The following report presents the results of research conducted on how to best deliver low carbon, high performance schools in the Australian context.
The term ‘high performance’ was used to reflect the increased performance in both the buildings and physical infrastructure of schools that pursue sustainability, as well as improved academic performance due to the increased health and productivity benefits associated with better buildings and facilities.
The research included a literature review, two workshops and a survey with teachers and other stakeholders affiliated with schools. The report addresses the following areas:
- Key benefits and opportunities for schools to improve their overall performance by pursuing carbon reduction;
- Key issues, challenges and problems facing schools attempting to reduce their emissions, and what additional processes, resources and assistance schools need to help them actively measure, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint;
- Opportunities to develop carbon performance benchmarks and targets for schools;
- Identification and categorisation of the existing school sustainability programs in Australia, with a primary focus on carbon;
- Evaluation of the tools in terms of their ability to quantitatively assess and reduce emissions at the school level;
- Identification of pathways to create a standardised framework and system for schools seeking carbon neutrality.
The report is written for anybody working with schools, including teachers, admin and school support staff, Education Departments, academics, professionals, parents and the general public. The report aims to highlight the multiple reasons for pursuing carbon reduction, and provide some ideas and incentives to encourage greater uptake.