EDF Energy - Journey of environmental education and leadership

The Asda Environmental Leadership Award, Shortlisted, 2016

EDF Energy are tackling the STEM skills shortage and investing in tomorrow's engineers through educational programmes about sustainable energy. 

Good for the environment

  • So far, EDF Energy's education programme has inspired schools to make a combined 133m kg CO2 carbon saving - equivalent to that created by the average annual mileage of 33,628 cars.
  • They have also saved 15,076 tonnes of waste, equivalent to 137 blue whales – and 42,143,599 litres of water, equivalent to 14 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Good for business

  • Nine out of ten employees who volunteered on one of the education programmes said they would recommend EDF Energy as a good place to work.
  • Of employees aged 18-24, who took part in the programme whilst in education, 75% said it played a role in their decision to join the company.

EDF Energy logo

EDF Energy set an ambitious target to reduce its carbon emissions by 2020.  At the same time, the company became aware that the average age of UK engineers was 60, and the numbers of young people studying for qualifications in STEM subjects were declining. So it set out to build energy awareness in schools and tackle the shortage of young people developing the skills needed to run low carbon energy programmes.

EDF Energy works with schools and colleges to teach children about sustainable energy use and encourage the uptake of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects. To date it has run several different initiatives including:

  • Training and apprenticeships for UK low-carbon power generation and engineering,

  • Foundation degree in Nuclear Engineering,

  • Nuclear Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme,

  • Cheltenham Science Festival,

  • Visitor centres at nuclear power stations,

  • Campaign to encourage girls and young women to study STEM subjects.

This education programme has inspired schools to reduce their carbon emissions, save water, and reduce waste. And the long term future of the company is looking more secure as it is helping to develop the skilled workers who will meet the challenge of climate change.

What EDF Energy's CEO said:

“I believe passionately that to survive, any business has to tackle tomorrow’s problems today, before it’s too late. And that is particularly true for us, because the energy industry is the key to our society’s do‐or‐die battle to defeat climate change. This is why over 12 years ago we began our low-carbon journey.  This is one of the largest projects we have undertaken and I have been awed by the sheer scale of the environmental mountain we had to climb. Twelve years on, I am still proud of the results it has achieved.” - Vincent de Rivaz CBE, CEO EDF Energy