Sustainability and Conservation

The new Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) is now available. This page will be redirected to PAL from the start of Term 3. Make sure to update your bookmarks to the new PAL site.

Purpose of this policy

To ensure schools:

  • manage their facilities efficiently and reduce the environmental impact of their operations by maximising energy and water efficiency and minimising waste.
  • consider environmentally sustainable design principles in the planning, design and construction of all new and upgraded school facilities.


Schools must reduce the environmental impact of their operations by reducing the consumption of energy and water wherever possible.

Environmentally sustainable design principles must be considered in the planning, design and construction of all new and upgraded school facilities to maximise the efficiency of their operation.

Air-conditioning in schools is provided on the basis of their geographic location within the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) Zones 20 and 27. All schools in these areas receive cooling to their entitled spaces under the space and area guidelines. Air-conditioning is also provided to all specialist schools and in all relocatable buildings.

Information about the Department’s air-conditioning policy is available to schools in the Building Quality Standards Handbook, which can be downloaded from the School Infrastructure - Environmental Sustainability eduGate site. 

ResourceSmart Schools

ResourceSmart Schools is an award-winning Victorian Government program that assists schools to embed sustainability in everything they do. The program encourages real-life sustainability learning and helps schools save money.

ResourceSmart schools can access support to help them understand and implement sustainability across their curriculum.

Schools can achieve 5Star Sustainability Certification by completing 5 modules. With over 200 actions across the five modules and a network of regional sustainability experts, ResourceSmart Schools helps to make the small steps required to get huge results.

All schools are encouraged to participate. For more information and to get started, visit: Sustainability Victoria – ResourceSmart Program

Department resources

For more information on environmentally sustainable design and energy and water conservation see: