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<< Back to: ICLEI e-News | issue 9, August - September 2007

ICLEI Members in Australia part of the Planet Savers Program

ICLEI Members Bass Coast, Cardinia Shire, and Frankston City (Australia) are all part of the Planet Savers Program.

The city of Casey, while currently not an ICLEI Member, is also participating in this Program.

The Program consists of Community Abatement Grants provided by the national Australian Greenhouse Office, in the Department of the Environment and Water Resources, assisting 13 schools around the Western Port area to fight global warming.

Working closely with the schools are the Western Port Greenhouse Alliance (WPGA), Western Port Councils, CERES, Sunrise Energy Management and the Energy Doctor.  The participating local governments are also providing some financial resources for the Program, along with other sponsors.

With growing community concern for global warming, these 13 schools have taken the lead in reducing their contribution to the problem. Having been busy undertaking energy audits to identify where they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the school, these schools are now taking action.

Examples of the projects the schools have undertaken to reduce emissions include:
·    completing an energy audit to identify existing infrastructure and energy data and set a path for change, with the assistance of Sunrise Energy Management;
  • creating a sustainability framework from which all staff and students can work, through the CERES Sustainable Schools Professional Development Program;
  • switching off needless lights, computers and other appliances;
  • replacing lights with compact fluorescents;
  • installing timers on computers and appliances to switch off automatically;
  • reducing heating and cooling energy use by more efficient use of fans and windows; and
  • implementing a Schools Environmental Tracking System designed by the Energy Doctor to track the school’s energy consumption and environmental performance.

Each school received $US 1,670 (AUS$ 2,000) to complete many of the energy reducing actions recommended by the Program. It is estimated that each school will reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions by 66.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking approximately 20 cars off the road for one year.

Greg Hunt, Executive Officer for WPGA said, “We’ve been running Planet Savers for a number of years now. This year the response and enthusiasm of the staff and students is incredible.”

“Our future generation is clearly concerned about the world they live in and through Planet Savers they are doing something about it. These are simple actions yet the results are amazing - saving energy and water and cutting waste - and in the process saving their school real dollars,” he said.