Sanofi is to invest €120,000 in a three-year environmental awareness campaign in Irish schools as part of its Planet Mobilization programme. The global biopharmaceutical company is teaming up with Junior Achievement Ireland to deliver the ambitious drive encouraging primary schoolchildren in third and fourth classes to make ‘One Small Change’.
 
To be piloted in the current school year and rolled out nationally from 2022-’23, ‘One Small Change’ will involve up to five 40-minute classroom sessions. Pupils who participate will receive kits to help them and their families identify the contribution they can make to addressing the climate emergency.
 
The design of ‘One Small Change’ will ensure the children involved will not only learn theory but also experience for themselves the excitement of making lifestyle and household changes to protect the environment. Over three years, more than 6,000 families will be reached.
 
Announcing the programme, Jennifer Murphy who leads the ‘Green Team’ at Sanofi Waterford, said: “We are delighted to be building this campaign with Junior Achievement Ireland who have been partners of ours for almost 20 years. An active schools programme was a big part of our pitch last year that won €420,000 of funding for Waterford from Planet Mobilization, Sanofi’s ideas generation programme for the environment.
 
“We recognise that children are hugely influential in their families. They also have great energy, idealism and curiosity – all of which ‘One Small Change’ will tap into. While they are the least to blame for the climate crisis, their generation has the most to lose from it.”

Denise Power, Area Manager, Junior Achievement Ireland, added: “Sanofi is one of our longest-established partners and volunteers from the Waterford site team have worked in local schools and hosted students on Junior Achievement educational activities for the last 20 years.

“We are delighted to collaborate on Planet Mobilization as we know engaging with positive adult role models from the world of work makes a significant impact on young people. This new initiative builds on our strong partnerships with schools and volunteers to address one of the biggest issues facing our country and the world. This purpose-designed programme will mobilise students to identify small changes that will all add up to making a big difference for the environment.

“The programme will also encourage families to make changes and measure the results to see the real impact they are having. All of the evidence tells us that good habits stick and momentum builds when people feel part of something bigger and that their contribution is helping. We are very confident that lots of families making ‘One Small Change’ will add up to a BIG difference.”

Along with the schools campaign, key elements of Planet Mobilization at Sanofi Waterford include organised clean-ups by teams of volunteers at coastal, mountain and other scenic areas; an app that is being developed to help households measure their plastic consumption and find alternatives and a sustainable shopping scheme to promote greener options to consumers. A toolkit developed at Waterford will be shared with Sanofi colleagues globally to support them in rolling out similar environmental programmes in their local areas.

Sanofi is accelerating its efforts to address climate change and intends to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across all operations and the entire value chain by 2050. The company has also set an interim target to reach carbon neutrality across all scopes of emissions by 2030. This is 20 years ahead of its previous commitment made in 2015. Sanofi’s carbon footprint decreased by 27% between 2015 and 2020.
 
You can learn more here about Sanofi’s commitment to environmental sustainability.