Sustainability in the spotlight

The IGS Sustainability Framework continues to strengthen, with valued input from student leader Jake Mahemoff.

Jake, the 2022 STEM Leader and Resources Leader of IGS Sustainable Futures, recently met with Deputy Principal Wellbeing Mary Duma, Head of Finance Hannes Roos and Head of Sustainability Carmelo Fedele to discuss sustainable procurement.

Jake helped draft a revised purchasing policy that incorporated sustainability principles to encourage IGS to reduce our ecological footprint and consider our impact whenever we purchase products.

The draft policy will be presented to the leadership team for final approval before being formally adopted.

We thank Jake and Mr Fedele for sharing this information and for their active quest to improve sustainable practices.

Why try to change the School’s purchasing policy?

We decided to change the purchasing policy because it didn’t encompass any criteria regarding “sustainability”. This meant that sustainability was not always a key consideration when purchases were made at IGS. The aim of the newly designed purchasing policy was to provide further clarification on the requirements that should be considered when purchasing goods and services, particularly in relation to sustainability.

How did you go about it?

The initial process of writing the purchasing policy was started by using the existing legislation and school policy; the Education act, NFP guidelines and sample policies that exemplify good practice. Through this process, we were able to ascertain the areas within the legislation that needed improvement and clarity.

The primary focus was integrating the principle of the “triple bottom line” into the policy; considering the intersection between people, environment and finances in all purchasing. By doing this, we were able to introduce new clauses into the policy, which covered wide-ranging processes that occur at IGS and create fundamental changes to the purchasing process. This includes engaging with suppliers to fulfil certain criteria from a sustainability perspective, the way we dispose of waste at IGS and the integration of technology to make IGS more sustainable.

What can other students learn from your experience?

What students can learn from our experience is that persistence will pay off, and despite many setbacks, we were able to enact long-lasting change that will improve our environment.