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Germany decorates schools for commitment to sustainability, climate protection

Parliamentary State Secretary at Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, has honoured schools with outstanding “student companies” for their commitment to sustainability and climate protection.

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter

The award is part of the education project tagged: “StartGreen @ School”, which supports the foundation of sustainable student companies. The project is funded by the National Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment with a sum of €940,000.

She recently handed over certificates to three successful schools in Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt / Oder under the initiative.

Schwarzelühr-Sutter said: “The founding of a student company demonstrates commitment and responsibility among the students and is a valuable experience and preparation for their future working life. If these student companies then also protect the climate and the environment, there are only winners. The young people become important multipliers and learn in practice how sustainability and successful business go together.”

The award and certificate handover took place on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at the 9th International Student Company Fair.

The following schools and projects were awarded:

  • The Johannes-Schule-Berlin, with the company ArtisFeria, which offers break-time fairtrade products, snacks and coffee as well as cocoa from Peruvian Fairtrade cooperatives
  • The district school Walddörfer in Hamburg with the student company “The Green Collective”, which sold in a cooperating nature school in the course drawn plants and produced their agricultural products
  • The Konrad-Wachsmann-Oberstufenzentrum in Frankfurt / Oder with the student company X-Mix, which offers smoothies and soups as a break catering

According to the organisers, the student companies are not real business enterprises, but school projects that provide insights into professional life. The goal is that the students learn to plan and produce independently and to sell the created products at the same time or also to offer services.

The StartGreen @ School project, which was funded by the national climate protection initiative, was honoured in 2017 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German UNESCO Commission as an “outstanding” educational initiative.

Through the services offered by StartGreen @ School, the participating teachers and pupils can experience how they can combine and realise innovative climate protection projects and start-up ideas, thereby helping to shape their immediate living environment in a participatory manner. Through concrete action they also experience a high degree of self-efficacy. They learn that they can contribute to the transformation of the economy and thus contribute to achieving the climate protection goals. Through networking, young people are motivated to start a sustainable business after school.

StartGreen @ School is a joint project in which the Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, the Institute Futur of the FU Berlin and BildungsCent eV are involved in addition to UnternehmensGrün eV (joint management). It runs until September 30, 2019.

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