DS Smith supports ecological classroom in Hungary

As part of the ’Now and Next’ Sustainability Strategy, DS Smith engages with a community project on the construction of eco-classroom in Hungary. The initiative has been supported in partnership with Ellen MacArthur Foundation and creates a space for inspiring education and to stimulate eco-consciousness.

DS Smith ’Now and Next’ Sustainability Strategy' sets out five goals and one them is to engage with 5 million young people on the circular economy and circular lifestyles. As part of this commitment, the eco-classroom initiative was selected as one of the company’s community projects. DS Smith and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation donated 20.000£ to create a motivating environment for young students.

We believe that it is very important to strengthen the sustainability approach within education and to encourage a sustainability mindset among young people.’ – commented Zsolt Fekete, Managing Director at DS Smith Packaging Hungary.

DS Smith organized a design competition with the collaboration of the Faculty of Architects at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The competition called for architecture students in Hungary to design a classroom that motivates students and raises awareness about sustainability. The applications were judged by a professional jury and two projects from the students Krisztina Józsa and Szabolcs Szilágyi’s won the competition. ’We strongly encourage our students to go beyond professional challenges that demand social consciousness.’ - commented Zsófia Dankó, adjunct of BME, who mentored the project with well recognized architect, Péter Sugár. After announcing the winners, the construction was developed in several stages with the work of more than 100 volunteers including university and high school students, educators, parents and DS Smith employees.

‘This was a very old dream among the teachers community and for the school. We are used to provide our courses in a dull concrete housing environment. Today we feel the necessity for the children to be in nature as much as possible’ commented Erzsébet Kisbalázs, teacher at chosen school, Pais Dezső Elementary School.

The classroom will be easy to maintain and will allow to support further generations of school children to get closer to nature, and provide a space that inspires them to understand their environment, their connection with it, and how important it is to protect it.