Sustainability at the GDST

One World. One Future. One Chance.

gdst one

Our Approach to Sustainability

Climate change is a very real part of our lives today, and its impact will be felt more widely when our students reach adulthood. Our students are passionate about making a difference and dedicated to achieving a sustainable world. Our sustainability strategy is informed by our girls and the GDST is committed to meeting its ambitious targets.

Our work includes a strategy to deliver Net Zero by 2050, and we have already achieved CarbonNeutral® Organisation certification. We achieved this by off-setting our carbon footprint whilst we work towards significant reductions in our energy use.  A dynamic green thread of sustainability is woven through everything we do and our One strategy aims to capture and amplify this holistic approach.

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girls school in Wimbledon

Sustainability in our Schools

As educators, we have a responsibility not only to teach our students about the science of climate change, but also to equip them to live in a world affected by it.

Sustainability is a green thread that runs across everything we do at the GDST and we work with our young people to reimagine a brighter and greener future. Every day in our schools, staff and students work tirelessly on a range of environmental projects and teachers are committed to delivering holistic sustainability and climate change education.

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gdst estates

Sustainability in our Estate

New buildings added to our Estate are designed to Net Zero carbon targets with best practice standards at their heart. The decarbonisation of our existing Estate is complex and challenging given the age, listed status and variety of our portfolio. To tackle such a challenge we recognise the importance of setting robust targets and a clear pathway towards net zero through the development of a wider Decarbonisation strategy.

However the urgency of climate change emphasises the importance of action being taken now, and as such, we are in parallel delivering a number of projects to reduce our energy usage. We already procure renewable electricity and are replacing inefficient lights with LED fittings across our schools. Although a number of our schools already have solar panels, we are currently piloting estate-wide solar panel installations, as well as investigating options around the more extensive decarbonisation of our heating systems.

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carbon zero

Our People and Partnerships

We know the only way to tackle climate change is through collective action and partnerships are key to this. Upskilling our teachers is an important strand of this work and over 100 staff have now completed the eduCCate Global Bronze Award. We have also contributed to nationally significant research on sustainability education in partnership with UCL’s Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education.

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sustainability school

Our Sustainable Future

As we plan the next steps of our sustainability journey, we are aware that climate change impacts women most acutely – with the UN finding that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women – and that some of those women live in the poorest parts of the planet.

As the largest educator of girls in the UK, the GDST has an important role to play in championing a greener future. Together, we have a unique opportunity to create our own legacy, one that will mean future generations of GDST girls will look back and feel proud of our contribution to tackling the unprecedented planetary challenges we currently face.

The GDST Difference


GDST News and Sustainability

GDST We Are One.

Our One sustainability strategy was founded on the idea that as a family of schools we are stronger together and can act as a united community to create a more sustainable world.

In June 2023 Year 6 students across the GDST came together at Wimbledon High School to engage with nature through a range of outdoor learning activities including orienteering, creating art and sculptures with leaves and twigs, and writing and reciting poetry inspired by their surroundings and our We Are One sustainability curriculum. At the event, we asked our students to share their thoughts and hopes for a greener future.

A family of schools

23 independent schools and two academies in England and Wales

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