Brentwood Secondary College top of the class on collective action

Published: 22 February 2023

The next generation of sustainability warriors has arrived, and Brentwood Secondary College is leading the way. Last year, the school was recognised for its impressive efforts in taking real action against climate change, winning not one, but 3 prizes at the 2022 ResourceSmart School Awards, including School of the Year. The Glen Waverley school also took out Secondary Student Action Team of the Year and Secondary Community Leadership School of the Year.

ResourceSmart Schools is a Victorian Government program delivered by Sustainability Victoria which provides practical support to schools to reduce resource use, save money, integrate sustainability into the curriculum and share learnings beyond the school gate.

As the first 5-Star ResourceSmart secondary college in Victoria, Brentwood is a strong role model to schools across the state. They have demonstrated that climate action and zero emissions are achievable goals by reducing their emissions by 23% over 5 years and generating 40% of their electricity through renewable energy.

Brentwood students and teachers at the ResourceSmart School awards, with host Sammy J Brentwood students and teachers at the ResourceSmart School awards, with host Sammy J.

Brendan Davies from Brentwood Secondary College said he hoped the recognition at the ResourceSmart School Awards will help other schools learn from their experience.

“We want people to learn from us: learn from our mistakes and learn from what we’re doing well,” Brendan said.

“We want to see more 5-Star secondary schools out there. We do not want to be the last.”
Brendan Davies, Brentwood Secondary College.

Not satisfied with just changing student behaviour, Brentwood also plays a crucial role in inspiring their broader community, organising tree-planting sessions, developing external social media content, and coordinating public webinars on climate action.

The school’s student Green Team meets weekly to discuss how to tackle climate change and together have developed online resources on sustainability as well as creating a meat-free recipe book and promoting both recycling and composting on campus.

Environmental education is carefully embedded within the curriculum, with students learning about everything from water to sanitation, acidic oceans and the greenhouse effect.

ResourceSmart Schools


Since 2008, 1,400 school communities have taken part in the ResourceSmart Schools program to address climate change and build a sustainable future. Through the program schools have embraced collective action to plant 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, and saved more than $41 million on bills.

In 2023, the ResourceSmart School Awards will recognise schools that are Achieving great things. As Australia’s largest sustainability celebration for students, teachers and volunteers, the awards celebrate young people and schools who are leading the way on sustainability and creating real impact for Victorian communities beyond the school gate.

Collective action

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