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Tarmac congratulates winners of Solutions for the Planet Big Ideas competition

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

Tarmac has congratulated the young winners of the Solutions for the Planet (S4TP) Big Ideas Competition 2021 following its virtual national final, which saw students from schools across the country present innovative new sustainability initiatives to an online judging panel.

As the scheme’s national partner, dozens of colleagues from Tarmac delivered online mentoring to participating school pupils in years 7 to 9 from across the UK for the competition this year. Together, they worked to highlight the importance of sustainability and to raise awareness of career opportunities within the construction sector.

Dr Martyn Kenny, Tarmac’s sustainability director and a member of the competition’s national judging panel, said: “We’ve been proud supporters of the Big Ideas competition for the past seven years. Once again, in challenging circumstances due to the pandemic, including school closures, the S4TP team has done a brilliant job in bringing together students and mentors to tackle real-world sustainability issues. The team has also delivered an engaging and enjoyable celebration of pupils’ achievements in the virtual final.”

“We’d like to congratulate the winners and all the finalists on their achievements, as well as thank all of the thousands of students and many dedicated mentors, from Tarmac and other organisations, who took part this year.”

Each of the thirteen teams that progressed to the S4TP national final through regional rounds has spent much of the past year developing their creative Big Idea to address a specific environmental, social or economic sustainability problem.

The winner of this year’s competition was Waste Warriors – a team from North Durham Academy who had not only developed their idea into a business plan but put it into action by recycling food waste and establishing a community garden.

Tarmac mentors assisted national finalists Plastic Suckers from Perton Middle School, Wolverhampton, with their idea for removing plastic waste from the ocean. They also supported other entrants, including finalist teams Life Under Water from Bannockburn High School, Green Life from Oaks Park High School and JEHT from Stratford School Academy.

Jen Baughan, CEO, Solutions for the Planet, said: “The Big Ideas Programme has big ambitions. We forge partnerships between businesses and schools. We encourage and nurture creativity, curiosity and collaboration in young people and their business volunteer mentors alike. We challenge young people to come up with big ideas to help tackle some of the world’s largest sustainability issues and adults to suspend their preconceived notions of what is possible. We blend community and business benefit, and everyone involved knows they are part of something bigger than themselves.”

“The Big Ideas Competition 2021 national final was an incredible showcase of these ambitions being realised. Continued engagement and investment from businesses in this agenda is critical, that agenda being their people (and future people) and the planet. My deepest thanks go to our current business partners for making that investment this year.”

Solutions for the Planet is a social enterprise, working with businesses, schools and communities to promote Education for Sustainable Development, social enterprise, and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers for young people. It is supported throughout the programme by its national partner Tarmac along with IGEM, SGN, Mears Group, Northern Gas Networks, Kongsberg Automotive, Cadent, Linkcity and ISS Labour.

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