Solar Power and UNIS Botanical Garden!

In the second of our reports from the UNIS Impact Fund we update the community on the two Big Idea Goals that we have been working toward – our UNIS Botanical Garden & Solar Power projects.

As we head into the summer we can be very proud of the progress we have made for our UNIS Impact Fund projects, both toward the creation of our Botanical Garden and the start of generating our own clean energy through solar power.

This year we continued fundraising and planning for these two projects chosen by our community in 2019-2020 but interrupted by the onset of the global pandemic.

The Impact Fund Committee is delighted to announce that more than $120,000 USD was raised from donations over the last two years and the funds have been allocated for the projects to start implementation. (Please see the details for each project below.)

The student created projects have captured both the imagination and commitment of our community with the funding generated approximately 50% from Faculty and Staff and 50% from UNIS Hanoi families.

THANK YOU to everyone who has given to the UNIS Impact Fund and helped turn our students’ dreams into reality and ‘Change the World for Good’!

UNIS Solar Power:

The UNIS Impact Fund goal was to pilot renewable energy at the school and set the pathway for the School’s strategic campus plan. And thanks to our community’s support this goal has exceeded all our expectations!

In June, we will be installing the first UNIS Hanoi solar panels on the roof of our school bus shelter in our pilot project, donated by SEV – a local green energy company which has installed rooftop solar projects for both Vietnamese and international clients throughout Vietnam. Not only will we start generating clean energy for our School, we will be able to monitor its highs and lows with a dedicated, real time app available for our community. This project will set the stage for a more significant installation in the first Semester of 21-22.

And as soon as the campus master plan re-alignment is completed by the Board of Directors, we will be identifying which of our campus buildings will be the first to be fully fitted with panels and connected to our energy grid, using the $70,000 USD allocated by the Impact Fund Committee to support solar at UNIS Hanoi.

We are grateful to the inspirational partnership that SEV has offered to UNIS Hanoi as it pursues its own passion not only to install and support a move to more sustainable energy solutions, but also its commitment to education with this pilot project designed as a resource for our teachers to use for student learning.

UNIS Botanical Garden:

The Impact Fund Committee has also approved $50,000 USD to create a green space for education and experimentation – our UNIS Botanical Garden – in the grass area between Buildings 7 and 6.

The School has been through its tender process and the contract has been awarded to Bac Ha, the gardening contractors who also provide our specialist grounds maintenance support.

The plans are now in the final stages with groundbreaking planned for the summer months. When you come back to campus next year we hope to have at least the outdoor classroom section of the garden ready for you!

The Botanical Garden will combine both a formal garden celebrating Vietnamese indigenous plants which will be a place of calm reflection as well as a living resource for our young botanists, with a section for planting and community projects including composting and plastic recycling.

We hope to have a lot more to share as you prepare to come back to School. We will busy during the holidays!

Our Thanks to the Impact Fund Committee 20-21 (IFC):

  • Chair: Emma Silva (Director of Advancement) 
  • SCO Executive members: Poul Lundsby (Treasurer) and Pippa Wood (HS Chair)
  • Parent members: Sandra Le Courtois and Gareth Harrison Poole
  • ES Students: Caleb Nath G3
  • MS Students: Vilma Niklasson G6 and Alan Daltry G6
  • HS Students: Andy Choi G9 and Eddie Lee G11
  • Faculty members: Christy Heitmiller (ES) and Qingli Liu (MSHS)
  • VN Staff: Han Bich Hanh and Quyen Nguyen
  • Admin: Megan Brazil
  • Board: Michelle Dinh Jones
  • Alumni: Emmanuel Selvanayagam (Class 2003) 

And also to the additional members of the community, including those from our Sustainability Taskforce who joined IFC members for our Botanical Garden Taskforce and our Solar Taskforce:

  • Kimberly Yash (Faculty)
  • Arahat Chikkatur (HS Student)
  • Kien Nguyen (Ops)
  • Sunita Dubey (Parent)
  • Linh Quach (Ops)
  • Long Tran (HS Student)
  • Lianne Lapalme (Faculty)
  • Joseph Christie (Faculty)
  • Kate Dore (Faculty)
  • Emily Goodrum (Faculty
  • Uyen Do (Staff)
  • Colin Campbell (Faculty)
  • Thu Tran (Staff)