New school competition seeks creative ideas on climate change

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and Eco-Schools International Programme have launched a new European competition, challenging schools to come up with creative ideas to reduce energy consumption within their local communities. National juries in six European countries will award a total of 120,000 in grants to the most innovative proposals, giving students the opportunity to turn their ideas into a working community project. One school in each country will be crowned the National Winner for the best use of their grant, and short-listed for the pan-European title. The competition will target up to 300,000 students from around 1,800 schools in Italy, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Turkey and Portugal.

The theme of the 2007-2009 competition is Climate Change — Let's Save Energy! It is the second time Toyota has hosted a competition as part of the Eco-Schools' Environment and Innovation Project, which encourages students to identify and tackle environmental problems in partnership with their school and community.

"Toyota Motor Europe, via the Toyota Fund for Europe, is delighted once again to partner and sponsor the Environment and Innovation Project," said Graham Smith, Senior Vice-President of Toyota Motor Europe and Chairman of the Toyota Fund for Europe. "By inviting students to find new ways to reduce energy consumption and encourage cleaner sources of energy, we are helping to tackle the issue of climate change at different levels within communities". 

Toyota Motor Europe and Eco-Schools hope to leverage the success of the first competition held by the Environment and Innovation Project, which awarded a UK primary school the top prize for their innovative idea to reduce local traffic congestion earlier this year.

The Toyota Fund for Europe (TFfE) and Eco-Schools, an international programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), have been working together since 2005. The Environment and Innovation Project was originally launched as a pilot programme to promote innovative thinking and environmental education in schools across Europe.