Its founder Kate Evans recently worked with energy data specialists SPS International in Warwick to help the company recruit a new technical data expert, and as a result Graduate Planet has been able to fund an environmental sustainability workshop for 60 local children at Trinity school in Leamington, as part of the school’s STEM programme. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths teaching that enables pupils to make practical connections between these disciplines and the world of work, business, community or the environment.
The workshop was delivered by the the Smallpeice Trust, Leamington-based STEM specialists. This engaging practical education in environmental sustainability will help equip the children for the future, helping them to understand and solve sustainability issues.
Working in teams the children had to imagine that they were on an island. The task was to design and construct the water pumps and wind turbines they would need in order to survive. The exercise was designed to help develop the children’s creative thinking, time management, team work, problem-solving, enterprise and social skills.
Graduate Planet’s Kate Evans says, “The children had great fun and the workshop supported the National Curriculum. It will also help the school achieve specialist STEM status. The organisations that worked together to make this workshop possible demonstrate the positive impact that businesses can have on the local community when they use their supply chains creatively to deliver extra social value.”
This project also highlights the increased demand amongst younger people for the world’s politicians to address the issue of climate change, following the Greta Thunberg protests and the climate change ‘school strikes’ that have spread around the globe. Earlier this month, thousands of pupils in sixty cities across the UK staged school strikes and marched for action on climate change.
This shows that with determination even relatively new social enterprises — Graduate Planet CIC was only incorporated in June 2017 — can rise to the challenge of delivering additional social value (extra social, environmental or economic benefits) as part of what they do. They can also enable others, including customers, to derive greater social value from their activities and their business spend — just as was envisaged when the Social Value Act became law back in 2012.