A HALESOWEN academy trust which has invested £4m towards making its schools carbon neutral has won an award for being environmentally conscious.

Windsor Academy Trust has been awarded the prestigious Optimus Education MAT Excellence Award for Environmental Trust of the Year.

Over the last two years, the trust has invested £4m to decarbonise its school estate, using School Condition Allocation funding and support from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

It has invested in measures including solar panels, LED lighting, thermal lagging upgrades to heating pipes, double glazing, air source heat pumps and energy monitoring software.

It has reduced its CO2 emissions by over 300 metric tonnes, generated over 630 thousand kilowatt hours of sustainable clean energy for its schools, and cut its annual energy consumption by 12%.

The trust said it aims to ensure its family of schools are net zero by 2030.

Halesowen News: Trust CEO Dawn HaywoodTrust CEO Dawn Haywood (Image: Windsor Academy Trust)

Dawn Haywood, CEO of Windsor Academy Trust, said: “Receiving the award is a tremendous honour.

"We are immensely proud of this accomplishment and we will continue to prioritise environmental education and sustainable practices, always striving to be at the forefront of environmental stewardship within the education sector.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to our dedicated staff, students and parents for their unwavering support.

"It is through our collective efforts that we can create a sustainable and thriving future for generations to come.”

The national Optimus Education MAT Excellence Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of multi-academy trusts across the UK.

The Environmental Trust of the Year category recognises the trust that has demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental education, initiatives and sustainable practices.

The judging panel commented that Windsor Academy Trust’s “commitment to a greener future is evident in the range of action around sustainability, in terms of curriculum, careers and estates management” and they commended the trust’s “holistic approach, as well the progress made towards net zero.”