Baselines and benchmarks

Last updated: 6 September 2022

An important step in the ResourceSmart Schools program is to establish a Baseline and understand the Benchmarks.

What is baseline data?

The Baseline is a record of each school's resource use when they commence the program. The Baseline provides a starting point to measure each school’s resource usage and shows progress in reducing resource use over time. This is set by collecting 12 months of billing data for electricity, natural gas and/or LPG, water, waste to landfill and reams of A4 paper purchased, and the completion of the annual biodiversity audit.

By comparing resource use with baseline for each year, the online system automatically calculates:

  • annual resource costs
  • resource consumption per student
  • progress in reducing resource use compared to baseline data.

What are benchmarks?

Benchmarks for waste, water and electricity are set as targets for schools to achieve.

For the ResourceSmart Schools program the benchmarks for waste, water and electricity are set as a target for schools to achieve, and are calculated as a per student target. Schools do not need to meet benchmarks to complete a module, but they do need to meet and maintain benchmarks to be recognised as a 3 Star to 5 Star School.

No benchmark is set for biodiversity, however an aspirational target exists. Schools are encouraged to achieve a habitat quality assessment score of 75 through their Biodiversity audit.

Maximum amount of waste to landfill per student per year: Primary or secondary school: 0.3 m³.

Maximum mains water usage per student per year:
Primary or secondary school: 4 kilolitres

Maximum electricity usage per student per year:

  • Primary school: 250 kilowatt-hours, 0.4 tonnes CO₂
  • Secondary school: 400 kilowatt-hours, 0.6 tonnes CO₂

Getting 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.


Want to know more? Get in touch with:

ResourceSmart Schools Education Team
Sustainability Victoria
1300 363 744