetting their carbon footprint

Rowan Tree Day Nursery

Rowan Tree Day Nursery pupils enjoying celebrating Environment Day - Credit: Rowan Tree Day Nursery

Rowan Tree Day Nursery in Welwyn Garden City is now ‘climate positive’, after saving more greenhouse gas emissions than it generates.

Celebrating the achievement with themed activities to mark World Environment Day, children and staff at the day nursery - in Guessens Road - created their very own ‘role play’ recycling centre and discussed plastic pollution.

Rowan Tree Day Nursery manager, Claire Ovenden, explained why the achievement - following over a decade-long drive to achieve best environmental practice - was so important.

“We are committed to giving our children the best possible start in life and that means protecting our natural resources," she said.

"The earth is in crisis so we knew we had to step up and do more while continuing to teach our children to respect and protect the environment."

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Powered by Green Electricity from renewable sources since its opening in 2004; sending zero waste to landfill, Rowan Tree Day Nursery holds the Eco-Schools ‘Green Flag’, which is awarded to schools for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation.

In 2018, the nursery underwent a full-scale, year-long energy use and emissions measuring exercise – by external specialists Planet Mark – to establish an accurate carbon footprint.

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Children take part in sustainable activities all year round from crafting with natural and recycled materials – to show that everything can have a second useful life – to planting and tending vegetables in growing beds in the nursery garden.

Rowan Tree Day Nursery, which is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030, is part of the award-winning, Childbase Partnership with 44 day nurseries in England all holding Eco-Schools ‘Green Flags’.

Currently, Childbase Partnership is funding the distribution of solar water heaters across India and a wind farm in the northern state of Rajasthan offsetting to the tune of 6,500 tCo2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) which effectively wipes out its verified carbon footprint of 5,903 tCO2e across all nurseries and creates a ‘credit’ to account for unknowns.

At home, the company is planting over 2,000 trees through the Eden Reforestation Project; committing £170,000 to complete an LED lighting replacement programme in all settings and, uniquely, launching a sustainable travel challenge to address emissions generated by colleagues and parents accessing nurseries and reduce the largest remaining contributor to its total carbon footprint.

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