A London schools programme aimed at instilling messages about healthy sustainable eating, preventing food waste and recycling unavoidable food waste, has been named one of the world’s ten most inspiring sustainability programmes for young people.

The campaign, Small Change Big Difference, is one of just ten educational programmes awarded this accolade as part of a global assessment conducted by education non-profit body HundrED.

Small Change Big Difference was singled out because of its unique pioneering status and ability to create a scalable impact. The campaign, which has been running from 2017, engages pupils from reception age through to end of primary school about sustainability in food, using practical activities and experiential learning. To date, dedicated workshops, assemblies and whole school campaigns have reached more than 5,000 pupils from across 17 schools in seven London boroughs, helping them to understand issues connected with food. The programme has shown significant awareness-raising in pupils from all ages, across a range of food topics including;

  • Eating the recommended daily portions of fruit and vegetables
  • The environmental impacts of different foods and choosing those with lower environmental impact
  • Ways to reduce food waste in their homes and at school

The Small Change Big Difference campaign is part of the TRiFOCAL London project; an innovative pilot campaign tackling food waste funded by the EU LIFE programme and managed by a partnership between REFRESH partner WRAP, LWARB and Groundwork London.

Peter Maddox, Director of WRAP, said “It’s very exciting for Small Change Big Difference to be recognised by HundrED for the novel way it is engaging with school children on these important issues. The campaign is unique in combining the three core themes of reducing food waste, healthy and sustainable eating, and increasing food waste recycling. This important accolade will help us to share our learnings from the London pilot projects and influence the development of sustainable food systems in other cities, worldwide.”

The Schools programme is delivered by Groundwork London. Lindy Kelly, Groundwork’s Chief Executive, said “We’re pleased to be recognised as education experts, creating new methods of learning in an inner-city context. The innovation of this project is evident from the impact on pupils and teachers across the capital.”

HundrED partnered with MUSE School, a sustainability driven day school in Calabasas CA, to identify ten innovations in K12* that have the potential to increase sustainability in schools across the globe. Dubbed HundrED’s Spotlight on Sustainability, the initiative shares impactful, scalable innovations that address educational solutions to overcome the growing environmental challenges facing the planet.

Innovations were scored by an advisory board, and the ten recipients selected on their scores for impact, scalability and for addressing sustainability in education in a fresh way. Saku Tuominen, CEO of HundrED, said “What the world desperately needs is evidence based and scalable education innovations on this field. Luckily there are forerunners, like the organisations behind Small Change Big Difference which have been working on this area for 2 years. Our mission is to put a spotlight on them. We express our sincere gratitude, encouragement and enthusiasm to Small Change Big Difference and the many individuals and organisations around the world who are dedicated to this common goal.”