Students urged to take up the climate change challenge with sustainable solutions

Students across the region are being urged to play their part in helping save the planet by getting involved in a new competition to find sustainable climate change solutions.

Students getting involved in the fight against climate change at the first The Waterline Summit, organised by Marketing Humber.

Children and young people across the Humber aged between 11-18 are invited to help make a difference in the global fight against climate change by planning and delivering their own eco-project for The Waterline Student Challenge 2021, sponsored by SSE Thermal.

Schools, colleges and community groups are all being encouraged to put students forward to take part in the challenge, which is part of Marketing Humber’s The Waterline campaign.

Individuals or teams of between two and 10 can take part and projects could, amongst many ideas, include recycling schemes, minimising food waste, and water or environment management.

Entries will be judged on demonstrating a knowledge of how to protect the environment, creativity and imagination, and delivery, with six finalists going through to take part in The Waterline Summit 2021.

Each of the finalists will receive a behind the scenes VIP experience with a supporting business, providing an invaluable insight into the career opportunities available to them with a sustainable company committed to protecting the environment, along with £500 per team.

The overall winners, to be announced on the launch day of The Waterline Summit, will also receive £2,000 to support its school, college or club on its eco journey.

Diana Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing Humber, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for school and college students to come forward with their own inspiring solutions to the issues that are causing and worsening climate change.

“We know that young people represent the future, and they are the ones who will be most impacted by the devastating consequences of climate change, so we want to tap into their creativity, imagination, innovation and passion.

“The VIP days with our partner companies will introduce our finalists to some of the amazing opportunities for them in this region in green, sustainable careers.

“This is a chance for students to help make a real difference so I would urge anyone aged 11-18 in the region to get involved and play their part.”

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of leading energy company SSE Thermal, said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring The Waterline Student Challenge 2021. We know how passionate young people are about climate action and, as a Principal Partner to this year’s landmark COP26 conference, we want to work with the next generation of leaders to build a cleaner, more sustainable economy for the future.

“As the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, the Humber has to be at the centre of plans to transition to a net zero society. The Waterline Student Challenge is a great chance for bright sparks across the region to come up with innovative ways to tackle the biggest issue facing our planet today and we would encourage as many students as possible to take part.

“It is ultimately young people who will be most affected by the climate emergency and this challenge represents a unique opportunity for students in the Humber to play their part in finding the solutions.”

The Waterline Summit, the flagship event of The Waterline campaign, is returning as an even bigger and more ambitious event this year, linking the region to the globally critical COP26 climate change conference.

Held over five days from October 18-22, the hybrid of in-person panel discussions and events and immersive virtual experiences will position the Humber as central to the worldwide climate emergency.

It will take place just weeks before COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow in November.

Every country in the world will be represented at the conference, with US President Joe Biden expected to attend to mark America’s return to the Paris Agreement committing nations to work together to limit global warming.

Contributors to the Humber event will be taking its key messages to leaders in Glasgow. Marketing Humber will also be hosting an online platform throughout COP26, providing resources, podcasts, interviews and streamed events.

Entries to The Waterline Student Challenge will be judged by representatives from SSE Thermal, KCOM, Associated British Ports (ABP), Yorkshire Water, Ørsted, and Willerby, all of which will be providing a behind the scenes trip for a finalist team, as well as guest judges from the University of Hull and Zero Carbon Humber.

Peter Munk, CEO of holiday homes market leader Willerby, said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting The Waterline Student Challenge 2021.

“This challenge presents a brilliant opportunity for children and young people across the region to play their part in the global fight against climate change with their own eco-projects.

“It is imperative we all work together to preserve the planet for future generations and this is an excellent way to get students involved, with some fantastic prizes for the winners.

“I would urge individuals, groups of friends, schools and colleges to all get involved, play their part and make a real difference.”

  • Initial expressions of interest to The Waterline Student Challenge 2021 must be submitted by July 30. To apply, visit Final project submissions must be made by September 17.
  • The Waterline Summit 2021 is supported by its Event Partners the University of Hull, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Energy Park and Ørsted, as well as its COP26 Partner, Zero Carbon Humber, and will run from October 18-22. To find out more, or register your early interest, visit

The Waterline Student Challenge sponsor – SSE Thermal

SSE Thermal is part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, one of the UK’s leading energy companies and a Principal Partner to the UK Government for COP26. As part of its commitment to a net zero future, SSE Thermal has a core focus on carbon capture and hydrogen solutions to decarbonise essential flexible power generation in the Humber and elsewhere.

In Keadby, North Lincolnshire, SSE Thermal is working with Equinor on plans to deliver one of the UK’s first power stations with carbon capture technology, and the world’s first major 100% hydrogen-fuelled power station.

SSE plcs employs around 12,000 people directly and is proud to be a real Living Wage and Fair Tax Mark accredited company. In November 2020, it became the first company to publish a Just Transition Strategy, a framework of 20 principles to influence greater fairness for those impacted by the decline of high-carbon economic activity and through greater access to the opportunities of climate action.