In 2022, we partnered with IKEA to run an exciting competition for schools who had signed up to the Let’s Go Zero Campaign.  

We asked students and teachers across the UK to send us their creative ideas to help make their school more sustainable and tackle climate change. From growing vegetables to composting and building bike sheds, the ozone was the limit!

The prize? Through their products, solutions and funds (for the value of £2,000 for each project) IKEA will work with 4 winning schools to bring their visions to life.

We received over 100 amazing entries and selecting 4 was no easy feat. But here they are, the winning 4 ideas, from Glasgow to Greenwich, Sheffield to Cardiff – all embedding a culture of sustainability within the wider school community.

Between August and October, IKEA will work closely with each school, using their products and expertise in sustainable living to bring each winning idea to life, helping teachers and pupils do more to tackle climate change.


Meet the 4 winning schools

Beith Primary School in Glasgow

Students from Beith Primary’s ‘School Improvement Committee’ submitted their idea to create a new school uniform exchange shop at the heart of their building.

Over 1.4 million wearable school uniforms are thrown away each year in the UK. As a school that’s committed to reducing the amount of waste they produce, Beith Primary wanted to take action to tackle this by creating a school culture where everyone is comfortable and confident reusing and wearing second-hand school clothes. 

Together with IKEA designers, Beith Primary will be able to build a new, dedicated space for parents, children and families to choose their school clothes and accessories in a bright, cheerful, well-organised environment that ensures dignity and respect for all. The swap shop will be used to help children and their families learn more about the environmental impact of fast fashion and the benefits of reusing clothes.

It will also help reduce vehicle emissions within the school community. As there are currently no clothing shops in Beith, families  must travel nearly 15 miles to purchase a school uniform, with no train routes and limited bus service available. By creating an easy-to-access and welcoming uniform exchange at the centre of the school, families will be able to get what they need in town without having to take unnecessary car journeys.

Oakwell Rise Primary Academy in Sheffield

Led by students in the school council, Oakwell Rise Primary Academy in Sheffield submitted an exciting idea to cut waste with a new food bank stall and veggie growing area. 

Oakwell Rise Primary is already committed to reducing its environmental impact, and cutting waste has been a top priority for their school council at their monthly meetings. Students have even written to their local MP to ask for recycling initiatives for local schools as their council doesn’t currently offer this service, unlike other boroughs.

Together with IKEA, students will design and build a new market stall structure to provide surplus food from Fareshare and Neighbourly to the local community, as well as a new food garden to grow fruit and vegetables. This will help the school reduce its overall carbon footprint by preventing food waste – while also supporting healthy living and reducing food inequality within their school community.

As students develop hands-on experience of reducing food waste, as well as the skills and passion for growing their own food, they are more likely to make positive lifestyle changes within their own homes. What’s more, through their on-site food bank, Oakwell Rise Primary hopes to cut emissions further by enabling more families to access what they need at school rather than having to travel by car to external food bank organisations.

Christ the King Sixth Form in Greenwich

Students of Christ the King Sixth Form’s Eco Committee shared their idea to help embed sustainability within their school and learning through a fantastic new eco-hub.

IKEA will help them transform one of their small buildings into a dedicated space for their eco work, from hands-on learning and study to planning community activities. This unique space will come complete with movable furniture that can take their eco learning from indoor to outdoor and back again as needed, as pupils delve deeper into these important topics.

Involving the wider community in their environmental work is a big part of Christ the King Sixth Form’s approach, from setting up a community garden to running an environmental community day. Their new IKEA enviro-hub means they’ll not only be able to take the teaching of sustainability even further but they can also create a wonderful working and engagement space for their local community and local schools. It will help more families access opportunities to build their skills and knowledge around sustainability through workshops and other activities, boosting their curiosity, wonder and appreciation of the natural world.

Charles Williams Primary School in Cardiff

Year 4 students at Charles Williams Primary in Cardiff sent us their idea to extend their outdoor planting and vegetable growing area.

There is already a green ethos blossoming through Charles Williams Primary’s halls where many children are keen gardeners – planting broad beans, giving them names and visiting them in their break time to watch them grow. Pupils are also passionate about recycling and often journey to and from school by foot to cut carbon, despite the distance. We’re excited to be able to help them grow this ethos further and see more children develop green fingers as IKEA brings their winning vegetable plot idea to life.

Charles Williams Primary knows just how important green spaces are, especially in our towns, and want to ensure every child has access to one.  The new growing space will enable all pupils to get involved and engage with nature – preparing the soil, planting the seeds, taking care of the plants and vegetables, and enjoying the delicious, healthy results of their hard work.

With 42% of all UK households home to school aged children, the classroom is a natural place to inspire change across communities for the next generation. 

Both schools and children play a critical role in helping the UK cut carbon emission levels, building on the existing energy and passion of the next generation to be more climate conscious and make beneficial changes. Let’s Go Zero aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of UK schools and promote healthy and sustainable living for the many. 

New research commissioned by IKEA shows that:

  • 83% of children aged 5-16 in the UK want to make changes at school to help combat climate change
  • 65% of children say they feel their school has already implemented some initiatives, but not enough
  • 80% of children want to learn more at school about climate change and over half of them (51%) feel it isn’t covered enough in lessons
  • 87% of children claim that businesses should do more to help families and schools lower their carbon footprint.

*Research conducted by Censuswide on 2,000 schoolchildren aged 5-16.

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