RCE Thiruvananthapuram - 2019

Estimation of Carbon Footprint in Schools and Creation of Low Carbon Campus Plans- Kerala, India
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Estimation of Carbon Footprint in Schools and Creation of Low Carbon Campus Plans- Kerala, India
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Thiruvananthapuram
Contributing organization(s) : 
Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Organizational Affiliation: 
Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), Headquarters of RCE Thiruvananthapuram
Er.Suresh Babu BV
Organizational Affiliation: 
Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), Headquarters of RCE Thiruvananthapuram
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Friday, March 22, 2019
Climate Change and Developing Low Carbon Schools
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA)
Headquarters of RCE Thiruvananthapuram
T.C. 15/510, USRA -55, Udarasiromani Road,
Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram - 695010, Kerala, India
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
• Kerala, the first state to achieve 100% primary education
• 93.91% Literacy rate (2011 census)
• Girls outnumber boys in educational institutions
• Wealth and resource redistribution programmes
• Population with middle class economy
• High percentage of households with at least one person working abroad.
• Ecologically fragile area and sensitive to micro level climate change.
• Highest Population Density
• Kerala has favorable environment to achieve Carbon Neutral
• High pace of infrastructure development
• High demand of energy consequent to high urbanisation
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Kerala, a State of India, is an ecologically fragile area sensitive even to micro level climate change. This is exemplified by the recent flood havoc resulting in death and displacement of several thousands of citizens.

Children who are the torch bearers of tomorrow need to take up the climate change in an earnest way.

Schools can influence and enhance the students' knowledge and skills according to the focus and attention given. The challenges faced while addressing low carbon living are ignorance about the subject, the methods to mitigate them, easy availability of alternate energy sources and the cost involved.
February, 2018
The concept of carbon foot print currently is not properly understood by the younger generation who are going to be the victims and decision makers of tomorrow.

Hence they should have a firm foundation and lead a low carbon life style. Once this is inculcated into the younger mind it will be “as usual business” scenario when they grow up.

By giving proper awareness among the young champions, in a participatory mode, by involving educational institutions it will in turn spread in to the family and to the society.

The how and when of carbon reduction in the day to day activities has to be properly taught to the children in an informal way so that the complexity of low carbon can be made a routine life style.

The sustainable education approach of teaching low carbon life style will help the students to understand their responsibilities, to change the thinking, behaviour, attitudes and to create a balanced generation towards environmental conservation.

This will help the individual to adapt to a natural setting rather than changing the environment to suit the individual.
To educate school students and teachers on the concept of carbon footprint

To enable students to collect data pertaining to the carbon emissions and carbon sequestration in their campus in a participatory mode

To calculate the specific carbon footprint of the campus and classify them as carbon negative, neutral or positive

To create individual plans for schools to reduce their carbon footprint based on the data generated

Popularise the concept among the society through the involvement of students
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Low Carbon Schools is an initiate to promote the concept of low carbon life style among school children by minimising carbon emission in the school environment. This pilot study covered three schools in the urban area and ten schools in rural settings in Kerala State, India. It involved sensitising the target group on different carbon literacy programme, low carbon attitudes and practices in a participatory mode involving students, and teachers. This was followed by estimation of energy consumption (electricity and transportation), waste assessment and carbon sequestration of the various activities in educational institutions. Based on the data so generated a low carbon model, using locally available sustainable resources and methods, were developed by the students in consultation with experts in the subject area. This helped to mitigate the ill effects of green house gases. Based on the study the educational institutions were graded into five categories viz. Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron. Publicity materials were developed for popularising the concept among the students and public. The trained students in turn acted as LOW CARBON CHAMPIONS for conducting public awareness programme in the nearby area.
Size of academic audience: 
The carbon footprint estimation and creation of individual low carbon plans which impact the lifestyle choices of roughly 7887 STUDENTS which in turn helped to spread the message to 7887 HOUSEHOLDS. This message will spread to at least 31548 INDIVIDUALS.
The students carried out the Low Carbon Initiative in a participatory mode acted as LOW CARBON CHAMPIONS, which had a positive effect on the students' inner self, while also providing a positive impact on the educational institutions by reducing all the carbon emission activities. The “Low Carbon Life Style” messages reached a sizable population in the community through the CHAMPIONS by conducting public awareness programmes. Thus this ESD programme helped in achieving SDGs. The report of the study in turn was a guide for the educational institutions interested in implementing the initiative. Apart from changing the mindset of the students, teachers and parents it also brought a positive influence among the community outside the campus.
Carbon mitigation measures were designed for individual institutions based on the locally available technology.
Lessons learned: 
Low Carbon Initiative can not be a stand alone model- involvement of society is important

The best way to spread the message is through children who can influence their parents and peers.

Adoption is easy when the financial benefits of carbon mitigation is projected among the public.

Public transport in schools can minimise carbon footprint considerably. Proper maintenance of vehicles can reduce energy waste

Cultivation of organic food locally helped to reduce carbon footprint

Cultivation of indoor and outdoor plants helped to mitigate carbon foot print considerably.
Key messages: 
Low carbon Life style is possible without drastically changing the normal activities.
Grass root life style transformation is easier with far reaching influence.
Low carbon is a low cost and eco friendly initiative with positive environmental benefits.
Youth are the ideal change makers in society including Low carbon initiatives.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Not Applicable
Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Government of Kerala, India
Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Kerala, India


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon DSC00551.JPG (7.26 MB) Sensitisation programme for school children CISSA
Image icon DSC_1056.JPG (2.45 MB) School based workshop for Low Carbon Champions CISSA
Image icon Low Cabon Poster.jpg (4.21 MB) Low Carbon School Poster CISSA
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level