UK school walks away with top prize in pan-European sustainable mobility competition
A UK primary school has scooped the top prize in a pan-European environment competition for their innovative approach to sustainable mobility. On Friday 5 October, Millfield Primary School in Norfolk will be presented with &euro4,000 at a special awards ceremony for helping to reduce local traffic congestion to and from their primary school. The Environment and Innovation Project, hosted by Toyota Motor Europe and the Eco-Schools International Programme Coordination, invited schools across Europe to identify challenges and propose solutions to improve mobility and the environment in their local communities. 105 schools submitted proposals to the programme. Twenty-five schools, representing up to 25,000 students, received a total of &euro75,000 in grants to implement their projects, before reporting back on their progress to a European Judging Panel.
The winning project, Stamp Stanley — Walk to Millfield Project, aimed to reduce traffic congestion by creating a long-term incentive for children to walk to and from school. The school installed permanent checkpoint machines along school routes so students could collect a stamp for each "green journey" made. Stamps are then saved up and exchanged at school for a wide range of rewards.
"Toyota Motor Europe, via the Toyota Fund for Europe, has been delighted 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. "Each school's project, in some way, has helped to reduce our environmental footprint by tackling local issues in a very concrete and practical way. We congratulate every student whose creativity and perseverance have made a real difference."
Millfield Primary School was crowned the European Winner from a shortlist of four national winners: Harkortschule Primary School (Germany), Tagliacozzo-Gramsci Primary School (Italy) and Leganés Eco-School Network (Spain). Project ideas included a road safety education programme (Germany), new software to encourage car-pooling and alternative modes of travel (Italy), and a bicycle promotion programme (Spain).
Jan Eriksen, President of FEE said: "We are really impressed by the way children and teachers have collaborated with local business and authorities, and applied creativity and ingenuity to tackle shared community problems. Once again, Eco-Schools from several countries implemented innovative projects that bring positive benefits not only for the school but also for the families and communities!"
The Toyota Fund for Europe 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 launched as a pilot programme to promote innovative thinking and environmental education in schools across Europe.