Foodduck supports Green Flag eco-schools in Finland

Foodduck will support the Green Flag initiative that aims at bringing up children and young people according to sustainable values and targets. This Finnish initiative is part of the international Eco-schools programme. What does this mean in practice and what are Green Flag schools? Hanna Partanen, executive director of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Finland sheds light on the topic.
What is the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)?
FEE Finland is a non-profit organization specialising in environmental education. We belong to the international FEE network with 73 member countries. We actively promote environmental education and sustainability in several ways.
What is the Green Flag and how can one get it?
The Green Flag is a certificate that schools and day-care facilities can get for decreasing the environmental load. It is also an international environmental certificate in the field of education. If your school would like to become a Green Flag school, you need to register online and explain the rationale of joining. If you fulfill the criteria of the programme, you get a right to use the Green Flag symbol.

The Green Flag initiative is a very flexible and down-to-earth way of increasing children’s knowledge on the environment. It requires some reporting but focuses on doing in practice: participating schools and day-care facilities need to establish an environmental group that is tasked to solve a known challenge or a shortcoming. This is a natural way of teaching children sustainable ways of working and to improve the activities of the entity in, for instance, areas such as energy consumption, amount of waste or social relationships.

There are currently 300 Green Flag day-care facilities, elementary and grammar schools and vocational institutes in Finland. There is more and more interest to join, and we are aiming at expanding the initiative. We are part of the international Eco-schools program that has 35,000 participating schools in 50 countries.

How do pupils notice the Green Flag in their everyday activities?

Pupils take part in environmental groups that organize events and raise discussion on environmental topics. Pupils have, for instance, watched films and organized recycling events. You can do anything that supports sustainability and brings added value to environmental education. And parents can also join the activities!

What does it mean to sponsor a Green Flag school and how can you start this?
We are continuously improving and further developing this model. In practice, we define this quite flexibly between the company, person or other entity wanting to sponsor a school. You can express your interest if you want to commit to making the world a better place and growing our children and youngsters to become responsible consumers.

Why is Foodduck suitable for a sponsor?

With Foodduck we can co-operate very effectively to decrease the environmental load. Today, it is very important to tell children and young people also about entrepreneurship and prepare them for the changing labour market. In addition, Foodduck is a brilliant example about such innovativeness that we need to advance sustainable values and actions in the changing world. With Foodduck we might even expand our co-operation and projects into, for instance, campaigns and competitions that can work as wake-up calls and bring new twist to environmental education. The Green Key environmental certificate for travel and accomodation industries could open new doors to even international co-operation. Food and catering industries are easy themes to approach as they are so close to each and every one of us.