IH World launches IH Environmental Sustainability Scheme

We all know that our human activity has a significant impact on the environment. From polluting rivers and seas, cutting down forests, dumping plastics into the oceans, and causing climate change through the generation of greenhouse gasses, we accept that something must be done. It's the right thing to do. 

With this motivation, International House is urging all staff and students in IH schools around the world to “Protect our Planet”. We are proud to launch the IH Environmental Sustainability Scheme.

The International House network has over 5,000 teachers and over 200,000 students around the world. We are ambitious that every IH school, and their staff and students, will go further than they have before to take positive steps to incorporate environmental sustainability in their everyday behaviour, and reduce the negative effects they have on the environment.

We know that many IH schools are already taking positive actions, such as encouraging sustainable behaviour, reducing waste, and mitigating the polluting effects of travel. We welcome and acknowledge this, and encourage them to go further.

We are encouraging all IH schools to take more positive actions in bringing the topic of environmental sustainability higher up their agenda, under the six themes of:

  1. Educating students about environmental sustainability

  2. Encouraging sustainable behaviour

  3. Increasing community involvement

  4. Setting a sustainable food supply policy

  5. Setting sustainability requirements for suppliers

  6. Managing a sustainability strategy

We can’t shy away from the fact that a lot of human activity has a negative effect on the environment. Reducing this negative impact is the other key pillar of our strategy, and we are encouraging people in all IH schools to:

  1. Reduce travel and offset its negative aspects

  2. Reduce energy consumption

  3. Reduce use of consumables

  4. Re-use and recycle where possible

  5. Reduce water consumption

  6. Reduce the environmental footprint of new school buildings and facilities

Launched on Saturday 10th October 2020, the IH Environmental Sustainability Scheme is designed to encourage all IH schools to embrace these 12 themes. Centrally we are providing academic resources, ideas and suggestions, and will be sharing innovative initiatives amongst all our schools. All IH members can take part in this scheme – and any actions they take will be worthwhile.

If a school can demonstrate that they have taken significant actions across the 12 themes, they will be awarded this badge. This is assessed through the newly launched IH Sustainability Review. This is a thorough assessment of the steps which schools are taking, and how much sustainability is integrated into the strategic management of the school.

The badge is an explicit communication to teachers, students, and other stakeholders that the school is serious about doing what it can to look after our planet.

We are ambitious for the role that International House will have within the languages industry, and we are looking forward to making a difference.

We are doing the right thing.

Read more about how International House is protecting our planet.