Last week, Dulwich and Dehong Community celebrated 53rd Earth day on April 22nd. We put environmental sustainability in the spotlight and reminded ourselves that everyday can, should and needs to be Earth Day, especially with the most recent climate science available to us. As a member of the community, we are pleased to see the launch of our first Environmental, Social, and Governance Report (2020-2021) and take pride in being part of a wider community furthering sustainability efforts.
What is ESG?
ESG stands for Environmental, Social & Governance Reporting and is an approach that evaluates the extent to which an organisation works on behalf of goals within these areas.
Our first ESG report provides a framework bringing together all aspects of our group, to know and understand who we are, what we are doing well and what more we should be doing in environmental, social and governance areas.
Why do we launch ESG Report?
This report is born of our maturation as a Group and in response to a world where issues of climate change, inequality, and abuse of power are ever more urgent and prevalent. This report marks the start of a process by which Dulwich and Dehong community commits to a holistic and collaborative approach to defining environmental, social, and governance goals, formulates concrete plans to achieve them, and regularly reports progress on them.
We see this report as an opportunity to see where we are, what we are doing well, what more we could be doing and where we want to go – and consider it a significant progression from CSR approaches and our Sustainability Pledges.
We have defined four ESG pillars: Learning, Planet, People, and Policy. These provide the lens through which we focus our sustainability and global citizenship goals and outcomes.
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‘Students Come First’ is a core value of Dulwich and Dehong Community that guides our approach to virtually everything we do. We expect everyone in our organisation to deepen their awareness of sustainability, global citizenship, and the importance of diversity and inclusion as we work together to provide our students with an increasingly comprehensive Worldwise education. As a family of schools, we encourage shared and peer learning so that schools, students, and teachers share ideas and best practices with one another.
Nurturing Global Citizens
Our ambition is that every Dehong student is instilled with a sense of pride for their national culture whilst benefitting from a holistic curriculum that advocates the importance of developing global perspectives. We enhance Worldwise education content and pedagogy, and embed it in all aspects of our Dehong schools, and also encourage service through inner- and inter-school engagement, community participation, and active citizenship. All our schools have established Global Citizenship Competency Frameworks to ensure the important components of global citizenship are understood and embedded in daily classes and school culture and to enhance students’ global literacy and competency.
Safeguarding and Wellbeing
In our community, we place protection at the heart of everything we do. Following the group Safe at School Framework, we brought together Chinese and International colleagues to work on the development and implementation of a framework for Dehong Schools to ensure that every member of our Dehong community understands their role in keeping our students safe from any physical or emotional harm.
We are also committed to enriching students' learning experience. For instance, we foster holistic skills, qualities, and approaches beyond the classroom through tech-enabled learning, co-curricular activities, outdoor learning, and experiential opportunities; integrate local culture as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion into teaching and learning, respect and embrace cultural diversity; and create opportunities for students to interact with, lead, and ﬁnd innovative solutions to local and global challenges.
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If our mission to provide a pioneering education for a sustainable future is to be meaningful, environmental sustainability must be not only something we practice but a central part of who we are.
Carbon Mapping and Climate Action
We strongly support the goals of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP). Following COP26 in 2021, Dulwich and Dehong Community embarked on a process to measure, reduce, and offset emissions. We reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing schools’ knowledge, engagement, and interaction with carbon mapping, with the intention to implement carbon measurement, reduction, and offsetting practices. Besides, the construction of all new campuses of Dehong School adheres to the philosophy and purpose of sustainable development. We embed sustainability criteria and aspirations in campus design, construction, facilities, and operations in often difﬁcult contexts, and ensuring our partners and suppliers are aware of our organisation’s environmental values and goals.
We are committed to handling and managing resources responsibly throughout the process of procurement, consumption, and waste management, including building and implementing the waste hierarchy in waste prevention and management; saving water and promoting water reuse practices; introducing and implementing guidelines, intentions, and indicators to support more sustainable practices and positive social impacts with partners, vendors, and service providers.
Food and Sustainability
We work with our catering partners to serve thousands of meals per day across our schools. We are responsible for providing safe, healthy, nutritious, and delicious food, while remaining mindful of the environmental impacts of our food choices. We increase our offering of healthy, nutritious, and deliciousplant-based menu options to have a signiﬁcantly greater impact on sustainability. Besides, we ensure there is no, or the least possible, food packaging, and no single-use items, especially plastic and promote ethical sourcing of food and beverages as well as eco-friendly and local food production systems.
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At Dulwich and Dehong community, we treat each member of our community with respect, and develop the role that our schools play in building and supporting community relationships, intercultural understanding, and a keen sense of connectedness with the world.
We are committed to protecting employees’ rights and interests, providing competitive compensation and beneﬁts, listening to employees’ voices, encouraging their participation, and ensuring the safety and health of employees and workers.
We also establish and improve professional training systems, support employees’ career development, and celebrate diversity and provide equal opportunities in an inclusive environment for people with different abilities, backgrounds, and perspectives.
Education is not just about students, schools, and teachers. We believe that building a connected school community improves learning outcomes and enhances wellbeing for the students, families, local communities, and wider society. At Dehong, we also build and sustain a strong and collaborative community of students, parents, and staff.
All parents of students at Dehong schools are automatically members of the Friends of Dehong, a parent organisation that provides a focal point for the school community. The Friends of Dehong facilitates social interaction among school and families through interactive activities and the organisation of holiday and year-end celebrations.
For Alumni, we launched the Worldwise Alumni Network (WAN) in November 2021 to provide alumni of all our schools with professional, social, and service opportunities. WAN offers professional networking and social events, career counselling and mentorship opportunities, job fairs and internships, community outreach initiatives, and creative engagement in the spheres of innovation and entrepreneurship.
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Governance is about how well an organisation is overseen and managed. Dulwich and Dehong family aims to maintain a governance structure that assures well-informed decision-making, risk management, transparency, and accountability.
Cybersecutiry and Data Privacy
We always pay attention to protecting conﬁdential and sensitive data, as well as intellectual property. All employees are required to complete annual training on Data Protection and Cybersecurity.
Integrity and Compliance
Dulwich and Dehong Community is committed to compliance with its internal Code of Conduct and raising awareness through training and communication, and by developing our risk management, monitoring, and reporting processes.
This report provides a blueprint for holding us accountable in our commitment to the environment and the planet. We sincerely hope that the engagement and concept of ESG Initiative will attract more individuals, schools, and groups to participate in the progress critical for the sustainability goals of current and future generations.