St Columba’s whole-school approach to sustainability is guided by our vision:
“Our vision at St Columba’s is a school community that respects and cares for the environment. We are responsible for our actions – both at school and in the wider community – and live in a way that has positive impact on the planet. We use our resources wisely, being mindful of the need to have enough for future generations forever.”
Environmental /sustainability education is a key focus of the school, with the delivery of specialist subjects, incursions, excursions, camps and whole school events.
The school supports an active sustainability coordination through the Year 3/4 Eco Warriors and the Green Team – consisting of parents and staff working in partnership with the Port Phillip EcoCentre and CERES.
St Columba’s has made a number of achievements to date in the areas of energy, waste, biodiversity and water. Since 2014, St Columba’s has
- Increased our school’s habitat quality index score by 15 points – from 53 in 2013 to 68 in 2017. This was improved by planting indigenous species of plants and increasing the habitat area for local and indigenous wildlife.
- Cut our electricity usage by 50% since commencing our ResourceSmart Schools program. In June 2012 we were using 663kWh per student per year. By December 2017, we were using 333kWh per student per year.
- Continued to remain under the Victorian Government target for gas usage per student per year.
- Reduced our CO2 emissions for electricity – together with gas, emitting a total of 0.28 tonnes per student in 2017. In line with Victorian targets, St Columba’s will be net zero emissions by 2050.
- Reduced landfill waste from 0.52m3 per student per year in 2013 to just 0.21m3 (2-3 buckets) per year by reducing waste and recycling more.
- Sustained and continued to grow an environmentally conscious culture at St Columba’s and its surrounding community, attracting large monetary grants being awarded a 3 Star Resource Smart School (soon to be a 5 Star school!), and saved over $12,000 in electricity, gas and water bills since 2012.
Additional eco improvements have been delivered across workplace and daily operations, learning and teaching and whole school community engagement.
In recognition of our energy and waste improvements, St Columba’s has been awarded 4 stars to date by the Victorian Government’s ResourceSmart Schools initiative.
In September 2016, St Columba’s also took home the award for ‘Green School of the Year’ – the top prize at the 11th Annual EcoCentre Sustainable Schools Festival. The Award recognises a school for extraordinary, whole-school progress and community leadership for sustainability.
We ask all of our parents to please support the school’s efforts to be environmentally aware by actively working to reducing the rubbish on our playground.
To do this, we request that you:
- practice “nude food” and use reusable (clearly named) containers
- refrain from ordering sauce sachets and juice bottles with lunch orders – sauce bottles are provided in the classroom and children are encouraged to bring a drink bottle filled with water each day
- consider becoming a parent rep on the school’s Green Team.
To read more about our green work, please visit the Green Team News blog.
Here are a few snaps of our wonderful greenies in action…