Industrial gases company BOC and NEPIC (the north east process industry cluster), which represents more than 200 of the region's most influential companies, have joined forces to launch an environment award for northeast schools.

The BOC/NEPIC environmental award invites secondary school pupils from Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Durham and Teesside to submit practical ideas on environmental issues ranging from recycling to preservation of our air and water resources.

The award is open to 11-16 year olds working in groups of four to six. Entries close on 4 November and the winning school will be presented with a cheque for £2000 at the NEPIC annual dinner in January.

The schools award runs in conjunction with a BOC/NEPIC environmental award for northeast businesses which closes on 5 January 2006. The additional £2000 prize will be awarded to a business with a view to it donating the sum to a school of its choice.

BOC Teesside manager, Dr Dave Lockyer, who is co-ordinating the award said: “The purpose of the award is to raise awareness of key environmental issues, helping pupils to understand that whether as individuals, employees or companies, we all share responsibility for the environment in which we live and work.”