Students praised by Mayor
for innovative efforts
to tackle Climate Crisis

02 Nov, 22


Three groups of students from Leeds schools have been praised by the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, for their innovative ideas to help reduce their school’s impact on the environment.

Pupils from Carr Manor Community School, Co-op Academy Leeds and Cockburn John Charles Academy each created an idea for an app which could help schools across the region focus more on sustainable operations and address the climate crisis as part of a Green Tech Challenge delivered by Ahead Partnership.

The three groups had been shortlisted in the last round of the challenge and were invited to present their innovations to the Mayor and a panel of sustainability and green tech experts during the recent West Yorkshire Innovation Festival.

Having delivered insightful presentations in groups, they were congratulated on their talent, wider impact thinking and approach to business by both the Mayor and the panel.

Tracey Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire commented: ““I’m proud of the students I met who were so passionate about the climate. They shared some fantastic ideas about how we can create a greener and cleaner future in West Yorkshire

“Competitions like this are a brilliant opportunity for young people to showcase innovation and spark interest in protecting our planet.

“I’ve recently launched the Mayor’s Innovation Prize for young people and there’s £10,000 up for grabs for pioneering ideas to solve the climate crisis.”

The Green Tech Challenge, delivered by Ahead Partnership, a purpose-driven business that delivers social value projects to overcome inequality, promote opportunity and positively impact wider society, was launched during Spring of 2022 with five schools across the region taking part.

Students were asked to come up with an idea for an app that aimed to reduce the carbon footprint of their school community.

Ralph Thoresby School, John Smeaton Academy, Co-op Academy Leeds, Cockburn John Charles Academy and Carr Manor Community School were the five regional schools who took part with between 40 and 80 pupils per school taking part in sessions.

Participating pupils spent half a day working with volunteers from a variety of local businesses, learning about concepts around climate change and sustainability, and building up initial ideas.

From there, three groups were then shortlisted and invited to attend a session at Netcompany in September to help them refine their ideas and work on their presentations ahead of delivering to the Mayor at the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival.

Pupils from Co-op Academy Leeds presented their idea to develop a recycling app called ECO Recyclers which rewards people with money when they recycle. The app would include a recycling calculator which allowed users to see their impact.

The students from Cockburn John Charles Academy took a different approach, presenting an idea to develop an app called Munchbox which would work by allowing people to purchase wasted food from local schools and restaurants to donate to food banks or to keep themselves.

Carr Manor Community School pupils delivered a presentation on their app, Feed our School, which had been developed to reduce food waste in schools by allowing students to pre-order their food a week ahead so that caterers new the right amount of each food option to purchase and cook. Feed Our School had already been implemented within the school during the Summer.

Megan Lipp, head of development at Ahead Partnership, added: “The Young People’s Digital Innovation Final was a really inspiring event; it was fantastic to see the students present a diverse and practical range of app ideas that would support our regional efforts to tackle the climate emergency, from encouraging recycling to reducing food waste.

“We deliver initiatives like this to encourage young people to develop their creative skills in a ‘real-world’ context, helping them to consider the value and positive impact that their own ideas could bring to their surrounding environment and community. This type of activity also gives them better knowledge to be able to consider developing a rewarding career in digital and green jobs, supporting the development of a strong talent pipeline here in Leeds.”