“Students show how we can help save 40% of Norway's annual carbon emissions.”
Success story | Telemark and Trøndelag municipality
More than 6 000 students in Telemark and Trøndelag show how powerful individual actions can be when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.
Twenty-seven high schools across Norway recently completed a climate emissions challenge sponsored by their local councils and run by local startup Ducky.
The competition, which challenged the students to reduce their CO2e emissions by taking small steps each day, was a huge success.
What did the students do for the climate?
The students competed against each other in teams and saved a whopping 273 471 kg CO2e in just three weeks. That’s equivalent to flying 27 times around the earth.
In fact, if all Norwegians copied the top 20 classes in the challenge, the savings would be equivalent to 40% of the country’s total annual carbon emissions!
Watch the movie from Skien and Orkdal high school.
How did it work?
The students logged their everyday activities and climate actions using the Ducky web-app. Each action was based on simple things they could do to reduce their carbon footprint, like walking instead of driving or eating less meat.
In total, they logged a staggering 312 175 actions, which showed just how committed the participants were.
«It was a lot of fun working on the project and I’m already looking forward to an even better championship next year,» says Marianne Haukås, of the Department for Transport and Regional Development for Telemark County.
Trøndelag was the first municipality to run the school climate championship in 2017. Inspired by the success of this first contest, the municipality ran another in 2018 which sparked even more interest from the students, teachers, principals, and politicians.
Also, Telemark, encouraged by what had been accomplished in Trøndelag with 1 600 students, decided to join in and compete against Trøndelag school for school, class for class.
This year – 2019 – Ducky is inviting all municipalities to join in and compete in Norway’s very first National School Climate Championship!
We have to act now
By the time today’s students turn 30, we must have reduced global carbon emissions by 45%, a task which seems almost impossible. But if 6 000 students can achieve such incredible emission reductions in just two weeks, think how powerful it would be if we all followed their example. This is when the magic happens!
Teaching by example
During the competition, students and teachers have access to an interdisciplinary teaching kit – The Knowledge Tree. The Knowledge Tree contains instruction, movies, tasks and a climate calculator to give students the crucial knowledge they need to help shape the society they will grow up in.
The combination of the climate championship and the Knowledge Tree kit gives high schools the chance to introduce valuable and meaningful climate and sustainability schooling even before the new teaching plan is introduced in Norway in 2020.
«This time Telemark was better than us in engaging both students and teachers in the championship, but we promise to come back even stronger next year!» guarantees Tommy Reinås, Leader of the Climate Council in Trøndelag municipality. «There’s also a lot of work happening behind the scenes to push for a National School Climate Championship, and then you’ll see us claim our place at the very top,» he says with a smile
27 high schools competed to save the most CO2e in 14 days.
The Climate Champions of 2018!
Telemark certainly beat Trøndelag and had more participants, but Trøndelag improved on their results from last year and had 762 more students joining in!
- Hjalmar johansen High School was named the overall 2018 Climate Champion in Telemark’s Climate Championship. The school also won Best Class.
- Orkdal High School was the 2018 Climate Champion in the Trøndersk Climate Championship. Best Class went to Ole Vig High School.
- Vest-Telemark High School and Strinda High School won Best Employee Teams in the championships.
- Turn off unnecessary lights was the most popular activity in both regional championships.
Encouragement to students ahead of the Championship (video)
- Sven Tore Løksild, County Mayor in Telemark municipality, sending his best wishes to the students in Telemark.
- Kristin Halvorsen, Director of Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo (CICERO), shares how important student’s climate savings are to avoid the earth warming above two degrees.
The winning ceremony at Hjalmar High School. Here the schools are gathered to accept their prize from County Mayor Sven Tore Løksild.
Sustainable prizes win out
The school’s efforts are rewarded with prizes that should encourage even better results in the future.
Prizes for the Best Class include cooking lessons, where students learn to cook delicious climate-friendly food – organized by Future In Our Hands – or gift certificates to a local excursion which is specifically connected to sustainability.
More success stories
The National Schools Championship this January saw eleven counties, fifty one schools and over 11,000 students compete. Participants saved enough CO2e in two weeks to roughly equal to driving a fossil car 2.5 round trips from the Earth to Moon. But most importantly the championship once again proved that no matter how young or old you are, you can do something to help with climate change.
If all Norwegians copied what the participants in The Plastic Challenge did, we would have reduced plastic bags by more than 10 million, single use coffee cups (and lids) by more than 1 million and picked up more than 260 tons of plastic – in just two weeks.
FEE Norway and Green Flag ran the Alcoa-Klimamesterskap 2019. In two weeks pupils at 7 high schools in Agder and Nordland reduced Co2e-emissions equivalent to a passenger flight flying 3 times around the earth.
A kindergarten took first place in Norway’s first unofficial Climate Championship. On the 30th of August, thousands of people around Norway shouted for political action for the climate. For ten companies this wasn’t enough, and followed with a two-week Championship.
Night-train to Oslo? Bike to work? Or on foot home from a fotball match? Some took things further than others when NTNU started their one year Ducky Campaign this spring, to motivate their employees to travel less and more environmentally-friendly.
More than 100 pupils at Firda VGS participated in a Climate Challenge. Because the pilot was so successful, the school will now join 10 other schools in Sogn & Fjordane County to compete in the first National Climate Championship in January 2020.
Ready to get started?
Get started with the Climate Challenge, or get in touch with us to learn more about your options.