A core part of Eton’s 2023-2027 strategy is to catalyse environmental action both within the institution and the wider community. Teachers and students alike collaborate to create stimulating discussion and projects united by the collective goal of absolving damage to our planet. 

In 2022, two Directors of Environmental Education were appointed, and Eton College became a Planet Mark member, committing to further embed sustainability into its actions, processes and policies across the College. 

Environmental Action

Environmental Education at Eton prepares boys for a workplace that increasingly requires skills and understanding in sustainability in a fun and rewarding way. Students who meet several times a week, are encouraged to pursue their own environment-related interests, lead projects, lobby for change, or work outdoors to enhance biodiversity.  

Examples of projects undertaken recently include: 

  • Intergenerational collaboration at Planet Mark workshops to understand net zero audits and the process of reducing carbon emissions within a large institution. 
  • Climate Fresk workshops led by boys.  
  • Model COP event with partner schools. 
  • Partnerships with various schools to organise local environmental events. 
  • The organisation of Environment Week, including events such as Green Careers networking. 
  • The running of a sustainability themed book/podcast club 
  • Taking part in the Earth Prize, an international sustainability competition. 
  • Boy-led hackathons to mark COP. 
  • Trips to sites of interest, e.g. Grundon’s waste management facility. 
  • Fundraising for environmental charities. Last year’s fundraisers included a plogging (litter-picking fun-run) for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxford Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).   
  • Running The Florentina, our student-run environmental publication. 
  • Working on our local allotment. 
  • Working with the eco-club of our local primary school. 
  • Attending online courses on systems leadership and becoming fellows of the innovative Villars Institute. 
  • Enhancing the biodiversity of Eton’s green spaces. 
  • Engaging with COP26 in Glasgow and COY27 in Egypt. 
  • Creating an inclusive atmosphere for boys from all blocks (year groups) at Eton to follow their passions. 
  • A series of assemblies for different year groups to inform the community of our sustainability goals and our work with Planet Mark. 
  • Boys catalysed the schoolwide implementation of reusable water bottles, with F Block (Year 9) now being automatically assigned their own bottles on arrival. 
  • The Second meeting of the annual Environmental Summit. 

These were all, and continue to be, seeded by the numerous weekly gatherings of students, passionately working on new ideas. As an institution, we strive to do the best we can – inspiring and creating environmental change for the better. 

Environmental Action leadership roles

Each year, a Keeper of Environmental Action is appointed in B Block (Year 13). The position is awarded to a boy who has made a significant contribution to Environmental Action, the Boys’ Environment Committee and/or the Environment Society during his time at Eton. This is a significant leadership role, with each new Keeper proactively assisting the Co-Directors of Environmental Education. Four deputies are also appointed to work with the keeper on biodiversity, partnership, communication and procurement.  

Due to the breadth of activities under the umbrella of Environmental Action the Directors of Environmental Education also appointed four deputies this year:  

  • Biodiversity projects; 
  • Partnerships; 
  • Communications; 
  • Procurement and supply chains; 

Annual Sustainability Symposium

In 2022, over 400 pupils from ten schools took part in the Beyond COP21 Symposium. Across two days of interactive discussions, workshops and a sustainability exhibition, pupils explored issues around the climate and biodiversity crises, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), marine pollution and being more eco-conscious. Hosting Beyond COP21 was part of the College’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental education.  

Last year, we hosted a Sustainable Development Goals Symposium, where students engaged with the complex relationships connecting the Sustainable Development Goals. Students gained the skills in systems thinking required to truly understand the concept of sustainability.  

Beyond COP21 Symposium

Not only does environmental education create a greater love and awareness of the world around us, but is also opens up different careers in a stimulating and rewarding sector.

Current Boy, 2022

Environment Society

This boy-led society hosts speakers on a broad range of environmental issues, from rhino conservation to the running of an electric car company. Boys from any block (year group) may attend. Each year, one or two B Block (Year 13) boys are appointed as secretary for the society. 


single use plastic bottles we are on track to save per year (Planet Mark)

Boys’ Environment Committee

The Boys’ Committee reports to the College Committee, ensuring student voice is heard at these meetings. Areas frequently under review include energy, food consumption and waste, biodiversity and, more recently, net zero targets.  

Boys who are particularly engaged with environmental matters can apply for the role of Environment Representative for their boarding House. These boys, along with other interested boys, form the Boys’ Environment Committee. The Boys’ Environment Committee meets twice a half (term) to discuss initiatives happening in boarding Houses and more widely around the College. 

Our Outward Facing Work

Outdoor Education