Cranleigh School

Cranleigh School, Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8QQ, United Kingdom cranleigh.org pml@cranleigh.org 01483 273666

Staff Lead: Philip Leamon

Cranleigh is Surrey’s leading co-educational independent school, offering boarding and day education for pupils aged 13 to 18. Cranleigh provides a breathtaking range of opportunities in a school small enough for everyone to know and support each other. Pupils lead busy lives, exceeding academic and sporting expectations, whilst preparing for life beyond our beautiful
rural location.

Environmental Pledge & Mission

When establishing the Cranleigh Environmental Action Group, as a committee we drafted and agreed upon the following key principles:

Our intention is that all members of Cranleigh community shall:

  • Understand the need and necessity to take immediate action on environmental
  • Take practical steps to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, both personally and as a
    community. This will include, but not be limited to: energy usage, recycling,
    sustainable products, lifestyle choices, food waste.
  • Actively seek to educate, engage with and support others on environmental issues
    both inside and outside the Cranleigh community.

We will achieve this through:

  • Actively seeking and actively providing opportunities to learn about climate change
    and sustainable living.
  • Devising and implementing a series of aspirational, yet achievable, practical goals,
    schemes and policies.
  • Working with pupils, staff and other members of the Cranleigh community to help
    them adopt our policies and ideas.
  • Inspiring others by our own actions.
  • Engaging in direct action when deemed appropriate.

Key Environmental Achievements

We wrote, set up and established a Pledge that asked every member of the Cranleigh community to choose and focus on specific environmental goals relating to their own life choices. These were staged in different levels of difficulty. The Pledge was displayed on our boards, screens and in the front of student and staff diaries and planners. Next year we intend to refine this further and survey its success.

We gave a school assembly on food waste and made a film that we entered for a
national competition. We then produced a series of posters and awareness campaigns to reduce food waste. We weighed our food wastage at the start of the project and whilst we did not get a chance to measure later on, due to lockdown, catering reported a pleasing drop in food waste. Another excellent aspect to this is due to an association we made with a local businesswoman and campaigner (For Earth’s Sake) we got the school to send all it’s food waste to a local Biodigester where it is now converted to biogas that helps to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We will continue with this next year.

We organised a Pre-loved / Second Hand clothes sale on 31st January, followed by a second-hand mufti day on Tuesday 4th February, where we asked all pupils to wear at least one item of pre-loved clothing. Our message was: Fast fashion is one of the world’s top polluters, promoting a non-sustainable way of life whilst producing a huge amount of harmful greenhouse gases. What is more, did you know it takes around 2,700 litres of water to produce just ONE cotton T-shirt?! We raised over £2000 which was sent to the relief funds in Australia to fight the consequences of bush fires; to ‘Behind the Label’ who campaign for equality on the fashion industry and to local environmental projects.

In order to raise the awareness of the impact of meat farming on the environment, we set up Meat Free Mondays at our school – no mean feat at a full-time boarding school! By creating a clear awareness campaign and working closely with the food group, with the catering and the bursary we proved that vegetarian food can be excellent, varied, filling and sustainable. Next year, we plan to change this to a Meat Free ‘Oneday’ model where we will not just go veggie on one day but spread it out over the week. We feel this will better mirror the majority choice of being ‘flexitarian’, lessen the impact on others who may be reticent to adopt this initiative and actually allow us to save even more meat and all the associated benefits of this.

Despite the impact of Covid on our plans, there were many other successes during the year, such as getting all single use-plastics removed from the main catering system, reducing printing and raising awareness in the curriculum.

Thumbnail image for Cranleigh School

Thumbnail image for Cranleigh School

Thumbnail image for Cranleigh School

Thumbnail image for Cranleigh School

Thumbnail image for Cranleigh School

Thumbnail image for Cranleigh School

Meet the Environmental Committee

Current Initiatives & Projects

Meet eco schools green flag schools criteria

Set up ‘The Pledge’ to increase personal awareness and engagement with Eco ideas

Stop single use plastic bags being brought back from the village

Double recycling facilities and uptake across school

Reduce food waste by 50%

Increase vegetarian / sustainable consumption of food by students by 30%

Reduce Single Use plastics by 80%

Increase student uptake of environmental products & clothing

Production of advertising / posters / media / information

Raise awareness of environmental issues across school community


Advice for staff – lessons and printing etc.


In our first year, we very much wanted to get our own house in order but we did attend the Charterhouse online climate conference. One of our major targets for next year is to establish clear links with the rest of the Cranleigh ‘family’ of schools and also other local schools. Long term we would like to build a consensus of school in the area and ultimately wider that means we can support each other, share resources, make joint commitments etc.

We would like to connect with any and all schools, universities and environmental organisations. One of the cornerstones of our group’s aspirations and attitude is that, whilst we have to look at our own practices, really meaningful change will come as a unified movement, not through individual pockets of good practice.

We are in the early stages of establishing a Surrey-wide eco-schools collaboration, based on the model of the London Schools Eco Network (LSEN). If you are have an environmental group in your school (must have sixth form members) and you would like to be part of this, please contact: pml@cranleigh.org