Earlier this year, Fintona commissioned Mamachi Pty Ltd to audit the school’s energy usage and sustainability practices. The final report commended Fintona for being well along the pathway towards 100% renewable energy, and for developing a strong foundation for future sustainability.
The positive outcome of the energy audit is evidence of the culture of sustainability that, through the passion and dedication of students and staff, has flourished in recent years. This culture begins in the classroom and is enhanced through initiatives such as the Gardening Club, led by Fintona’s Gardener, Helen Kinross, the student-led Green Team, and the Sustainability Committee established in 2022.
About her work with students in the Gardening Club, Helen says, ‘I want to introduce more aspects of nature and the environment to students. Research has shown that access to nature increases health and wellbeing. And they love it.’
A farm-to-table approach to growing food has resulted in Middle School gardening students supplying the Cooking Club with vegetables, and staff gratefully receiving a salad freshly harvested and made by Junior School students. Profits from the sale of Fintona’s vegetables by students also funded a new greenhouse on the Senior Campus.
‘I love seeing the enjoyment the girls get from the Gardening Club and how much they learn from it. Their excitement makes the work worthwhile,’ said Helen.
This enjoyment and passion developed in younger year levels continues into the Senior School as students lead school-wide sustainability initiatives. This year, Fintona’s Green Team proposed and supported the implementation of a new waste management system to separate food waste, recycling and landfill; led the creation of a collaborative mural made from plastic waste; and created the proposal for the Boroondara Schools Climate Summit, currently in its planning stage.
‘I hope this inspires future leaders to take an active approach, and raise awareness about the current climate crisis. This year has shown how teamwork can lead to achieving some great sustainability goals,’ said Shivangi, 2022 Environment Captain.
The passion of students is resoundingly supported by staff, and the newly established Sustainability Committee has strengthened the ability for students, teachers and General Staff to work collaboratively on sustainability outcomes. Anastasia Klingberg, Business Manager and Chair of the Sustainability Committee, is proud of the many practical steps taken to reduce Fintona’s carbon footprint. And while many of the steps, such as measures to reduce paper and printing, and improving efficiency in water and energy usage, may go unnoticed, their impact will be significant for current and future Fintonians.
‘Fintona is a leading school. We also need to be leading in our sustainability efforts to look after the future of our students and our school.’ Anastasia Klingberg, Business Manager and Chair of Fintona’s Sustainability Committee.
Addressing the next generation of students who will continue to build Fintona’s culture of sustainability, outgoing School Consul, Genevieve says, ‘To those in the future who will continue to improve and increase awareness for the environment, we are so grateful. Sustainability is vital for providing for the next generation and essential for ensuring we leave the planet in better shape than we found it.’