The Sustainability journey of Caroline Chisholm College, Melbourne
So far ........
Our Eco-Committee has been in existence since 2015. We meet weekly to plan and discuss sustainability actions in the areas of Waste, Water, Energy and Biodiversity. Meeting minutes are recorded in the form of our One-Page-Action-Plan which is updated at the conclusion of each meeting. Our Sustainability Action Group consists of 38 students and 12 staff. Students range from year 8 to year 11 and staff include 3 leadership members, 6 subject teachers, 1 support staff member, 1 facility/maintenance representative and an environmental consultant from So-Eco consultancy. This group meet weekly and keep minutes of each meeting via our One Page Action Plan (OPAP). The SAG keeps the rest of the College community updated on our actions via our sustainability webpage, online newsletters, whole school presentations and in house TV monitors.
Our vision for sustainability at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College: To be recognised as a role model in environmental stewardship and sustainable resource use.
Our purpose: To empower students to take action in protecting and caring for our environment and natural resources.
Eco-committee and Sustainability Action Group Mission statement: To incorporate and promote sustainability into daily life at Caroline Chisholm College and furthering knowledge about our earth.
In addition to the annual Catholic Earthcare Environmental review, we also undertake the Eco Schools Environmental Review including a Baseline Survey and audits based on the Resource Smart Schools Victoria framework in the areas of Waste, Water, Energy and Biodiversity. Curriculum audits as attached below. Sustainability in curriculum audits are undertaken in the context of RSS, Eco-Schools and Catholic Earthcare annually.
Working with all three organisations annually has resulted in the recognition of the following achievements:
Catholic Earthcare – Level 2
Eco-Schools international – Bronze award achieved, Silver award pending
Resource Smart Schools Victoria – All modules completed, 3 Stars achieved, 4&5 stars pending
ECO COMMITTEE ACHIEVEMENTS IN SCHOOL
- Implementation of the 4 stream waste bins 2018
- Introducing annual Sustainability Weeks at 4C: 2020
- Incorporating insect hotels around our campuses: Sustainability Week 2020
- Making nest boxes: to mimic hollows at our Garema campsite
- Worm Farm at CTK: Sustainability Week 2020
- Insect Hotels: Sustainability Week 2020
- Lizard Lounge at CTK: Sustainability week 2020
- Involvement in plastic lid recycling project (replastic program) with Ms Dalli: 2020
- Climate Awareness: giving out free fruit in front of the canteen if people signed a pledge (2019)
ECO COMMITTEE ACHIEVEMENTS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL
- Involvement in Kids Teaching Kids National and Regional Conferences in past 3 (2019-2021 years.
- Kids Teaching Kids is an organization supporting kids aged primary and secondary, in improving sustainability at their school
- Host annual conferences where kids can present to other kids about what they’ve done
- Mainstage presenters at Kids Teaching Kids 2020: virtual conference
- Special presenters at Kids Teaching Kids Ambassador Evening (Gala dinner) 2021
- where we presented to 100 VIP guests and adults
- talked about our plastics project.
- Hosted by KTK, Earthwatch and Melbourne Water
- Involvement in the International Best Practices Sharing Session – Eco Schools Program 2020
- Established a sister school in Malaysia 2020
- We did this in COVID lockdown last year
- We have met up twice (online) to exchange sustainable practices to learn from each other
- We have also formed very valuable relationships
- Established a relationship with a student led sustainability organization at Monash University, named Precious Plastics Monash 2020
- We have attended 2 of their plastic workshops (2020 and 2021)
Incorporating sustainability awareness in curriculum: of junior year levels
- Incorporating an Environmental Action Project in Year 9 camp at Garema.
- Solar panels on the roofs of St. Johns and CTK campus: more solar panels are being added to the roof of the gymnasium that is currently under construction.
- Completing the LED lighting project leading to significant energy savings
- Replaced all lights to LED lights at both our campuses.
- Incorporating native plants in our landscape: we are working on making plaques labelling the various native plants we have around the school.
- Attaining 3 stars from Sustainability Victoria: we are working on our 4th and 5th
Our school follows the Resource Smart schools 5 modules of core, biodiversity, energy, waste and water. The Core module sets the groundwork for each school’s sustainability journey. The Biodiversity helps schools to protect and improve the land (school grounds and surrounds), the local ecosystem, and plant and animal habitats. The Energy module helps school reduce energy use and save on bills. The Waste Module helps schools minimise waste sent to landfill through the operational practices of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, and save on bills. The waste module allows for students understand where water comes from and the processes involved in getting water to the school, they will better understand how precious it is and how best to use it.
- Waste Management Project: four waste stream bin
- Policy on purchases: staff are no longer permitted to purchase anything if not proven and justified to be sustainable
- Student initiatives in reducing plastics and waste in College Cafeteria with the removal of plastic plates and cutlery
- Greening the classroom project with donated plants introduced to selected classrooms
- Improved outcomes for waste contracts leading to significant savings
- Drawing up an Energy Masterplan and renewal of energy assets
- Heating/Cooling Central Control Unit at 204 Churchill Ave site
- Introduction of Green Procurement Policy
- Introduction of Single Use Plastics Policy
- Maintenance and improved efficiencies of 100-watt solar panel array installed in 2014/5
- Curriculum mapping and sustainability themes in R E, Aspire, Junior Camp Program and Technology curriculum
- Technology Faculty has introduced a suite of plastic repurposing machines that will provide materials for student projects.
- Melbourne Water Community River Life Grants since 2017
- Building nesting boxes for birds and mammals.
Energy saving solar panel installation