Ireland’s roads, byways and cycle lanes were packed with families ferrying kids back to school this morning and to coincide with the start of the academic year, a new competition called Fuel Your School is offering four primary schools in the Republic of Ireland the opportunity to win a year’s free energy.
Three entities are behind the competition – broadcaster RTÉ, electricity provider Electric Ireland and the waste-management company Greenstar.
As well as this, RTÉ today published a new report on its environmental strategies over the past 10 years, based on analysis carried out with Greenstar and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Getting kids thinking about the bigger climate picture
To mark the publication of this report, RTÉ Radio 1’s Mooney Goes Wild programme, RTÉ, Greenstar and Electric Ireland are pooling their resources to launch the Fuel Your School contest.
Jerry Dempsey, commercial director at Greenstar, said the company was "pleased" to be in a position to support the Fuel Your School contest.
"We have a strong focus on environmental sustainability, and we believe schoolchildren should be educated and equipped with the know-how to develop practical solutions that will make their local environment a healthier place," he said.
Kids and school principals can learn more about how to enter the contest by visiting RTÉ broadcaster Derek Mooney’s Mooney Goes Wild webpage.
Sustainability reporting and bringing running costs in line
As for the RTÉ report, it reviews the environmental initiatives RTÉ has been pursuing across the board to improve its sustainability performance and, ultimately, to cut its running costs.
The report covers areas from waste management to energy and water conservation.
According to RTÉ, its sustainability drive has led the broadcaster to achieve environmental-related cost savings of €700,000 over a 10-year period.
In relation to its environmental goals, RTÉ claims it has reduced running costs by more than €104m between 2008 and 2012.
The broadcaster said it achieved savings of €700,000 through a range of corporate initiatives, which prevented more than 3,694 tonnes of waste going to landfill. As well as this, RTÉ said recycling rates increased to reach 74pc for 2012.
Noel Curran, director-general of RTÉ, said that as well as the ongoing need to save money, there is a real imperative for RTÉ to become more efficient.
"We have greatly improved our results in environmental best practice and achieved significant cost savings," he said, adding that he was "proud" that RTÉ is not only becoming greener, but also leaner. He said this would ensure "better value" for RTÉ’s audience.
Happy school friends in park image via Shutterstock