9 November 2023

Carey signs with ResourceSmart Schools

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Carey signs with ResourceSmart Schools
Carey signs with ResourceSmart Schools
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We are extremely proud to announce that Carey has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Eastern Alliance for Sustainable Learning (EASL) to assist us in progressing through the ResourceSmart Schools (RSS) program. ResourceSmart Schools is an award-winning Victorian Government program designed to encourage and support schools in their efforts to minimise waste, save energy and water, promote biodiversity and take positive action to combat climate change as part of our responsibility to our school community and our fragile planet.

EASL is the delivery partner for RSS in the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne. Under the terms of our agreement, EASL commits to providing practical support to us in achieving sustainability targets established by RSS. At the same time, Carey also commits to activities and goals that will allow us to progress to the achievement of these targets. The overall aim of the program is to assist us to embed sustainability in everything we do.

The RSS program also provides formal recognition of the achievements of individual schools through a system of Sustainability Certification. Schools progress through a series of RSS Modules that require them to meet a number of benchmarks in relation to their management and use of resources, community education, curriculum initiatives and community engagement on issues related to sustainability. As schools progress through the five RSS Modules, they are awarded RSS Stars in recognition of their achievements. Schools who successfully complete the series become RSS Leadership Schools. Each RSS Star remains valid for four years, when Schools are required to complete additional actions in the Modules and to meet and maintain resource benchmarks to maintain their status.

Since 2008, when RSS emerged in its current form, more than 1600 schools have participated in the program. Together, they have:

  • saved more than $45 million on bills
  • planted 5.3 million trees
  • saved more than 110,000 tonnes CO2e greenhouse gas emissions
  • diverted 155,000 cubic metres of waste from landfill
  • saved 1.6 million kilolitres of water.

Carey joined the RSS program in May 2023, and has already made significant progress towards achieving its first RSS Star through a number of initiatives across the school. These include work on the establishment of systems for monitoring our use of resources, the installation of solar panels, the development of a new waste management system, curriculum design, community education and garden design. These initiatives reflect both the imperatives outlined in our Sustainable Operations strategic priority, and the priorities identified by staff and students at Carey.

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Our work on waste management received a significant boost this month as a result of the participation of some of our Year 7 and 8 students from the Environment Group and Year 8 Changemakers in an official audit of the contents our Middle School waste bins, and an assessment of the deployment of bins around the Middle School precinct. Students worked with representatives from EASL to sort and classify the contents of waste bins dedicated to waste material destined for landfill, compost and recycling. The audit generated some interesting results that will inform future planning for waste management at the School. They will also contribute significantly towards the future reduction of waste, the achievement of our goals in the RSS Waste Module, and a reduction in the costs associated with responsible waste management at the school.

Julie Wetherbee
Leader – Sustainability Programs and Experiential Learning

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