Since Chigwell School announced their partnership with Arup Group, a consultancy firm ‘dedicated to sustainable development’ (, and their plans to make Chigwell School more sustainable. This collaboration is the first step in the school’s sustainability journey, and the partnership symbolises, ‘a dedicated effort to incorporate sustainable practises across the entire school’ ( 

Since then the school has rebranded their student-led group the Sustainability Ambassadors, a society where students from year 7 to 13 can work together to implement smaller-scale eco-friendly practises into the school. Most recently the Sustainability Ambassadors hosted the Sustainability Fortnight. 10 days dedicated to raising awareness about different sustainable practises. The fortnight was kickstarted by a student-led assembly where year 7 students educated pupils about different endangered species and the importance of keeping the environment clean. During the fortnight the lunch menu was changed to offer more vegetarian options, less beef and more substitutes, there were also pop-up stalls over the weeks with different veggie and vegan options, even a stand offering insects! The purpose of these were to educate pupils and staff about the alternatives to different types of meat, most importantly beef, the production of which is one of the main contributors to climate change.

During form and break times, students were educated on global sustainability via documentaries and articles and also had the opportunity to take part in a ‘wonky fruit painting challenge’, where the students would draw the ‘wonky’ fruit in front of them. This was to raise awareness to the 4.5 million tonnes of fresh produce thrown away in the UK per year just because they don’t meet supermarket standards. As a school, Chigwell monitored their food waste over the fortnight, to try and get students and staff to reduce the amount of food wasted in a day, the target set was successfully reached by the end of the fortnight. 


Talking to Rayaan, a year 12 pupil, and part of the Sustainability Ambassadors, I learnt about the aims of the fortnight and the long term aims of the society. Together, with Arup, they want to “streamline [Chigwell School’s] journey towards a sustainable future in time for the 400th anniversary of the school” they want to “reduce our school’s carbon footprint and play a part in helping the local environment”. Rayaan thought Sustainability Fortnight was very successful as they “spread awareness across the school about how we can implement little actions in our everyday lives to become more sustainable” and his favourite part of the week was the greater variation of veggie and vegan options at lunch as it helped not only him realise the alternatives to meat that is harmful to the environment, but also others.


The Sustainability Ambassadors  are now releasing newsletters, documenting their journey in making Chigwell School more sustainable, available here: