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At the 2018 Horizon Energy Group Business Excellence Awards Trident High School was awarded The Bay of Connections Sustainability Award.  We are all ecstatic and so proud of the efforts of our school and school community for winning this award for the second time, but also for the incredible amount of work that our students in Year 13 Technology, the APEX Energy Student Council group, the Clean Green Elective and the Enviro Challenge Team have put into our school’s sustainable future.

Five years ago Trident High School’s Metal Technology teacher Dave Dobbin challenged Trident to become a sustainable, energy efficient and resilient school.  He set a specific goal - over five years Mr Dobbin wanted Trident to realise a 40% reduction in the school’s energy use, and structured a Year 13 Technology course and encouraged volunteer students to realise this goal.  Over the past five years students have contributed and then graduated from Trident, each having left their mark on helping to realise the goal. With student activities ranging from switching the school to solar water heating in 2015, to the Special Education Centre and Auditorium and adjoining H block now having PhotoVoltaic (PV) electrical systems, a Wind Turbine powering lights, a Micro-Hydro System, Insulated Cylinders, installed timers, scheduled heat pumps, selected and installed efficient LED walkway lights, etc students have been involved in  real change and have placed Trident at the forefront of sustainable practices in schools and has inspired several students to continue on into related careers especially electrical and sustainability fields.

The 5 year timeframe ended in August 2018 and saw overall a 37.2% reduction in energy spend which has saved the school a whopping $176,666.11.

This achievement has only been possible because we have had support from a huge range of local community businesses and funding providers. Without them we would not have achieved half of what we have. Financial Grants from the Eastern Bay Energy Trust, BOP Regional Council Environmental Enhancement Fund, Fonterra Grassroots Fund and O-I NZ Environmental Fund has provided seed-funding that has enabled our Principal Philip Gurney and our Board of Trustees to invest in these technologies. Tremendous generosity has also been received from our local business community by way of donation of equipment, technical expertise (including classroom teaching), advice, time and materials that has greatly enriched our programmes and the learning experiences for our students. A key also has been the ongoing guidance from Nik Gregg at Sustainability Options.

Trident is now much more resilient with part of the school self sufficient with Energy from Hybrid PV/ Batteries and ablution and drinking water harvested from rainwater.

With a new five year plan being considered, we are excited about the future and look forward to sharing more of our achievements while hoping it inspires more students and other schools to embark on a similar journey.    

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