Whittlesea Region Mission Council



membership list to come


Sustainability Statement  ~ Whittlesea Region Ministry Centre

by Mr. Glenn Davidson


Since the mid 1980’s, there has been a dramatic global increase both in the awareness and knowledge surrounding the impact of human activity on the complex and delicate ecological systems that support human endeavour.


The past 5 years have particularly seen an increased ‘acceptance’ that we need to change our attitude, behaviour and actions, (informed by the United Nations Decade for Education for Sustainable Development, the goals of the Earth Charter and Agenda 21 Principles). Guidelines and ‘tools’ for action have become important elements of local and state government policy. These outcomes have also received strong support by both the community and non government sector.


There have recently been a number of State Government initiatives, including the formation of Sustainability Victoria, that now give Victoria and Victorians a clear directive and informed process to address both the needs of the environment and the wishes of future generations.


“Victorians must make environmental sustainability a fundamental consideration in everything we do if we are to maximise future economic growth, maintain our quality of life and protect our unique environment” (Premier’s Office 2005).


Further to this, there is wide-spread agreement that the ‘trappings of modernity’ are having significant social, health and well-being impacts on both small and large communities across metropolitan and regional Victoria.


“A healthy sustainable community is one that has an explicit (adaptive) approach to the integration of ecological, social, cultural and economic features to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. It uses principles of inclusivity, connectivity, equity, security and precaution to make decisions about the use and distribution of resources and services” (Sustainable Communities Network - Inquiry into Sustainable Communities – Parliament of Victoria, June 2005).


These considerations are best reflected in the Victorian State Government’s ‘Our Environment Our Future – Victoria’s Environmental Sustainability Framework’, published April 2005, accessed via  www.dse.vic.gov.au .


Learning to Live Sustainably (a Victorian Government draft publication) will help to achieve Growing Victoria Together’s vision for a healthy environment, with efficient use of natural resources and an environment that are protected for future generations. It will have flow on benefits for other aspects of the Growing Victoria Together vision including high quality education and training and life-long learning, quality jobs and thriving, innovative industries; building friendly, confident and safe communities and greater public participation” (Premier’s Office 2005, see end of document for more information).


The Victorian Government’s vision of an assured future includes the commitment that “protection of the environment for future generations is built into everything we do” (‘The Way Forward: Environmental Sustainability’, Dept. Education & Training).




To this purpose ~


The Whittlesea Region Ministry Centre would be both a community and an organisation that:

The Whittlesea Region Ministry Centre would consider the following environmental principles in undertaking all aspects of the development and operation of the centre and its services, in general by:

And specifically by:


The Whittlesea Region Ministry Centre would aim to minimise the ‘Ecological Footprint’ (i) of its capital development, operational and management processes and to use ‘triple bottom line’ outcomes (ii) for the improvement of natural capital to the benefit of all eco and human systems.



In developing the Whittlesea Region Ministry Centre facilities, the Uniting Church would:


      around the centre and ministry buildings.



In developing the Centre’s infrastructure, the Uniting Church would:


content paper and use duplex operations as default



In developing the Centre’s land, the Uniting Church would:




In developing a context for stewardship and ‘Ecospirituality’, the Uniting Church would:




In management, maintenance and consumption of resources, the Uniting Church would:




Glossary of Terms


(i) Ecological Footprint


A globally accepted standardised scientific measure now used as an integral component in international, national and state environmental reporting, e.g. used frequently in State of the Environment reports, accessible on-line through EPA Victoria.  The basic premise of the ‘footprint’ is that all human and social activity has an impact on ecosystems and the natural world in general. Reducing and minimalising these impacts is essential to the long-term prosperity of all human and ecological systems.

For further information visit www.epa.vic.gov.au or  www.redifingprogess.org



(ii) Triple Bottom Line (TBL)

"At its narrowest, the term triple bottom line is used as a framework for measuring and reporting corporate performance against economic, social and environmental parameters."

"At its broadest, the term is used to capture the whole set of values, issues and processes that companies must address in order to minimise any harm resulting from their activities and to create economic, social and environmental value. This involves being clear about the company’s purpose and taking into consideration the needs of all the company’s stakeholders."

In effect, TBL is a planning and reporting mechanism and decision-making framework used to achieve sustainable development.

Source and for further information visit: http://www.environment.vic.gov.au



(iii) Towards Zero Waste


Victoria, though one of the most successful regions globally at diverting  waste to recycling (over 50%) is also is one of the highest contributors to landfill in the world. Recent initiatives to combat this include tackling the waste practices of the building industry and commercial sectors, especially that of small business. Key aims are to generate less waste, increase the amount of materials being recycled and processed and reduce the amount of damage done to the environment by waste disposal.


Further information: www.ecorecycle.vic.gov.au



(iv) Sustainability Covenant      

“Sustainability covenants are voluntary agreements through which EPA and a company, a group of companies or an industry sector can explore new commercial opportunities by using creative ways of reducing the environmental impact of their products and services”.

“Sustainability covenants engender a holistic approach to the management of our environment that considers the impacts of products and services through their entire life cycle, from production right through to use and disposal. The environmental benefit achieved through sustainability covenants will therefore be far reaching, extending beyond the site of a company's operations. Sustainability covenants enable companies to receive statutory recognition for leadership and commitment shown to the environment through efforts to achieve resource use efficiencies and to reduce the ecological impacts of products and services.” EPA Victoria

For further information visit: www.epa.vic.gov.au/sustainability_covenants/default.asp



(v) Cities for Climate Change


In late 2001, the City of Whittlesea was accepted as a member of the Cities for Climate Protection Program.  Milestone One, was completed in February 2002, and Milestone Two was completed in August, 2002.  Council’s main environmental policy is the Local Conservation Strategy. The Local Conservation Strategy ‘recognizes that local actions have repercussions at all levels, from individual household and neighbourhoods, to national and global communities’.


For further information visit: www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au





‘Learning to Live Sustainably’, Victorian Government


Directions, principles and scope


For effective and efficient education and behaviour change, Victoria’s approach, including the Learning to Live Sustainably Action Program and the programs of all relevant government organisations, will be guided by the following key points. Victoria’s approach to learning-based change for environmental sustainability will: