About ResourceSmart Schools

Last updated: 28 April 2023

ResourceSmart Schools is an award-winning Victorian Government program that assists schools to embed sustainability in everything they do.

The ResourceSmart Schools program provides practical support to schools to reduce resource use, make cost savings, integrate sustainability into the curriculum and share learnings beyond the school gate.

Since 2008, more than 1,400 schools have participated in the program. Together, they have:

  • saved more than $41 million on bills
  • planted 5,271,038 trees
  • saved more than 118,000 tonnes CO2e greenhouse gas emissions
  • diverted 194,000 cubic metres of waste from landfill
  • saved 1,884,783 kilolitres of water.

Program features

  • Facilitation and support
    Sustainability experts support schools on their journey to embed sustainability into operations and provide support on how to measure and track their school’s progress. The service is free and open to every Victorian school.
  • Recognition
    Schools can receive Sustainability Certification and can enter the ResourceSmart Schools Awards to be recognised and rewarded for school activities and achievements.
  • Savings
    Schools learn to operate more sustainably; reducing costs to save on electricity, water and waste bills – and greenhouse gas emissions to minimise their impact on the environment.
  • Flexibility
    Schools work through the ResourceSmart Schools program and create a unique environmental management system tailored to their needs.
  • Curriculum
    Schools are assisted to embed sustainability into all learning areas and levels of the Victorian curriculum.

Get started

Getting started in the ResourceSmart Schools program is easy. Schools have access to a community of sustainability experts located throughout Victoria equipped with the knowledge, skills and resources to help each school get started.

Schools are connected to sustainability networks and programs to become a more sustainable school. Any Victorian school can become a ResourceSmart School.

The first step is to register your interest. Once a school registers interest, a Regional Coordinator will make contact to provide more information on the ResourceSmart Schools program.

Star progression

The ResourceSmart Schools program recognises and rewards schools through Sustainability Certification.

Stars are obtained through completion of Modules and meeting benchmarks for resource use and are valid for four years.

Schools can progress from one Star up to 5 Stars and move towards becoming a Leadership School. Each of the 5 Stars has specific requirements for completion. Schools are required to complete additional actions in the Modules and to meet and maintain resource benchmarks.

Find out more about star progression

Find out more about ResourceSmart School modules


In 2003 Victoria and New South Wales concluded pilots that resulted in the start of the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI). These pilots were co-funded by the federal and state governments. The Victorian pilot was managed by two service providers: the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) and the Gould League.

The success of the pilot led to the launch of AuSSI across Australia in 2005. Under AuSSI, the federal government and state and territory jurisdictions offered practical support to schools and their communities to live and work more sustainably. Initially, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) was responsible for rolling out AuSSI in Victoria.

Following the establishment of Sustainability Victoria in 2006, DEECD formed a partnership with Sustainability Victoria to deliver AuSSI under the name of ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic in 2008.

In keeping with its responsibility to develop community education on sustainability, Sustainability Victoria was keen to set up ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic as an ‘umbrella framework’ capable of encompassing the many existing environmental educational programs. In other words, schools could participate in any environmental program or initiative and receive recognition through ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic.

In 2012 DEECD and Sustainability Victoria set up local service providers and coordinators across Victoria to help schools deliver ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic .

ResourceSmart Schools was awarded the 2015 Banksia Education for Sustainability Award which recognises leadership and achievement in raising awareness of sustainability issues, and promoting change in values and behaviour in sustainability. The program was described by Banksia judges as displaying a ‘best-practice’ and ‘world-leading’ approach to sustainability education with strong evidence of its impact.

ResourceSmart Schools program has also been internationally recognised. The program received the gold award at the 2019 Energy Smart Community Initiative Best Practices Awards, announced at APEC Chile 2019.

ResourceSmart Schools and Wellbeing main study report

The findings of a study into the wellbeing impacts of the ResourceSmart Schools program in Victoria.

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

ResourceSmart Schools Education Team
Sustainability Victoria
1300 363 744