Tuesday 23 March 2021

New Sustainability Initiative

At Ivanhoe Grammar School we are committed to a sustainable future. Sustainability is a key priority for the School and is an important part of our curriculum, co-curricular activities and culture. It is an integral part of our purpose to develop young people of character and our ethos embodied in our Ivanhoe Learner Attributes.

Sustainability is a collective responsibility and recently Calendar, Planning and Logistics Manager, Ben Swaby implemented a new sustainability initiative that involves the School partnering with BioPak to use their sustainably sourced BioCups, designed to be commercially composted as part of the circular economy.

This new partnership will see BioPak’s BioCups utilised across the School’s campuses, in the cafeteria and at school functions. BioCups are sustainably sourced and are the only cups certified commercially compostable to AS4736 in Australia and New Zealand. This is an important step in the right direction as the School looks to implement composting and recycling. BioPak, in partnership with CorporateConnect.AB (CCAB) and Supply Nation, works with Indigenous communities in rural and urban areas to engage youth and create employment opportunities. The first series of cups display the work of Indigenous artist Keith Brown.

We were very pleased to be able to interview the person behind this great initiative, Ben Swaby.

What do you do at Ivanhoe? Calendar, Planning and Logistics Manager – I look after the School’s eCalendar system on Ivanhoe Connect, help with forward planning, a bit of event management and, as best we can get staff what they need around the place

The best thing about your job? Being involved in so many varied elements of the School

How did this initiative with BioPak come about? My team have long discussed the enormous impact disposable cups have on the environment and our need to move away from them. We started with encouraging the use of reusables by staff at functions, but it does at times feel like single-use cups are a necessary evil. When the use of reusables began to be discouraged, we made it a priority to do better for the environment. Biopak has long been the leader in producing compostable single-use cups, plates, and cutlery. Even 12 months ago the price of these items meant it was a difficult choice to change suppliers, however in 2021, not only did we find out it was cost-neutral to make the switch, but we also discovered a range of cups that directly support CorporateConnect. AB’s work assisting with youth engagement and employment in rural and urban Indigenous communities that fall outside funded programs.

What do you think makes a person of character? A person of character is someone who does what they say. It’s someone who is open to the ideas of others and able to celebrate their achievements.

Which one of the Ivanhoe Learner Attributes do you most relate to and why? I most relate to being innovative. I can’t stand the saying ‘this is how we’ve always done it’.  As Ivanhoe Learners, we should always be looking for different ways to achieve great outcomes for the school, be as creative as we can with those ideas, and think of ways we can introduce those ideas to benefit the whole school community

What do you do when you’re not at work? Family first. Food, music and sport all a very close second!