“Schools should be very keen to grasp the potential saving opportunities that sustainability can offer. Tight budgets are a constant reality, and sustainability offers tangible long-term benefits that go beyond environmental responsibility. By investing in well-made, durable products and implementing sustainable practices, schools can significantly reduce maintenance costs down the line. Energy-efficient appliances, for example, may have a higher upfront cost, but they pay for themselves over time through lower energy bills. Similarly, sustainable construction materials can ensure a building’s longevity and minimise the need for frequent repairs. In essence, sustainability isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for the school’s bottom line.”

A Journey Of Prioritising Sustainability With Recycled Plastic Picnic Tables For Schools

Brentwood School, located in the beautiful county of Essex, England, has emerged as an advocate in the realm of sustainability and environmental stewardship. As one of the customers of British Recycled Plastic, Brentwood School has embarked on an ambitious journey to transform its campus into a model of eco-friendly practices.

At the heart of Brentwood’s sustainability initiatives is the role of Estates Sustainability Engineer, a position recently established to spearhead the school’s green efforts. We had the opportunity to sit down with the newly appointed Estates Sustainability Engineer, Mark Staggs, to learn more about his journey and the importance of sustainability roles in the education sector, most importantly how it’s important to choose the right outdoor furniture schools projects in his role.

Mark’s Path to Sustainability

Mark’s background is quite unique, as he brings a diverse set of technical skills to the table. “I started off with an apprenticeship as an Electrical Control Specialist, programming and maintaining robots in the manufacturing industry,” he explained. “I then transitioned to the NHS, working as an Electrical Maintenance Engineer.”

Throughout his previous roles, Mark was always on the lookout for efficiency and opportunities to improve. “In both these positions, we were constantly seeking ways to enhance our operations and reduce our environmental impact,” he said. “This experience laid the groundwork for my current role as the Estates Sustainability Engineer at Brentwood School.”

Mark elaborated on how his new position evolved: “Initially, we developed this role to provide technical support for our maintenance team. As we delved deeper, we realised that much of this role overlapped with energy-saving opportunities. This realisation prompted us to expand the scope of the position, focusing not only on energy savings but also on the broader context of waste management, environmental stewardship, recycling, water management, Outdoor Furniture Schools, and transportation.”

The Importance of Sustainability in Schools and Specific Roles

When asked about the significance of sustainability roles in the education sector, Mark emphasised the need for dedicated professionals to drive these initiatives forward. “Many schools have a sustainability champion or a similar role, but these individuals are often juggling this responsibility alongside their primary duties as teachers, finance bursars, or administrators,” he explained. “This can make it challenging for them to fully dedicate the time and attention required to make a meaningful impact.”

Mark believes that having a dedicated Estates Sustainability Engineer position allows for a more focused and effective approach to sustainability. “Schools are highly motivated to embrace sustainability, as it offers tangible savings and aligns with the growing emphasis on environmental education,” he said. “By having a role like mine, we can ensure that sustainability is not just an idea, but a meaningful career path that can make a real difference.” With buying the recycled plastic picnic tables for schools he has been able to save on maintenance time and effort, and also costs.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

As the Estates Sustainability Engineer at Brentwood School, Mark’s primary focus is on gathering and analysing data to drive informed decision-making. “Data is key,” he stressed. “It’s easy to make claims about potential savings, but being able to demonstrate tangible results is what really captures people’s attention and sparks further investment.”

Mark plans to leverage these data-driven insights to prioritise and implement a range of sustainability initiatives. “I’ll be assessing our current practices, identifying areas for improvement, and then using the savings generated to reinvest in natural environments, student and staff well-being, and, most importantly, education,” he said.

Empowering the School Community

Mark believes that engaging the entire school community is crucial to the success of Brentwood’s sustainability efforts. “I’ve found that there are many people within the school who are already contributing to sustainability, but their efforts may not be celebrated or amplified,” he said. “By giving these ideas and actions a voice and recognising the contributions of students and staff, we can spark even more new ideas and encourage greater involvement.”

Advice for Other Schools

Drawing on his early experiences in the role, Mark offers valuable advice for other schools looking to establish or enhance their sustainability programs. “Start by gathering data and establishing a baseline. This will enable you to measure the impact of your initiatives and secure buy-in from stakeholders,” he said.

Mark also emphasises the importance of collaboration and community engagement. “A school is the perfect environment to harness the collective knowledge and innovation of students, staff, and the wider community,” he explained. “Tap into this valuable resource and empower everyone to contribute to the sustainability journey.”

As Brentwood School continues its path towards a greener future, the partnership with British Recycled Plastic and the dedicated efforts of the Estates Sustainability Engineer, Mark Staggs, will undoubtedly serve as a model for other educational institutions seeking to make a lasting impact on the environment.

Email: [email protected]

or give us a call on

01422 419 555

Let’s work together to create a greener, more sustainable future for our schools and communities.