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Solar for Schools

Social performance

The Solar for Schools CBS enables schools in the UK to share any long-term profits from solar panels installed on site, whilst cutting their carbon emissions, saving money and inspiring a generation of students to live more sustainably.

Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

KSPI 1 - Community fund

Each school will save and earn between £30,000 and £250,000 depending on the size and location of the school over the first 25-30 years of the system’s lifetime. Given a system’s life is over 30 years, the school will then benefit from virtually free electricity after those 30 years. The additional energy savings can be put to good use enabling more of the school’s budget to be spent on improving the education facilities at each school, rather than paying for mains electricity.

KSPI 2 - Energy generation

In the UK, to generate 1,000 units (kWh) of electricity, about half a tonne of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere by conventional power plants. If those 1,000 units are generated from a clean source such as solar power, then that CO2 is never emitted.

A school with about 116 solar panels (30kWp) will generate up to 750,000 units (kWh) of electricity over the lifetime of the system, saving about 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. A similar carbon saving impact could be achieved by planting and looking after about 600 trees for 25 years and then preserving them in such a way that the stored carbon is never released. In addition, the school will also have access to real-time energy consumption data that will enable it to make qualified decisions on other technologies to save costs, reduce carbon emissions further and fight climate change.

KSPI 3 - Sustainability education

The carbon reduction impact of educating the next generation to live more sustainably by experiencing first hand the opportunities and challenges of dealing with intermittent renewable energy sources such as the sun, will have a positive impact which will hopefully surpass the direct carbon savings from the panels on the schools.

Common environmental performance indicators (CEPIs)

CEPIs are environmental performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Carbon emissions

Solar for Schools CBS funds solar panels on schools and as such is a net carbon sink. For every 30kW system we fund on a school, approximately 15 tonnes of carbon emissions will be avoided each year.

Staff travel to work

Solar for Schools CBS does not directly employ any staff, but its main subcontractor Solar Options for Schools Ltd does and all their staff either work from home or travel to their daily place of work on public transport or bicycle.

Waste and recycling

Solar for Schools CBS and its main subcontractor communicate electronically rather than using paper. Apart from documents that need to be kept as paper records by law, very little printing is done and efficient printing processes are used when it is necessary.  The offices separate all waste into paper, plastics, biodegradable and general waste.

Common Social Performance Indicators (CSPIs)

CSPIs are social performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Community involvement

The Solar for Schools CBS was set up specifically to enable schools to benefit not just from long term savings resulting from fixing some of their electricity consumption from solar but to also share in the surplus generated once investors have been re-paid. These savings can then be invested into the schools' education programmes. 

It is also a key objective of the Solar for Schools CBS that the use of solar energy will encourage children at the schools to be more aware of how to act in a sustainable way.

Ethical procurement

The Solar for Schools CBS sources all systems from reputable suppliers, including Solar Options for Schools Ltd, a social impact business. Spare parts and components are warehoused by Enabled Works, a community benefit society that employs disabled people.

Local employment

Solar for Schools CBS does not employ anybody directly and has solar sites on schools across the country. When possible, maintenance work on solar assets is carried out by local companies.

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