Our Sustainability Philosophy
The Sustainability Project has been established to manage the phased implementation of initiatives developed by a team of staff and students.
A sustainable school prepares young people for a lifetime of sustainable living, through its teaching, values and its day to day practices. It is guided by a commitment to care for:
- Oneself (our health and wellbeing)
- Each other (across cultures, distances and generations)
- The environment (both locally and globally)
It is easy to imagine a community that shows respect for other people, cultures or the natural world if they possess an underlying sense of care. Care instils responsibility, and as a school we accept the responsibility to develop this within our community.
Sustainable schools are great places to learn, where pupils develop self-esteem and reach high standards of achievement. In operating this way, schools demonstrate responsible practices for their young people and communities, and engage them in learning about the issues and potential responses. For these reasons Rangi Ruru aims to be a sustainable school.
Rangi Ruru defines sustainability according to the NZ Curriculum which groups it into the following categories:
- Environmental sustainability
Environmental sustainability is about maintaining the integrity of life support systems. This aspect incorporates the important notions of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Environmental sustainability is fundamental to a sustainable future.
- Social sustainability
Social sustainability is about equity within and between generations and within and between ethnic and social groups. It is inclusive of people’s mental and physical wellbeing and the cohesion of their communities based on a fair distribution of natural resources.
- Cultural sustainability
Cultural sustainability refers to the nourishment and sharing of attitudes and values that represent diverse ways of viewing the world. Cultural sustainability is inclusive of political sustainability, which is about all citizens having the opportunity to express their views freely and participate in decision making.
- Economic sustainability
Economic sustainability means using resources to provide necessary and desirable products and services for the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.
Under the umbrella of this definition specific action plans could be created around the following areas. Action plans can be promoted within the school community via curriculum, student lead interest groups, management and day to day operations of the school.
- Food and Drink
We would like to supply healthy, local and sustainable food and drink. Showing strong commitments to the environment, social responsibility and animal welfare, as well as maximising our use of local suppliers and onsite production.
- Energy and Water
We endeavor to design for and operate with energy efficiency, using renewable energies and energy conservation strategies. Working to minimize water usage, such as rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling and water conservation techniques. Including sustainable landscape design and planting methods.
- Travel and Traffic
We will promote sustainable travel. Providing exemplary facilities for healthier, less polluting or less dangerous modes of transport. Aim to reduce vehicle use and promote carpooling networks within the school community.
- Purchasing and Waste
We promote sustainable procurement and procedures, using goods and services of high environmental and ethical standards from local sources where practicable. Increasing value for money by reducing, reusing, repairing, recycling and composting as much as possible.
- Buildings and Grounds
We would like the Rangi Ruru grounds to bring students closer to the natural world, capture their imaginations through the outdoors, and help them learn about sustainable living, environmentally friendly practices and biodiversity. Designing our buildings in ways that visibly demonstrate sustainable development to the wider school community.
- Inclusion and Participation
We ensure social inclusion to enable all members of the school community to participate fully in school life while instilling a long lasting respect for human rights, freedoms, cultures and creative expression.
We encourage an interactive process of becoming aware of and practicing healthy choices to create a more successful and sustainable lifestyle. Promoting awareness of multiple aspects of wellness including emotional, physical, social, environmental, occupational, spiritual and intellectual.
- Local Connections
We aim to create sustainable partnerships with the local community. Engaging collaboratively with people and organisations to improve the environment and quality of life in the community.
- Global Dimensions
We endeavor to practice global citizenship, enriching our educational mission with activities and partnerships that improve the lives of people living in other parts of the world.