SC Johnson, the maker of household consumer brands such as Mr Muscle, Ecover and Duck, has launched a new partnership with UK Charity Ocean Generation, an authority on tackling ocean bound plastic waste, to bring the ocean and its importance to classrooms across the UK. The partnership represents the next step the company is taking in driving education on the ocean plastic crisis, following The Blue Paradox, an immersive experience SC Johnson hosted on the topic in London last year in partnership with Conservation International. The partnership sees content from The Blue Paradox exhibition incorporated into Ocean Generation’s Ocean Academy programme, an open source digital learning hub with a toolkit of educational materials for teachers and parents.
According to a recent survey commissioned by SC Johnson, almost half (49%) of UK primary and secondary schoolteachers feel the current quality of education around environment and sustainability is not good enough, with only a fifth (21%) finding the current curriculums easy to use in classrooms. This comes as there is increased interest and investment in environmental education for young people following a COP26 announcement by the UK Department for Education to implement more climate change education in schools.
‘With less than 10% of plastic produced being recycled globally, there is a clear need for greater levels of education on the action we need to take to reduce the impact plastic pollution has on the environment,’ said Alan VanderMolen, chief communications officer and global head of philanthropy at SC Johnson. ‘Education is vital in creating the behaviour change needed to achieve our vision for a waste free world, and we are proud to partner with Ocean Generation in support of Ocean Academy to build this awareness and engagement in classrooms.’
‘Young people, aged 24 years and under, account for over 40% of the world population, so their understanding of the ocean is critical,’ said Richard Hill, CEO Ocean Generation. ‘This next generation are our future leaders, and to protect one of the earth’s most precious ecosystems, they must first understand its importance and fragility. We are thrilled to be working with an organisation like SC Johnson which shares our ambition for educating on the ocean plastics crisis and we look forward to growing the Ocean Academy programme together.’
As one-third (33%) of teachers believe that the current curriculum fails to inspire sustainability action amongst their pupils, the Ocean Academy programme aims to ensure that a better understanding of the ocean turns into action. It is a complete curriculum consisting of accredited lesson plans available for use online and in the classroom, with content including:
An introduction to the ocean as a single interconnected water source supporting all life on the planet.
The multifaceted role of the ocean, including highlighting its role in oxygen we breathe, controlling our climate, and regulating carbon levels.
Our impact on the ocean, the challenges it faces, and how we can make informed decisions to better protect it.
The future of the ocean and inspiring young people to champion change, both at home and at school.
Supporting funding from SC Johnson will help the programme reach more than 50,000 UK pupils in 2022, in addition to directly engaging 15,000 students through an in-person lesson offering across approximately 75 schools. By tackling the shortage of quality education on the environment available, Ocean Academy aims to educate young people, promote tangible behaviour change, and inspire collective action to tackle ocean plastic pollution.