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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Story of: St Ignatius College Riverview, a Jesuit community, Sydney, NSW

First winners of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards Basic Certificate in the School/Church Communities category.

The Jesuit Community of St Ignatius College Riverview has as a major part of its preferred futures, the vision to:

1. foster our community to appreciate the gift of creation and their responsibility for its future,

2. develop in our community the knowledge, skills values and commitment to move towards sustaining God’s creation, and inspire leadership within our community to move our society towards sustainability. College leaders have set up an Environment Committee comprising inspired members from across our community including students, staff and parents to guide the vision forward. One of the first steps undertaken was to formulate a Sustainable Environment Management Plan to guide the Committee’s strategies and actions. More recently a dedicated part time Environment Officer has been appointed to drive the plans. Five focus/theme areas have been established for action:

Curriculum - Teaching and Learning

The College is developing inspiring lesson plans into its curriculum across Yrs 5 to 12 to foster and educate our students to be future leaders in the environment and its sustainability. A smart metering program, Eco Driver” is used to provide real live, relevant data to be used in some of these curriculum lessons.

Co-curriculum – Participation and Learning

The College has established co-curriculum groups across our 3 campuses who participate in “Streamwatch” and ‘Murder under the Microscope” programs. A student leadership team comprising Vice-captains from each of our 12 pastoral care houses runs a calendar of events to raise awareness of environment & sustainability. Earth Hour events, mobile muster, national walk to school day and Keep Australia Beautiful are just some of the events in the College Environment Calendar.

Management of Resources – Water, Energy, Waste, Products and Materials

A Water Management Plan was developed to reduce consumption and has resulted in the introduction of water saving devices such as timed showers, waterless urinals, dual flush toilets, water flow restriction devices, efficient watering systems incl. rainwater tanks.

Energy initiatives include the installation of an 11.4kW solar power system generating approx. 16.5MW of electricity per year. Waste initiatives include co-mingle and paper recycling, a “low waste” Wednesday initiative and green waste recycling. The students have produced pod casts around the red bin system.

Management of school environs

New buildings are designed to save energy utilizing sun and shading, insulation, cross ventilation and passive air conditioning. Gardens are moving towards native plants and climate friendly design with water efficient drip fed irrigation. A program of land care removing noxious weeds and renewing local habitat has been followed in recent years. We are currently working on a Riverview (Bush) Walk open to all in the local community.

Community involvement and partnerships

Working closely with Local Council an e-recycling day for local residences was recently hosted at the College. Our annual Earth Hour breakfast held March 16th 2010 in our hall had over 170 participants from twenty two schools across Sydney. While our Old Boys Union donated the smart metering system hardware and software - EcoDriver.

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+