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2017 Events

With great thanks to our: Core Sponsors


Workshop Sponsors

Event Hosts

Welcome to Severn Wye’s Your Green Future

The first half of 2017 has been a busy one for the Your Green Future team with 3 events in 3 months across the South and Midlands, and we are not finished yet as we have a new event planned in Wales at the end of the year. As ever we were joined by a whole host of businesses from Jaguar Land Rover to Arup and IKEA, all of whom gave up their time to mentor in our workshops and provide the students with some real-life experience of the working world. Whilst many of our supporters come back year after year, we have developed a number of new partnerships, namely DEFRA for whom

Your Green Future was a source of information to feed into their 25 Year Environment Plan. In this brochure you will find more information on why the Your Green Future initiative is important, who gets involved and why.

“We are so grateful for having the opportunity to bring our students to such a valuable, educational and rewarding set of workshops.” Teacher

Your Green Future is a project by Severn Wye Energy Agency, an independent charity and not-for-profit company that works for a bright, secure and sustainable future free from fuel poverty.


Cecily Etherington cecilye@severnwye.org.uk Karen Robinson karenr@severnwye.org.uk

01452 835060 @YourGreenFutur yourgreenfuture.org.uk

The Challenge

By 2020 there will be a 200,000 shortfall in qualified engineers in the UK. (Royal Academy of Engineering)

More companies are managing sustainability

to improve processes, pursue growth, and add value to their companies rather than focusing on reputation alone. (Sustainability’s strategic worth: McKinsey Global Survey, 2014)

An understanding of sustainable development

was identified as one of the biggest skills missing from the average graduate. (EUAC, 2017)

Your Green Future What’s it all about? What is sustainability in business and why is it important?  Where are our skill shortages? Why are STEM subjects so crucial to our future and how do we encourage students to engage with them? These are questions regularly being asked by teachers and employers. Your Green Future was developed to address these questions and bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world. It is an interactive event which engages hundreds of 12 to 18 year olds with the role of sustainability in the economy and what this could mean

for their careers. It does this through a series of creative activities which sees students work with businesses to investigate the changing face of business, from local sustainable business models to cutting edge technologies. Further details can be found at  yourgreenfuture.org.uk

Who we’ve engaged with? 15 events

run across the South and Midlands.

168 Schools

have attended the events.


aged 12 to 18 years old have participated with their teachers.

336 Businesses

have supported the events.

2017 programme of events Who attended

39 schools


12-18 year olds

Locations Solihull: March 2017 Oxford: April 2017 West of england: May 2017

Working with students from: Bath and North East Somerset

Birmingham Bristol Gloucestershire North Somerset Oxfordshire Solihull South Gloucestershire

75 organisations bringing




of students

enjoyed the event.

“Amazing, really interesting!” Student



learnt new things from the event.

said the event was a good opportunity to promote their organisation in the local area.

of students


of teachers & businesses

said they would like to attend another event.

of businesses

“It was a great pleasure to be involved in such a fantastic event for the students.” National Grid

“A very engaging event that provides the younger population with the correct thought processes for not only sustaining the world’s future but sustaining their own future. Students’ knowledge and thought processes were very good! Overall a brilliant event.” Jaguar Land Rover

How it works A Day To Innovate

Explore our creative programme of inspirational speakers, interactive workshops and the opportunity to make higher education and industry connections.


innovate with technology

Discover careers in sustainability

Design a sustainable urban neighbourhood

Engaging work s h o p s products fit for 2027

Manage waste & resources

Plan our Future energy

“It provided us with a platform to promote the work we are doing as a company to continuously drive sustainability throughout our business and engage with our local communities/businesses to help engineer better futures.� Spirax Sarco

Speakers Michael Charteris and Mohanad Ismail Young Rail Professionals Stephen Hope UTC Aerospace Systems Councillor Erica Williams Chair of South Gloucestershire Council

Career Pathways Exhibition Delivered by: Severn Wye Energy Agency

Prizes: Thanks to Touchwood & Waitrose

In a nutshell All students spent time in the Career Pathways Exhibition and were set the challenge of interviewing diverse organisations. This included finding out about the organisation, the diversity of sustainability related jobs and, to consider this information against their own interests, talents and aspirations. Students were also able to speak to education and training providers, providing them with an awareness of pathways into jobs.

“[I most enjoyed] the enthusiasm of the exhibitors to energise the students and give them confidence in options for future careers.� Teacher

Workshops Your Business Future Develop retail products fit for 2027 Delivered by: Just Ideas Sustainable Solutions Prizes: Thanks to Lush, Waitrose and IKEA

In a nutshell Teams of students worked with successful businesses to develop items of today into products fit for 2027. Each team entered their product into the Future Retail Awards, and voted for the most sustainable entry, in terms of people, planet and profit. Overall, students gained an understanding of the choices, the opportunities and the challenges of putting environmental, social and economic sustainability at the core of business.

“The workshop was amazing.” Student


WINNing ideas Eat Smart - An App that scans your receipts for shopping and then tells you; what needs eating soon, cooking inspiration and, where in the local area you can get any additional ingredients needed. Plast-eco - This revolutionary water bottle container is made from seaweed. It reduces plastic ending up in the sea. BUT it also tackles what’s already there – 80% of profits go to cleaning up the seas. Smart.balls - Recycled felt and rubber balls (rugby, tennis etc). As you hit it the kinetic energy is stored in a battery inside. When you’ve finished playing, you can charge your phone, or play your music.

One thing I will think more about next time I’m shopping… How sustainable the company is and what it means to them. How items I buy affect the environment and how I can use ‘green’ products.

The materials used to make the product and what logos are on it i.e. Fairtrade.

“Great way to get kids thinking about products for the future. They really get involved and get creative with what the needs will be in 20 years time.” IKEA


One thing I’ve found out in this workshop? I have learnt lots of different new innovative ideas to help change the world.

There is nearly something in every sector that can be done to increase sustainability.

Sustainability is very important.

95% of students

enjoyed this workshop

Workshops Your energy Future Plan our future energy needs & deliver them today Delivered by: Severn Wye Energy Agency

In a nutshell Students worked with a diverse range of businesses to develop a sustainable energy plan for either Snowdonia National Park or Greater Birmingham and Solihull. They investigated different forms of renewable energy and a range of energy efficiency measures. Students also considered the types of job roles that may be relevant when it comes to implementing their chosen solutions.

91% of students enjoyed this workshop


As a result of working through these challenges students began to understand that when making decisions we must consider a range of factors; environmental, social, financial and that a range of solutions will be required as the issues are diverse and complex.

In this session I have learnt‌ That it is important to save and use energy in a sustainable way as the more scarce energy becomes, the higher the energy prices and there is a problem called ‘fuel poverty’ which is very bad for people all over the world.

How many job roles incorporate energy efficiency. That you can do very simple and cheap things to your home to save large amounts of energy.

“[I most enjoyed] being able to lead discussions with the students, talking about real issues and how they can help to solve the energy issues of the future.” National Grid


What have you learnt about the decision-making process? When making decisions on where to install energy efficient systems you have to consider the impact it will have on the local people and the land it is built on. Employing the right people for the right jobs plays a big part too.

That you have to listen to other people’s opinions, and find the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of each option and eliminate until you find the best options.

Workshops Your Innovative Future Invest in cutting edge technologies to address today’s challenges Delivered by: Graphic Science

In a nutshell During this Dragons’ Den style workshop leading businesses pitched innovations, based on real industry developments to teams of student Dragons. After the pitches the Dragons had the opportunity to ask questions about the innovations, before deciding how they would invest their £1,000,000 worth of funding. Following investment, the students offered the businesses suggestions on how they could improve their ideas. Overall, students greatly enhanced their knowledge of the crucial role of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in creating a low carbon future.

90% of students

said that the event has made them realise the important role engineering has in helping to create a more sustainable future.

Pitches National Rail was keen to develop kinetic floor tiles for use at their stations. Green Biologics wanted to develop biological-based renewable chemicals that could be applied to food, cosmetics, cleaning materials and paints. Jaguar Land Rover explored a fictional concept of high performance electric cars, which have 0% emissions and a super-fast charge time. Mott MacDonald made a pitch to develop a bridge to better connect Bristol harbour side and encourage more cycling and walking.

80% of students left the event with a better understanding about what engineering is.

“It was really invigorating to promote the goals of sustainability and see these picked up and questioned by the students involved. The Dragon’s Den activity was a really good vehicle to stimulate this kind of learning; especially with a wide range of industries contributing a pitch to the ‘Dragons’, showing how sustainability and STEM are crucial to a broad range of fields.” Mott MacDonald


In this session I have learnt… That STEM is key to driving new ideas and ensuring growth is sustainable. Companies have such creative ideas.

That STEM is important to innovation in business and the future development of world changing ideas.

Workshops Your Resourceful Future Create solutions to minimise waste & sustain resources Delivered by: InterClimate Network

In a nutshell During this workshop teams of students became ‘employees’ of different organisations. Working with business mentors from these actual companies they devised creative solutions and made some great collaborative deals to tackle a real-life waste resources issue that their company is trying to address.

Students thought up a Food4U App for students at the University of Oxford which would:

Each team went on to present a strong communications message to outline their solutions to their chosen target group.

• It’s all freebies - you can search by use by date and meal

Overall, students gained an understanding of the need to reduce waste across major job sectors and experienced how different job roles can help to make positive changes.

93% of students enjoyed this workshop


big ideas

•E  nable students to post pictures of ingredients they don’t want • If other students want it, they can go round and collect it

•A  history will be kept of who gives food to whom. Smart Robot Bin was created for Viridor to use in local schools and universities. The bin would use barcodes to scan inside the lid. This smart lid would reject the wrong stuff (the bin won’t open). It would be powered by solar panels and it walks!

What could we do better re: waste? Organisations should aim to engage with the public more, and have more advertisement about waste. Food waste is a major issue in society. Don’t over buy!

Make people more aware of the consequences. Companies should work together more to reduce waste.

“I was really impressed with some of the children’s creative ideas.” Amey

“I’m surprised that 90 million unused phones are kept and not recycled. I was also surprised by the types of ideas about recycling phones.” Student


What one thing will you now do to reduce waste at home or school? I will definitely recycle more now! Encourage friends to recycle / Talk to more people about recycling.

I’m buying a re-usable coffee cup. Don’t buy as much paper and use Apps instead

Workshops Your Future city Design a sustainable urban neighbourhood. Delivered by: The Architecture Centre & Solutions For the Planet

big ideas

In a nutshell Increasingly architects, planners, builders and engineers need to think about the sustainability of construction materials, methods of construction and energy performance. Adapted for each event so that it has a local flavour, this workshop looked at the built environment and the role sustainability has in the design of an urban area. At our Solihull event students were tasked to re-design an area of Arden Cross into a leisure centre for the local community making decisions about land use and space, health and wellbeing, materials and waste, water, energy and biodiversity. Our West of England students on the other hand looked at the challenges of future ‘megacities’, notably the big question of how will cities feed themselves in the future, creating 2D and 3D city plans with space for locally grown food.

92% of students enjoyed this workshop

A neighbourhood masterplan model with a central farm hub distributing food out to the suburbs via a greenpowered mono rail delivery service. An interlinked collection of bio domes (Eden Project inspired) each with varying climatic conditions to enable a diverse range of food to be grown. A growing/living bridge utilising essential city infrastructure as useful growing space for food crops.

“The world can be a better place if you put your heads together!” Student

“There’s a real buzz in the room during the different sessions as those taking part engage with the task and find their voice.� Interserve

Proof it works

Delivering the Your Green Future agenda Your Green Future aligns with a real need to develop an understanding of sustainability and to tap into new skills. Careful evaluation ensures its quality. Take a look at the results!

“Engaging, relevant to new GCSE’s (especially Geography) thought-provoking; and a superb way for students to meet possible employers and educators. The students were kept busy and challenged to think about this vital issue.” Teacher

Through life-like practical and creative activities, and communication with professionals, Your Green Future events aim to enhance 12 to 18 year olds... Understanding of the sustainable economy


Do you know what a sustainable future means?


Which industries do you think are involved in a sustainable economy?

Pre event 35% Yes 21% No








44% Unsure

Post event


90% Yes 3% No 7% Unsure

Land management

Event Stats displayed as


Pre Event










food & Drink


29% Politics

Post Event




Waste & water

“The activities were really fun and I learnt a lot today. I think it will help me with my GCSE’s and future careers” Student

Knowledge of the job opportunities available “One of our students was encouraged to apply for a work experience placement with a company he was really interested in - maybe this will be a life changing event for him.”

“Fantastic event where students obtained valuable face time of potential employers.” Teacher

Teacher “A great way for young people to see that ‘being green’ is not just isolated to traditional climate change jobs such as solar panel installer or environmental officer but all areas need people who understand ‘being green’ to keep sustainable and forward thinking businesses.” Act on Energy

97% of students

said that the event opened their eyes to the wide range of jobs related to sustainability.

“I would love to do this again.” Student

Skills and confidence “[I most enjoyed] seeing some of those who were nervous about public speaking have the courage to give it a try, and the sense of achievement when they had.” Interserve “I really enjoyed seeing the pupils interact with new people and gaining in confidence throughout the day.” Teacher


I think the event has improved my skills in…

78% Communication 82% Teamwork 82% Decision Making 79% Problem Solving

Positive impact Something for everyone

Your Green Future would be nothing without the enthusiastic business mentors who have such a positive impact on the students. However, we have found that the events offer significant benefits to the businesses that come along.

“Challenging, exhausting, VERY competitive but great fun and well worth taking part.� Green Biologics Ltd.

Skills for the future workforce Help develop the right skills for a 94% of businesses sustainable future, and enthuse a new cohort of leaders who understand the interplay of society, economy and environment.

said the event gave their organisation the opportunity to promote the skills they need now and in the future.

“A chance to encourage our future generations to think about, engage in and hopefully end up working in sustainable companies and industries.” Mott MacDonald

“It was great learning about how other businesses deal with similar problems which I face in my workplace.” Birmingham Airport

Ideas for change Build connections and gain inspiration for the environmental issues you are tackling through working with diverse audiences, including students who unfettered by practicalities and limitations often provide truly novel solutions to problems put to them.

Skills for your staff Sharing your expertise and talking 100% of businesses to a group of teenagers helps hone that talent of thinking on your feet. The scrutiny of ideas by the students, often posing surprisingly considered questions, provides a fantastic opportunity to develop communication skills.

said taking part in the event had helped to develop their skills in communicating • With young people

•W  hat they do in their area of work.

“Helps sharpen presentation skills and appreciate your work a lot more when you remove yourself from it for a day – sustainable job satisfaction!” Rolls Royce

Spread the word A fantastic opportunity to educate attendees on the things that matter to your organisation and encourage sustainably conscious behaviour.

87% of students

said the event had given them a better understanding of what choices they can make to lead a more sustainable life.

85% of students

said the event has given them a better understanding of what businesses do to promote sustainability.

“A great opportunity to gauge young people’s knowledge, views and priorities regarding a sustainable future.” Lush

Thanks to the Local Delivery Teams In order to deliver these events we work closely with a whole host of organisations in each delivery area who ensure the local flavour of the event and help pull it together.




West of England A big thank you

should also go to the many Rotary, Soroptimist International, Solihull College and UWE volunteers who helped out.

Thanks to the businesses

Photographers Acknowledgement Rich McDonough richmdphotography.co.uk Marc West marcwest@hotmail.com

Mark Radford markradfordphotography.co.uk

The photos and feedback statistics may not be reproduced, distributed or modified without the express written permission of Severn Wye Energy Agency.

“The university venue is an inspirational place for students.� Teacher

“Fantastic event where students obtained valuable face time with potential employers.” Teacher

“A fantastic day to remind you of the innovation and creativity of today’s youth. It gives the opportunity to plant the seeds of a sustainable future, whilst also drawing inspiration from the children you mentor.” The Community Farm

About Severn Wye Severn Wye Energy Agency, a charity and not-for-profit company was born out of an ambition to end fuel poverty. We focus on providing practical expertise to help communities become more energy efficient and sustainable. How do we do this? By translating strategic thinking into real action, developing projects and solutions, offering impartial advice and technical support and, providing training and education for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Severn Wye has a long history of

working not only with local authorities and communities but also with business. For all businesses, every penny that can be saved is crucial, and for most, fuel bills (gas, electricity, water and transportation) are one of the biggest expenses. Reducing energy use, improving efficiency and, choosing appropriate energy technologies is therefore essential and so the Severn Wye’s Business Team are there to help. We are currently busy delivering advice and funding to small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) across Gloucestershire and Worcestershire as part of the Target 2020 project, a business energy efficiency

programme funded by the European Regional Development fund that will support up to 500 businesses across the two counties. Eligible businesses can access: •

Expert advice including an onsite energy survey and analysis of energy use

Grants to fund installation: from £500 to £5000 in Worcestershire and from £500 to £20,000 in Gloucestershire (up to 35% of the install costs)

For further information about our work, or if you would like to get in touch with one of our business energy advisors, check out: www.target2020.org.uk

Get in touch If you’re interested in working with us or you’d like to talk about how we might be able to help you, your business or school please get in touch.

01452 835060

We look forward to hearing from you.


Severn Wye Energy Agency is registered in England & Wales Charity reg no. 1083812 Company reg no. 3830608

info@severnwye.org.uk severnwye.org.uk

“In 2017 the business team has already worked with 100 businesses across the South and Midlands.�

get involved Change can happen through education As we come to the end of our programme of events for 2017 we are busy planning for 2018. This will include events in Oxford, West of England, Solihull and Powys and we would welcome your support in helping to deliver them… PARTICIPATE IN AN EVENT Your organisation can support the event’s creative workshops by volunteering a member of staff to share their expertise – little preparation is required!

SPONSOR AN EVENT As a charity we work hard to raise funds for each event, enabling schools to attend free of charge. We would welcome financial support for our 2018 programme.

For further details please get in touch Cecily Etherington cecilye@severnwye.org.uk Karen Robinson karenr@severnwye.org.uk

01452 835060 @YourGreenFutur yourgreenfuture.org.uk

“If your company doesn’t already participate you’re missing out on the chance to be part of something special.” Interserve

© 2017 by the author of this brochure (Severn Wye Energy Agency). Severn Wye retains sole copyright to their contributions to this brochure.

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Your Green Future, spring 2017  

Your Green Future, spring 2017  

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