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Dulwich College International’s national environmental award winner

The Dulwich College International General Manager for China, Ross Allan, has become one of the first people to receive an award from the Secretariat of Energy Management Committee of China Association for Campus Management (EMCC). This is a new national level committee promoting the development of green school campuses across the country. Ten awards were presented at their first conference entitled Green Development, Green Campus, Green Logistics hosted in Harbin in December.

Submissions from schools across China were reviewed and assessed by a panel of experts and the final ten winners were unanimously approved at the EMCC conference. Mr Allan received the Communications Award based on sustainability projects he has led at Dulwich College Suzhou - the only international school to receive an award.

Mr Allan is the former Director of Business Administration for Dulwich College Suzhou and Dulwich International High School Suzhou and has done a great deal to make the campus a more sustainable environment. The Senior School of Dulwich College Suzhou in one of the few LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) schools in China, certified for its design, construction, operation and green initiatives. Beneath the grass rugby field is a ground source heat pump that heats or cools the entire building and heats the indoor swimming pool. The ground source heat pump has substantially reduced the amount of electricity and gas used by the College.

Mr Allan has pioneered numerous projects to engage students in sustainability issues. The first Dulwich Climate Conference was held at Dulwich College Suzhou in 2015. Award winning BBC cameraman, Doug Allan, and sustainability experts from St Andrew’s University spoke to more than 100 students from across the Dulwich College International network about their impact on the environment. The conference was designed to engage students and challenge them to think about solutions to live more sustainably. They worked together to establish eight green initiatives for the Dulwich College International schools to implement: from removing plastic bottles to reducing food waste.

Under Mr Allan’s guidance, Dulwich College Suzhou has also developed a new playground for the youngest students at the school - aged two to six. The wooden play equipment has been made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) materials from sustainable forests. Extensive planting has enabled students to reconnect with nature and develop their understanding of the natural environment. The Early Years playground and the new Green District for Junior School students offer inspiring outdoor learning spaces where students can engage in learning activities based around sustainability issues.

Mr Allan has encouraged student activity groups engaging in green initiatives such as: growing their own vegetables, composting, designing their own vegetarian lunch menu, encouraging others to eat less red meat and providing the College community with recyclable cups to reduce the use of plastic bottles. With Mr Allan’s support, students have led the way in reducing the College’s use of paper. Dulwich College Suzhou only uses FSC paper from sustainable sources and student initiatives have now saved the equivalent of 34 trees. The College planted the same number on campus to celebrate this achievement. There are many other ongoing green initiatives being implemented across the College: from electric cars to indoor ‘green walls’ of living plants. All these efforts aim to bringing students closer to nature and inspire them to adapt their behaviour and reduce their impact on the environment for future generations.

After receiving the award, Mr Allan said, “I am deeply honoured to have received this award on behalf of all the staff and students at Dulwich College Suzhou who continue to inspire me and others to do more at this critical time for the planet. We believe the scientific community has been clear about the impact we are having on the planet and believe we have a responsibility to educate our students about the natural world and what they can do to protect it. With the support of our Chairman and Chief Executive, we continue to drive forward our sustainability efforts and intend to create further opportunities for our students to learn more about the environment and take action.”