DŴR CYMRU Welsh Water, the only not-for-profit utility company in England and Wales, were delighted to host a virtual education session to over 6,000 pupils in collaboration with Keep Wales Tidy on Friday the 5th of November. The event, titled; Climate Change: Water and the Power of Poo, was live- streamed to 230 primary school classrooms across Wales.

The education session allowed pupils of future generations – those most affected by the decisions of today – a glimpse into the company’s journey to net zero and an opportunity to build their awareness of small changes that they can make to help tackle the climate emergency. The session was visual, interactive, aligned to the National Curriculum for Wales – and easy to understand for pupils.

After explaining the important role Welsh Water plays as a responsible business, all participants were taken on a live virtual journey through a waste water treatment works, including an introduction to the process of producing sustainable energy from sewage through Advanced Anaerobic Digestion (AAD).  As a company that produces 23% of its’ own energy needs and has reduced carbon emissions by 65% since 2010, the insight was valued by teachers and pupils alike. 

The second part of the session focused on water efficiency, which is a crucial part of Welsh Water’s net zero strategy. Given that 90% of the company’s total carbon footprint is due to heated water use, water savings could have a significant impact on reducing Wales’ total carbon footprint. Pupils were keen to think about their own action plan, recognising that small changes in habits could potentially make a big difference.

Welsh Water have a longstanding reputation for high quality, practical education provision for schools, having worked with almost 600,000 pupils through its’ education strategy since 2010.  This event is one of many activities routinely carried out by the company, who are committed to educate, inform and inspire younger generations about the value of water; doing so through its’ industry-unique approach of annually seconding teachers.

Claire Roberts, Head of Community Engagement, said: “The opportunity to hold this large-scale meaningful conversation with over 6,000 people from the next generation was extremely worthwhile. We were particularly pleased with the buzz and excitement during the session – as well as the pupil response to our hard work in helping to tackle the climate emergency.”

Talking of the event, Tim Wort, Education Manager at Keep Wales Tidy said: “We were delighted to partner with Welsh Water for this interactive and exciting event that was unlike any other on offer. The take up was brilliant, showing a real appetite from schools and pupils to learn about the many ways they can take action and make a real difference.”

One school commented, during the session: “We have joined nearly 200 schools from around Wales for this today. That’s a lot of children who will know about making a difference to our environment.”

The education session coincided with Welsh Water’s announcement that it’s on track to produce record levels of green energy this year and has invested £153 million into renewable energy projects over the past six months.