Sustainability education

Eduiren is the educational sector of the Group, dedicated to the declination of sustainability at 360° and for everyone. A sector that thrives on direct contact with schools and other local stakeholders, through its training offerings and the joint planning of awareness- raising paths.

Eduiren: a workshop and inclusive approach to convey the culture of sustainability and contribute to the model of sustainable territorial growth in the current context of green transition

In 2021, together with the traditional catalogue of free training offers, the projects dedicated not only to the territories in which Iren Group operates, but to the whole national territory through the use of the web and social networks, were strengthened: in total, 110 sustainability education projects were carried out, also in network with other subjects, involving 350 schools and reaching 46,072 people.

Educating for sustainability means maintaining a continuous dialogue with different audiences, building networks, innovating methodologies and tools: in a process of research and experimentation, new themes were explored, and innovative formats defined to tell the story of the 2030 Agenda and the contribution of Iren Group to the objectives of sustainable development.

To this end, the short film “La challenge” was made, written and produced together with Giffoni Innovation Hub and Unitalia and presented at the Giffoni Film Festival. The short film, which narrates an intergenerational challenge on environmental issues and promotes the conscious use of resources, has been featured in several events: Kids International Festival in Reggio Emilia, “CinemAmbiente” in Turin and “Riconoscere l’Ambiente” (recognizing the environment) in Siena. Also in this perspective, in partnership with the International Book Fair of Turin, a project was developed in collaboration with the cartoonist Lorena Canottiere, for the creation of a comic book on the themes of sustainability, designed and drawn by a group of elementary school classes.

To spread the “culture of composting”, the exhibition “ComposTiAmo” was opened to the public, with virtual tours and training initiatives on home composting, promoted in collaboration with the Museum of Agriculture and Rural World of San Martino in Rio (RE). Still on the topic of conscious recycling, Eduiren, with Reggio Children Foundation and Remida, organised “Ricreazioni (Re-creation)”, a day dedicated to “unexpected sustainability”, with a focus on the creative regeneration of plastic and the virtuous reuse of kitchen scraps, inaugurating two paths that will be developed during 2022. The same logic animated the national competition “Rifiuti Smarriti (Lost Waste)”, promoted with the CentroScienza Onlus of Turin, with the aim of rediscovering, regenerating, redesigning and reusing what is no longer used. The awarding of the works was the occasion for a visit in presence and virtual to the TRM plant in Turin, with workshops for students connected from Turin to Sicily.

The training proposals also included a reorganisation of the use and narration of the Group’s facilities. On the occasion of Green Week in Parma, guided tours for university students were organised to the “Fabbriche della Sostenibilità (Sustainability Factories)” (Mancasale wastewater treatment plant and PAI). A classroom was inaugurated at the Ceresole Reale dam and the M.Idro Museum was opened at the Chiomonte power plant. The video produced on the waste-to-energy plant in Parma is the first to tell the story of the people, processes and positive impacts on the environment and quality of service and will be joined by two further videos on the Moncalieri waste-to-energy plant and the Rapallo wastewater treatment plant.

In the “Spazio Goccia” of Luzzara (RE) cultural and educational activities have been planned, in presence and online, aimed at promoting the culture of water: among these, the meeting “Dialoghi sull’Acqua (Dialogues on Water)”, the presentation of the Local Observatory of the Landscape of the Bassa Reggiana, the online publication of the video “Friday’s for Stilla”, to tell in a playful way to children the secrets of water, and the space on wastewater treatment “Back to Land”, already proposed in the European Photography Festival and opened in streaming on the occasion of the “World Toilet Day”.

Eduiren: 110 sustainability education projects reaching 46,072 people

Thanks also to web-based tools, different audiences have been met and new ways of telling the story have been tried out. We talked about “Rifiuti Smarriti (Lost Waste)” on the online platform Agorà del Sapere, about digital education and environmental sustainability (in collaboration with Redooc and The Good in Town) on the platform, all topics also addressed at Milano Digital Week and STEMintheCity Milano.

The collaboration was confirmed with the Ricrea Consortium, which promoted the online educational project “Yes I Can” by Luca Pagliari for schools in Piacenza and La Spezia.

The commitment to sustainability education activities has taken the form of initiatives designed to create value in events and shows, establishing alliances in the territories, which have always been the strength of Iren Group. In Genoa, on the occasion of Ocean Race 2021, Eduiren has set up the musical show “Un mare senza plastica (A sea without plastic)” proposed in collaboration with the theatre of Ortica and has participated in the organisation of educational workshops “Le fabbriche di acqua pulita (The factories of clean water)”, highlighting the importance of wastewater treatment for the protection of the marine environment. For the Science Festival of Genoa, guided tours on the waterways were organised on the eco-segment of the Historical Aqueduct, a stretch of the ancient conduit enhanced with a signage designed for children, in a project promoted by the Local Committee of Genoa and realised with the contribution of Eduiren. In the context of Green Pea Day, the talk “La bellezza dei rifiuti (The beauty of waste)” was combined with two plogging sessions to clean up the city of Turin by doing sports. The Eduiren experience was presented in Milan, at the CSR Show and during “Il Verde e il Blu Festival”.

Sustainability for Iren also means taking care of the environment: several waste collection activities, managed by eco-volunteers in the areas where the Group operates, were supported by the training contribution of Eduiren. The theme was also taken up by the workshop “La bellezza che passa dalla cura (Beauty that passes through care)”, held in Turin, aimed at encouraging meetings and dialogue with citizens of all ages to reflect on their lifestyles and encourage the adoption of good daily practices in favour of a more sustainable world. Significant in this sense are the experiences of Reggio Emilia “Multisport nei Monti”, in which sustainability has been declined together with sports practices to discover the Apennine territory thanks to the collaboration with the Polisportiva Quadrifoglio, and “Puliamo Campagnola” which saw the participation of all schools in the municipality and a strong network of local associations. Support for the local area has also been collaborative and inclusive with initiatives such as “Tra i banchi d’estate (between the desks in the summer)”, meetings with foreign children who have recently arrived in Italy, on sorted waste collection in Reggio Emilia and collaboration with ASAI in a social inclusion project on the circular economy in Turin.

International engagement has also grown for Eduiren with participation in projects in Europe and Mozambique (FCHgo, Maispemba, Multipliers), aimed at sharing best practices in environmental education and creating networks of open science communities for effective awareness actions.