As a future looking school, we acknowledge the need to embrace changing contexts and lead best educational practice to develop our girls. At Loreto, we have established some clear and ambitious goals towards becoming a pioneering innovator of sustainability in schools. Our overall target is to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The backdrop for our current students as they embark on their careers and future life will include: emerging technologies to facilitate decarbonisation, greener consumer habits, urgent threats to biodiversity, increasing prevalence of zoonotic diseases from urbanisation. Our role at Loreto is to prepare our girls for this future.
As part of the goal of net zero emissions by 2030 we will focus on three key areas, each with a set of measurable targets:
1 Energy Generation and Consumption
- 60% of energy requirement generated on site by 2025
- Full conversion to LED lighting by 2025
- Legacy air conditioning replacement by 2025
2 Waste and Plastics Reduction
- Plastic-free campus by 2023
- 50% reduction in waste to landfill by 2023
- Paperless administrative processes by 2024
3 Local Environment Improvement
- Planting of 200 trees by 2022
- Ongoing restoration to First Creek
- Heritage gardens redevelopment
Since we embarked on our major sustainability initiatives in early 2020, we have already achieved some significant accomplishments:
- Stage 1 of our solar implementation, 182kwp system was commissioned in August 2021, generating up to 30% of the energy requirements of the College. We now have live data from each inverter station in the Senior, Junior and Boarding Schools and will be sharing this with the students to better understand the impact of our energy generation and consumption.
- The initiative to sort and divert waste started with the purchase of 200 new source segregation bins in February 2020. In year one, we successfully increased diversion from landfill by 105%. The education of students in this area is ongoing, with the student Environment Groups in both the Senior and Junior Schools assisting with the messaging to students regarding the correct segregation of rubbish.
- Early in 2020 we completed urgent restoration of the banks along First Creek to prevent further erosion. We are now planning a major tree planting initiative of 200 trees along the banks by 2022, this project will involve students and community. This forms part of a global Loreto wide Ecology Project to mark the IBVM Bicentenary Celebration of Teresa Ball.
As we continue our journey towards environmental sustainability, the girls will play an integral role in the achievement of our objectives. With Environmental Science now introduced as a mandatory subject in Year 10 and new environmental leadership opportunities available in the Junior and Senior Schools, sustainability will become part of the conversation across all aspects of College life. Ultimately, we aim to equip the girls with the tools to take a lead on these issues in the society of the future.