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Prioritising a greener future

St Michael’s is committed to exploring and implementing environmentally sustainable practices across our entire School. As set out in our Strategic Direction: Towards 2030, it is our aim to make the most of our resources and work to minimise our environmental footprint.

The School’s environmental sustainability principles and goals are defined by the Board’s Facilities Infrastructure and Technology Committee (FIAT) and implemented by the School Executive and the Environmental Sustainability Committee, which is made up of students, staff and key suppliers. To date, the School has introduced a range of sustainability initiatives as part of our Facilities Improvement Program.

Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee and Director of Business at St Michael’s, Mr Farai Mufuka is extremely proud of the outcomes achieved so far and is looking forward to introducing other initiatives.

As part of our Strategic Direction we have committed to bold targets around reducing our environmental footprint. It is our responsibility to take actions to sustain our School into the future and contribute to a greener world for generations to come.Mr Farai Mufuka, Director of Business

Committee member and Year 11 student Mairead (11K) sees the importance of continually learning new ways to reduce the School’s waste and carbon footprint and to increase sustainability.

“We have to normalise and integrate sustainable practices into our lives at school because ultimately our School environment is a microcosm for a much larger community. If our School leaders promote it, and our teachers promote it, then we raise a generation of young people who are effortlessly taking steps to reduce negative impacts to our environment,” said Mairead.

 

Introduction to renewable energy

In March 2021 St Michael’s entered into an agreement with Momentum Energy, whereby 100% of the electricity used at the school will be from a renewable source. The School expects to offset 1,100 tonnes of carbon emissions annually (the equivalent of 1,100 cars off the road per year) with this initiative.

The Momentum Energy Managing Director, Ms Amy Childs said the Momentum team is delighted that St Michael’s has chosen them to provide access to GreenPower for their school buildings.

Momentum is owned by Hydro Tasmania, Australia’s largest generator of renewable energy, and we are excited about being part of the transition to a more sustainable future. It’s fantastic to see St Michael’s embracing renewable energy and we are excited about helping other sectors in the community follow suit.Ms Amy Childs, Momentum Energy

Other key outcomes achieved to date include:

  • In early 2019, the School completed the replacement of all inefficient internal lights to energy efficient LED lights in order to reduce our energy load and improve the quality of our lighting in our learning spaces. The 1,494 LED fittings replaced has saved the School approximately 142,496 kilowatt hours per year, which can power an average of approximately 23 households per year.
  • We have undertaken work around the School to conserve water and reduce consumption. This includes investing in an underground rainwater tank and pool covers that reduce water loss by 95%, which collectively conserve approximately 464,000 litres of water per year.
  • Our Parent Community Association also funded the installation of water fountains in key areas around the campus to provide clean, filtered water and reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles. This has prevented over 75,260 plastic water bottles from contributing to landfill to date.
  • Dolly’s Café also aims to reduce the amount of waste by using biodegradable coffee cups, containers, cutlery, garbage bags and eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • The School’s printer fleet through our supplier Ricoh is part of a carbonZero service which offsets all emissions generated from printing through planting trees.

infographics about sustainability

Year 12 student and committee member Tilda (12S) is very pleased with the outcomes achieved so far but also sees more opportunities to make positive changes around the School.

Amongst an ever-growing list of sustainability and environmental achievements, we are already in the process of embarking on new initiatives and exploring opportunities. Some ideas include a compost digester for all the School’s food waste and doors on the fridges inside Dolly's Café, which should significantly reduce energy usage.Tilda, Year 12
Environmental sustainability is such an important cause for so many reasons. Common sense can tell you that making the right choices for the environment can not only positively impact you, but also the people around you. For the sake of environmental quality, preservation and growth, sustainability is crucial for the longevity of our planet. It all starts on a small-scale, where simple gestures can create the best habits and the biggest difference.Tilda, Year 12
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To find out more, explore How to Enrol or contact our Student Enrolments Team on +61 3 8530 3310 or at enrolments@stmichaels.vic.edu.au.