Heroes Schools Initiative


Achieving a long term reduction in the UAE’s carbon footprint can only be achieved by encouraging behavioural change at grass roots level.  We therefore developed a schools programme to achieve that among the children of the UAE.

We wanted them to know, first and foremost, that a sustainable UAE is every child’s right. We wanted to take that message into every single school, to educate children on the effects of climate change and to offer them simple tips for reducing energy and water consumption. But we also sought to take it out of the theoretical and put it into practice, by encouraging the schools themselves to change their habits and cut their energy and water consumption.

And while stimulating children’s “pester power “ can sometimes be seen as unethical, we fully intended to send the message home with the children, to their families, friends and domestic helpers.


  • Increase awareness of the problem of energy and water consumption among the younger generation
  • Encourage long term change in consumption within schools
  • Cross-fertilise with the consumer campaign and encourage young people to curb consumption within their own homes
  • Literally change the behaviour of a nation by positively influencing the attitudes and habits of its children.

Our role:

  • Development of the strategy to engage schools
  • Development of events and programmes to engage school principals, teachers and pupils
  • Development of all communications material

The campaign:

  • Key programme ambassadors were identified in schools.  The Heroes initiative was shared with them at a number of workshops.
  • Awareness among pupils was created through the distribution of posters and “Turn it off” stickers.
  • Teachers’ educational aids were distributed, including course material and animations to explain the problem of climate change and measures to alleviate mankind’s contribution.
  • A website was developed specifically for schools www.schools.heroesoftheuae.ae It featured simple educational aids for teachers and tips for pupils.
  • Teachers were asked to encourage pupils to pledge to reduce their own energy and water consumption at home.
  • Green “Hero” wristbands incentivized children to undertake these pledges and spread the word.
  • To further engage schools, we developed and organised two competitions:       

Inter-school climate change quiz:
This was a national competition, where schools took part in a knockout competition which tested their knowledge on climate change and related topics. After two knockout rounds, finalists from each emirate were represented in the grand final day, with a series of final bouts. The event was attended by around 4,500 pupils   and conducted by international celebrity quizmasters.

Energy and water reduction competition:

Schools were invited to demonstrate their achievements in reducing their energy and water use over a one year period.  The top three schools received free     consultancy services and a grant for Dhs.100,000 to implement further initiatives.  Results were verified by Electricity and Water authorities and a panel of experts judged the entries.  Their stories were showcased on the Schools Heroes website so that others could emulate their efforts.


  • Over 200 schools have been engaged in the “Heroes” initiative
  • Children from every Emirate participated in the national quiz competition.
  • Approximately 4,500 pupils along with teachers, parents and media attended the finals of the national quiz competition.
  • The success of our first years activity will be built upon to further increase the involvement of schools and children in changing the behavior of the UAE society.