ResourceSmart Schools Resources

Use the following key documents and tools to assist your school or centre through the ResourceSmart Schools program and in embedding sustainability into everything you do.

ResourceSmart Schools program resources

Additional resources

Also check out these helpful CERES School of Nature and Climate resources.

Regional activities

Discover what’s happening in your region.

Use this document as a guide for completing your next resource module after certification of the Core module. Helpful tips on tasks to complete on an annual basis, and which actions to attach a copy of your SEMP to on RSS Online when working through your module checklists.


RSS Annual Tasks (pdf | 80kB)

Use this handy document listing all CERES School of Nature and Climate curriculum activities, each specifying the RSS module actions and Victorian Curriculum they link to.


CERES Education Curriculum Activities Overview (pdf | 364kB)

A School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) is based on the process of an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) that is used by both government and businesses. A SEMP is a set of documents that help identify your achievements to date and provides a road-map for the future of your school’s sustainability programs. CERES facilitators help schools create a SEMP by collating the following documents:

  • Education for Sustainability Vision (often placed at the start of a Sustainability Policy)
  • Sustainability Policy
  • Curriculum Review
  • Green Purchasing Policy
  • School Sustainability Snapshot


Your school’s Education for Sustainability vision is the overarching ‘big picture’ of why your school has a sustainability program. It can be based on your school’s motto or values, or can be a collaboration of different ideas about sustainability. We recommend you use strong language that inspires others eg. “we will” and “we are” rather than “we will try” or “we aim to”.

This vision statement is often placed at the top of a sustainability policy and on a school’s website as a reminder to the community of why your school is undertaking sustainability projects.


Education for Sustainability Vision examples from other schools

Each sustainability policy looks slightly different as it is based on the format of a school’s other policies. A sustainability policy is a great way to outline goals and give guidelines for implementation. It can also protect sustainability programs. It is also a fantastic opportunity to provide formal feedback to a school council or board.

We also recommend you include some ‘green purchasing’ items in your policy or a separate green purchasing policy. “Green purchasing” or “green procurement” is when people or organisations buy products and services that minimise negative environmental impacts over their life-cycle of manufacturing, transportation, use and recycling or disposal.

Presenting Your Policy
Your sustainability policy needs to be passed by your School Council / Board. When it is presented, take the opportunity to lift the profile of what you do a start a formal conversation about sustainability at your school. If you want to speak to different people’s interests, try presenting your policy alongside any billing data you’ve entered so far in ResourceSmart Online. (see the Annual Report below)


Sustainability policy examples

Reviewing where sustainability is incorporated in your school helps celebrate achievements and track a student’s learning journey. You might even identify opportunities for future improvement. There are lots of ways to undertake a curriculum review – here are a few examples, including blank templates for your use.


Curriculum Review templates and examples

Your green purchasing policy will help your school buy products and services that minimise negative environmental impacts over their life cycle of manufacturing, transportation, use and recycling or disposal.


Green purchasing policy template

Is your school powered by GreenPower? If not, download our flyer to learn more about this government-managed program.

A School Snapshot can be used as a way to capture current achievements and ideas for the future. Information contained in a School Snapshot can help decide what your school might do during different ResourceSmart Schools modules.


Use these audit tools created by Sustainability Victoria to assist your school in undertaking your annual resource audits.


ResourceSmart Schools Waste Audit Tool (doc | 83.6kB)
ResourceSmart Schools Waste Audit Tool (pdf | 4.4MB)

ResourceSmart Schools Litter Audit Tool (doc | 145.5kB)
ResourceSmart Schools Litter Audit Tool (pdf | 4.1MB)

ResourceSmart Schools Water module Audit Tool (doc | 535.3kB)
ResourceSmart Schools Water module Audit Tool (pdf | 2.8MB)

ResourceSmart Schools Biodiversity module Audit Tool (doc | 750.4kB)
ResourceSmart Schools Biodiversity module Audit Tool (pdf | 5.1MB)

ResourceSmart Schools Energy Audit Tool (doc | 1.0MB)
ResourceSmart Schools Energy Audit Tool (pdf | 7.3MB)

These help sheets have been created to support the biodiversity audit.


Birds Help Sheet (pdf | 5.0MB)
Insects Help Sheet (pdf | 1.5MB)

Native and Exotic Trees Help Sheet (pdf | 4.7MB)
Native Ground Cover Help Sheet (pdf | 1.4MB)

ResourceSmart Schools Curriculum Links has been developed as a tool that will assist teachers to build sustainability into their teaching. It provides suggested learning activities that link sustainability into all areas of the Victorian Curriculum from Foundation through to Year 8.

Creating action plans for each module or star gives you a map for your ResourceSmart Schools journey (and helps to avoid headaches). CERES recommends you use ResourceSmart Online to create your action plan using the online checklists. This avoids doubling-up on administration and utilises an interactive working document that can be viewed and commented on by everyone accessing your ResourceSmart Online account (including your facilitator).

Reporting to your sustainability outcomes/achievements to your school Council/Board on an annual basis is a great way to keep sustainability on their agenda and to make sure other people at the school are aware of what is happening. Providing data from the bills you have entered on ResourceSmart Online can show the actual impacts of your programs in terms of savings made.


Energy consumption is Victorian schools’ greatest impact on the environment and a significant contributor to climate change. A really important aspect of addressing climate change is sourcing our power from renewable sources. If installing renewable energy at your school, it is important to monitor your power usage, address energy efficiency, reduce energy demand and focus on behaviour change.
Participating in ResourceSmart Schools is a great first step! CERES, along with the support from Planet Savers have created this tips and tricks guide to understanding renewable energy – solar and wind – at your school.


Guide to Renewable Energy at your School (pdf | 622kB)
Also read our post ‘Energising schools to combat climate change’

Is your school powered by GreenPower? If not, download our flyer to learn more about this government-managed program.

As you complete a ResourceSmart Schools module, you are asked to write a school story about what you did, what you learnt, what you achieved etc. It’s a great way to celebrate and you can share this document with your community.
You will be asked to upload your case study to your school’s Sustainability Hub blog so it can be shared with other schools, organisations and educator groups. Your blog can also be used to share your school’s achievements, challenges, solutions, celebrations, curriculum and fantastic actions. The CERES Sustainability Hub has hundreds of visitors each day from all over the world!


Sharing Your Learning Story or Project – tips and guides, template, and examples to help you share and celebrate