NewsCelebrating World Environment Day at ISP: A conversation with our ESG Team

Celebrating World Environment Day at ISP: A conversation with our ESG Team

5 June, 2024

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5th June every year and raises awareness for everyone to take action in order to protect the environment. It is supported by many non-governmental organisations, businesses, government entities, and represents the primary United Nations outreach day supporting the environment.

Sustainability Engagement Specialist, Alexa

To mark World Environment Day at ISP, we spoke to the newest member of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) team Alexa to talk about why ESG is important to ISP. In her new role as Sustainability Engagement Specialist, she will be supporting our schools with our Whole School Sustainability approach which will embed sustainability practices within everyday life in our schools.

Our whole school approach puts sustainability at the heart of the way in which the school operates and seeks to build a culture of responsibility and positive impact. The schools adopting this approach connect what students learn with what is practiced by the school through its management and operations.

Alexa, welcome on board to the ISP Environmental, Social and Governance team, tell us a little bit about you and your role

I’ve just joined the global ESG team at ISP as Sustainability Engagement Specialist and my role is to help embed concepts of education for sustainable development (ESD) across our schools. Centred around encouraging students to drive impactful behaviour change, we will work in collaboration with our schools to achieve our environmental goals and commitments.

Previously I have worked as a teacher and sustainability lead on two different ISP school campuses in Penang, Malaysia. I helped develop the schools’ approach to sustainability programs; I’m excited to take what I’ve learned in these schools about championing sustainability and help empower the rest of ISP`s global network to do the same.

 

Why is ESG important to you?

ESG is important to me because it fosters a comprehensive understanding of sustainability by integrating a wide variety of topics including ecological health, social equity, and responsible governance. By approaching education with ESG in mind, we can prepare students and our employees to engage with real-world sustainability challenges and cultivate ethical leadership and critical thinking. Education has the ability to shape a sustainable future.

With my experience as a teacher, I see the value of embedding ESG into curriculum to enhance interdisciplinary learning that aligns with global sustainability goals while simultaneously improving our students’ career readiness. One example of this when the students at Straits International School Penang banded together to create the eco-leaders student governance group. They created projects to track electricity consumption on campus and to reduce food-waste in the school canteen.

 

What is the ISP Whole School Sustainability Approach and what will you be doing as part of the pilot projects?

The Whole School Sustainability approach refers to the idea of embedding sustainability practices into every facet of education, from facilities management to curriculum integration. As schools form an integral part of the community, we want to ensure we are creating exemplary learning environments that run on sustainable practices and minimise our environmental footprint. We know our schools are already driving sustainability programs and behaviours; through my role, I will look to enhance their current activity, embed behaviour change for both staff and students, and report and share the impact of all their hard work so our network can grow sustainably together.

 

What are some of the long-term goals Whole School Sustainability Approach?

Long term goals for the Whole School Sustainability Approach include achieving emission reductions to work towards a net-zero carbon future on all ISP campuses globally by 2050. We aim to fully embed ESD principles into the various curriculums of our schools, introduce student-led governance structures to promote sustainable behaviours, and increase awareness and individual action on our campuses. Through a Whole School approach, everyone can play a role, from students, teachers, staff, parents, etc.

 

How are our teams across ISP getting involved?

So many of our schools and colleagues are already actively driving ESG activities on their campuses. As part of the central ESG team, our goal is to support and enhance your efforts, sharing best practices among the whole ISP network.

Our Central ESG Team has grown significantly this year; our team of specialists are working hard to create new programmes, policies, events, and guides to embed ESG concepts completely across our schools and business. You will hear more from us within future articles and blogs, and we can’t wait to engage you!

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