JEM - Sustainability and the Environment



JEM (Joint Environmental Program)

Our JEM (Joint Environmental Mission) program aims to educate our students and community to better understand environmental issues and to implement environmentally sustainable practices. We partner globally with other schools to share our cultural experiences and learn about environments that are very different from our own. Through our JEM program students have the opportunity to participate in exchanges with our sister schools in the USA (Pennsylvania and Hawaii), and St Petersburg (Russia). We also work with other students and teachers from our sister schools every four years at the Earth Summit in Pennsylvania. In recent years, a small group of students visited our fellow JEM school, Kamehameha in Hawaii. Here, students were fortunate enough to participate in a range of learning experiences, such as taro farming, attending school lessons and visiting Lolani Palace to experience the culture of Hawaii and contemporary Honolulu.

Our main objective within the JEM program is work through the ResourceSmart Schools Program which is an initiative from the Victorian Government to help schools to implement more sustainable practices. The ResourceSmart program is made up of 5 modules which each have a number of tasks that must be completed to achieve the star in that module. The 5 modules are:

  • Waste module
    • Completed waste audits to analyse the school’s waste levels and composition of waste. From this analysis we determined that much of the school’s waste going to landfill was actually compostable material, and from this we introduced the composting program in all classrooms.

    • Completed school litter audit to analyse which areas of the school collected the most litter. From this we have introduced a class clean up scheme where each class is responsible for a zone of the school that they are required to keep clean and tidy.

    • Introduced commingled recycling bins in addition to our paper recycling bins to ensure that as much waste as possible is being recycled.

    • Introduced ‘Mondo Recycling’ as well as an ‘eWaste bin’ from Southern Cross Resource Recovery Group which are available for public use. Goods placed in these bins are recycled appropriately and the school even receives some money from the goods collected.

    • Introduced ‘Special item bins’ which are located in the hall, so we can collect and recycle common items such as plastic bags. These are also for public use.

  • Biodiversity module

    • Completed a biodiversity audit to assess the biodiversity of our school from which we can make plans moving forward.

    • Started a gardening program with vertical gardens in which we are growing fresh herbs and vegetables.

  • Water module

    • Looking at ways to collect and reuse water waste from the taps.

    • Installed rain and grey water tanks to reduce water use.

    • Investigating ways to reduce water wastage.

The JEM team are constantly looking for ways to improve and are open to community feedback and suggestions. If you have any ideas about how we could improve our sustainability practices please contact the school.







Glendal Primary School