At St Joseph’s, we define sustainability as “the ability to meet present needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Our school has always been involved with the welfare of the community it serves and over recent years has recognised the importance of environmental issues. The issues around climate change affect the whole curriculum. Students need to understand the issues from educational and social perspectives in the interests of everyone’s future.

“Society grows great when people plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”

Greek Proverb

Our sustainability objectives are as follows:

  • Engage students and staff in a wide understanding of the impact of our individual actions on the environment locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Promote high standards of care for our school, the local community and the wider world;
  • Encourage behavioural changes, increase participation and communication across all users;
  • Minimise the adverse impacts of our school on the environment; and
  • Develop a responsible use of energy throughout the school, improving energy efficiency and giving preference to renewable energy when possible.

We work with Powerful Allies, an energy broker who specialises in 100% renewable electricity for schools, to ensure we make informed decisions about our choice of fuels and their impact on the environment.

We have also partnered with Swapabee, a “circular economy” market which aims to reduce the waste crisis by giving life to old things. It allows you to swap items you no longer use for new ones you’ll love through their Swapabee app.

St Joseph’s tree planting initiative supported by the Woodland Trust


At St Joseph's we have made the following choices for sustainability

  • Energy
    • Switch to 100% renewable electricity sources from September 2021
    • Switch to UK-sourced gas from September 2021
    • Solar panels activated during the summer
  • Paper, Stationery and Consumables
    • School newsletters exclusively sent out by email and on school website
    • Online teacher parent evening booking system
    • Online booking system for clubs and permission slips for trips
    • Reducing online ordering in preference to local suppliers to reduce emissions from transportation
  • Plastics
    • Children to bring a re-usable water bottles as well as paper lunch bags – for trips
    • Where not possible to use washable items, compostable paper cups, plates and wooden cutlery during school fairs and events
  • Consumption and Waste
    • Provision for sorting and collection of recyclable paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminium cans
    • Improving the vegetarian and vegan choices in school lunches to make them a tasty alternative to meat dishes
    • Plastic / reusable Christmas trees
    • Reusable Christmas decorations
  • Transport
    • School Street on Woodend, making it pedestrian and cyclists only during drop off and pick up times
    • Cycle-to-work tax-free buying scheme introduced for staff
    • Review options for school minibus (currently subject to ULEZ charges due to age and conditions)
  • Premises
    • Ongoing replacement programme to convert to LED lighting from fluorescent and halogen; more energy efficient and longer useful lives
    • Switch to compostable bin bags throughout the school
  • Groundskeeping
    • Wild grass / native plant areas set aside in the school to encourage bees and other local plants
    • Planting of native plants / bulbs in hard to mow / strim areas: reduce need for cutting while providing colour all-year around
    • Gardening areas set aside for children for outdoor learning activities
    • Orchard garden and trees in selected areas for shade and fruit

Our journey to Net Zero

Our energy consultants, Powerful Allies, have confirmed that since our switch to 100% renewable energy last year, we at St Joseph’s have saved an estimated 30.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year from being released into the atmosphere!

In addition, since we completed our replacement of all lights in the school to LED, we are saving a further 15% of our electricity consumption, equivalent to a further 4.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide saved per year!

That’s an incredible 34.8 tonnes saved per year – the same as 10 full St Joseph’s minibuses!

At St Joseph’s we are proud to be doing our part for the environment – follow the links below for our sustainability policies and related documents.


Sustainability Policy September 2020
Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (Junior School) 
Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (Infant School)