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Project Bright

Project Bright

Designed to harness the insights and great ideas from KPMG people, Project Bright is an internal competition held each year.

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Karina Howley

Head of Corporate Citizenship

KPMG in Ireland

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Project Bright

A recent winning project, Project EmPower, challenged Transition Year (TY) students to create a project that was environmentally conscious and present it in front of a panel of judges. 

Students were asked to create a project that directly affected their school or community. The Project EmPower team worked alongside two inner-city Dublin schools, CBS Westland Row and Larkin Community College to help them develop ideas over an eight-week period, with each school presenting two teams and ideas, the final challenge that each team had to face was to present their results to the panel of judges. 

The aim of the project was to educate, explain and challenge these students on the importance of migrating towards and helping create an energy system based mainly on renewable sources by: 

  • Promoting a greener lifestyle to the students 
  • Encouraging students to think about the impact they are having on the environment 
  • Creating an opportunity for the students to explore green issues in their community 
  • Increasing awareness and appreciation in the younger generation of environmental issues 

The Project EmPower team were involved in organising a number of school visits and activities for the TY students along the course of the programme. They provided mentorship and advice to the teams, with two members from the team working with each school. Both schools presented two teams, each with their own environmentally focused project. 

Activities week-by-week

Over an eight-week period, KPMG volunteers worked with the students in both schools to outline the project criteria and pitted the two schools against each other in what turned out to be a competitive race. KPMG volunteers posed the question ‘how green is your school?’ to each of the teams and challenged them to think of what could be done to fix this problem.

Team Foirne Fuinneamh from CBS Westland Row looked into the prospect of green roofs around Dublin’s city centre and Empower VIII, the second team from CBS, looked into setting up an organic garden. Team Actimel from Larkin College created a recycling campaign that used bookmarks as a source of recycling tips and Team Energetic, also from Larkin College, focused on running a green week in their school. 

Both groups were also brought to Cool Planet in Powerscourt, Co. Wickow. The Cool Planet Experience is on a mission to motivate the people of Ireland to take climate action, the first climate change experience of its kind. Through their interactive exhibition, which featured a short film on climate change and some environmentally conscious games, students were given a fresh view on how to tackle climate change. 

In the afternoon, students heard from Mike Hayes, Global Head of Renewables at KPMG about how organisations are working towards achieving their environmental goals, and the work KPMG is doing nationally and globally on renewable energy sources. Darragh Doyle from FoodCloud also gave a presentation on how to change the way we think and deal with our food waste. 

Each team also presented to the KPMG judging panel. The winning teams, Foirne Fuinneamh and Team Energetic, both received One-4-All vouchers and €500 to implement their ideas. Students also completed a survey to detail their overall experience. Speaking on the most impactful things they learned from Project Empower, Niamh from Larkin College said that the Cool Planet experience had shown her she could reduce her carbon footprint by 45% by eating vegetarian twice a week. Zara from CBS found the research into green roofs taught her how easily a small change could impact large cities that suffer from air pollution. Finally, Brandon from Larkin College said that working alongside the KPMG volunteers was the most enjoyable experience for him.

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