In the School

Environment Friendly Living

Business case for sustainability

Gaining approval for an EfS project in your school might involve putting a business case to the Principal and seeking support from a range of stakeholders within your school community. Administrative and maintenance staff members are often very important to have on board if your project is an event, or requires support for new systems such as setting up recycling bins. See

Glen Huntly Primary School’s Green Evening.

“How many Principals are interested in making substantial savings in their budgets? Students at my school reduced our utilities bill by $10,000 in one year through student-led initiatives, and our paper bill was between $7,000 and $12,000 per year cheaper than my colleagues at a similar-sized school because of our recycling initiatives.

At one school we had growth rates in NAPLAN that were below state average. By introducing authentic learning experiences using Environmental Education in conjunction with the NSW Quality Teaching Framework I saw growth rates in literacy and numeracy one and a half times the state average and we increased student engagement across all key learning areas.”

Andrew Best, Principal in NSW schools 1991–2015

What a sustainable school looks like

Schools can be a powerful force in driving change towards sustainability within our communities. EfS is most effective when implemented through a whole-school approach.

St Louis de Monfort’s Primary School

in Victoria demonstrated how a whole school can integrate sustainability into its strategic plan, operations, management of infrastructure and curriculum – to the point where sustainability has become a visible part of the St Louis brand.

A whole-school approach reinforces what has been learnt in classrooms and moves students and the school community beyond just developing knowledge and skills about sustainability towards providing the motivation and opportunities to take action for sustainability around the school, in and with their community, to create sustainable patterns of living.

When a school adopts a whole-school approach to EfS, it delivers a clear message that sustainability is at the heart of the school culture, in the curriculum, across all operations and management of the school, and throughout connections and partnerships in the community.

There are a number of models or frameworks available for schools to use to include EfS as a whole-school approach.

The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative or


is at the centre of many of the models and frameworks. Participating in these programs provides structured support for the process of reducing water and energy consumption and waste production.

Case Studies

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