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Who is the greenest of them all?

Left to right: Alex Rainey, Joe Smith, Kevin Frost and Tom Bowcock with Bob Athwal from npower’s graduate scheme

Left to right: Alex Rainey, Joe Smith, Kevin Frost and Tom Bowcock with Bob Athwal from npower’s graduate scheme

9 November 2009

Four Bristol undergraduates have made it to the final of the npower Future Leaders Challenge, a nationwide search to find the UK’s keenest, greenest university students.

Teams from universities across the UK entered the competition by submitting a short film putting forward their ideas for a green project that would encourage their university or local community to be more sustainable. The Bristol team, comprising Alex Rainey, Joe Smith and Tom Bowcock from the School of Economics, Finance and Management and Kevin Frost from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, pitched a scheme to run free bus service to promote climate change awareness.

The ten shortlisted teams attended a weekend team-building course in the Lake District, designed to help them develop their environmental knowledge and other key skills that will enable them deliver their project. Each team won £500 towards funding their project. The winning team, whose project is judged to have the most impact, will travel to Antarctica, where they will have an opportunity to see for themselves the effects of global warning.

Antarctic adventurer Robert Swan, whose company, 2041, will be taking the winning team to Antarctica in March 2010, also attended the team-building weekend. He talked to the students about the effects of climate change on the South Pole and how a series of small actions and projects – like the ones being undertaken by the student teams – can make a real impact on the environment.

Alexander Rainey said: ‘We are delighted to have made it into the final of the npower Future Leaders Challenge and the team-building weekend really inspired us. We can't wait to get the whole project up and running.’

Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education programmes, said: ‘The npower Future Leaders Challenge has been developed to find the next generation of Robert Swans: young people with drive and passion, committed to learning about climate change and discovering new solutions to tackle its harmful effects.’

The teams will be working on their projects over the next two months and the winning team will be announced on 18 December.

More information about the Bristol team’s project is available online and on the ‘Turn Off Bristol’ Facebook fan page.

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