Teachers Environment Fund The Teachers Environment Fund is a grant that helps schools, TAFEs and CITs make their environmental projects a reality. Join us Join us Phone us Email us Breadcrumbs Teachers Mutual Bank Community Creating a better tomorrow Creating a better tomorrow We want the next generation to live in a better world. So we invest in social and environmental programs that help create positive change now for a better tomorrow. We believe profits should help create A Brighter Future. Partners and sponsorships Creating a better tomorrow Investing in the teacher community Being a responsible business Community news Overview Teachers Environment Fund (TEF) Climate change Tackling poverty Greening our business Stewart House Overview Creating a better tomorrow We fund school projects to promote sustainable living, while reducing our own environmental footprint. We lead on one of the biggest challenges - climate change. We support disadvantaged children, and we fund students who will be the teachers of tomorrow. To date we have: Provided $398,222 to 157 schools and colleges through our Teachers Environment Fund. Funded $215,000 in scholarships and funds to over 60 students since 2009, through our Future Teacher Scholarships. Raised $17,544 through our workplace giving and staff fundraising - an average of $40 per employee. Contributed $20,000 to the disaster relief funds for the Vanuatu Cyclone and the Nepal earthquake. We take the environment seriously We are constantly improving the way we use resources and looking for opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint. We have been a carbon-neutral bank for 3 years. 99% of the paper we purchase is from a certified sustainable source. By installing 1,308 LED lights in our head office, we cut our power use by 70%. Teachers Environment Fund (TEF) Teachers Environment Fund (TEF) The Teachers Environment Fund has now closed for 2017. What is the Teachers Environment Fund (TEF)? The Teachers Environment Fund is a grant that helps schools, TAFEs and CITs make their environmental projects a reality. How much can I apply for? Grants are for a maximum of $2,000 including GST. Please note we encourage smaller grants as well. Who can apply? The teacher who is leading the project and applying for the fund must be a member of Teachers Mutual Bank and can apply on behalf of any school, TAFE or CIT nationally. Note: grants are awarded to Schools, TAFEs and CIT, NOT individual teachers. What activities does the Teachers Environment Fund support? There is no definitive list, but below are the typical projects used by teachers in sustainable education programmes: Habitat conservation, biodiversity Chicken coups Outdoor learning areas Waste, recycling, energy or water projects Aboriginal projects Vegetable and kitchen gardens, organic produce Innovative ideas of sustainability education. Please note: We tend not to fund projects that request standard maintenance, landscape upgrades or infrastructure. We do not fund water tanks or ‘one-off’ items of equipment. What are the eligibility criteria? We want to fund projects which can demonstrate; Long-term viability A link to a broader environmental education strategy School and wider community support A maximum expenditure of $2,000. Even a few hundred dollars can make a difference, so we encourage smaller grants as well. Enthusiasm to showcase and communicate your project via an open day, and communicate your project to other schools in newsletters, website, etc. The application form asks you these questions; What are the educational outcomes and how will you measure them? How will the project benefit and assist teachers? How will the school ensure the success of the project after the funds have been spent? How will Teachers Mutual Bank assess my application? We assess applications based on the following criteria: Meeting the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions Geographical spread of applicants Passion for teaching sustainability Merit, equity and need. Climate change Climate change Tackling one of the world’s biggest challenges: climate change. The environmental damage attributable to banks comes largely from the negative impacts of their lending and investments, rather than their direct footprint. Our policy is; Teachers Mutual Bank has zero direct investment in any large-scale greenhouse polluting activity or company. Teachers Mutual Bank does not use members’ funds to finance large-scale greenhouse-gas pollution. Teachers Mutual Bank does not use members’ deposits to directly lend to, buy equity or debt in, any large-scale greenhouse polluting activities from fossil fuel exploration, extraction, production and use. Climate change is addressed more broadly across the Bank in our Sustainability Policy and other policies, in such areas as risk, reporting and disclosure, waste, supply chain and sourcing, car fleet, environmental education and grants, energy efficiency. Tackling poverty Tackling poverty Teachers Mutual Bank is proud to support CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy Project in 2016 In 2016, we’re investing $60,000 to help 10,000 primary school children aged 7 to 12 in some of Cambodia’s ultra-poor communities learn financial literacy. Our investment will allow CUFA to expand its successful financial literacy program into 40 schools – an anticipated 500 classrooms and 200 teachers. Early intervention is one of the most effective ways to create a sustainable future for economically disadvantaged children and their families. With CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy Program, we’re on track to help tackle poverty in Cambodia’s poorest communities. “Teachers Mutual Bank’s support makes a huge difference to the opportunities for young people in these Cambodian communities.” Dr Peter Mason, CEO CUFA Presented by trained project field officers, CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy Project aims to: Teach basic financial literacy skills and the value of saving Link children to their local savings bank Encourage children to save more – at home or the local village savings bank Learn more about The Cambodia project Myanmar Teachers Project In the poorest region of Myanmar, we have invested in a sustainable village banking model for teachers and children. The program is designed to help break the poverty cycle by helping pay teachers’ salaries and empowering the community as a whole. After two years, the project has; Supplemented the salaries of 153 teachers - 137 are women. Provided free education for 4,224 students in 32 rural schools. Created saving and loans for 3,854 credit union members. Generated $21,792 AUD interest, which pays for teachers’ salaries in perpetuity. Directly benefited 27,350 people in the community. Read the Myanmar Teachers Project report CUFA We are a Platinum sponsor of CUFA, who have been working with communities in Asia Pacific for over 40 years. Their programs focus on helping people lift themselves out of poverty by providing access to financial services & education and helping people to grow micro- finance. Learn more about CUFA Greening our business Greening our business Going carbon neutral We became a carbon neutral bank, and so all members’ accounts are with a carbon neutral bank. We have invested in three carbon offset projects in Asia- Pacific that have robust social, environment, community and education credentials. Investing in an electric future We purchased an electric car for our HQ fleet use. This ‘game-changing vehicle’ is a Long Range Holden Volt electric car; free of the normal range anxiety, having two power sources and a total driving range of 600km. “We just plug the car in and charge it like a mobile phone. A typical 60km a day commute means that the purchase of petrol is generally unnecessary. The electric car will be 100% carbon neutral, as any minor additional fuel use will be offset,” said Steve James, CEO. ”We continually manage our environmental footprint, and utilising this innovative technology is another way of putting our sustainability money where our mouth is." Steve James, CEO Teachers Mutual Bank As the HQ fleet vehicle, the Teachers Mutual Bank car will be used throughout urban and suburban Sydney. Because it’s state-of- the-art, with no outward signs that it’s battery electric, we added the livery ‘This car is electric’ on the rear to spread the message that it’s a touch-point of sustainability in action. “The Teachers Mutual Bank electric car will be visible to thousands of people as our staff drive it between our offices and to schools around greater Sydney, and our aim is to send a positive message about practical environmental solutions.” The Volt is not a hybrid, it is a battery electric car with an on-board generator, and is designed to spend most of its life being propelled by battery power alone, powered by General Motors’ revolutionary electric propulsion system with a 16.5kWh lithium ion battery that provides an electric charge of 87km. Stewart House Stewart House We have been a major supporter of Stewart House for more than 25 years because we believe in the incredible work they do with children in need. Stewart House in NSW gives hope and helps take a weight off kids who are dealing with health or family issues. Stewart House is visited by 1,800 public school children every year. Each child has been personally recommended by their School Principal as being in dire need of a break from their daily life. What Stewart House does is: deliver for 1800 of those children annually for twelve days respite care in a safe haven at no cost to their parents provide them with dental, optical, hearing and medical treatment and screening involve them in educational programs and excursions designed to develop their social and emotional skills, build self-esteem and improve their overall well-being. That is our strategy. The three things we do, to change the lives of children. Singleton Public School Principal, David Crowe, can attest to the impact Stewart House has on lives. Unfortunately when David was in Year 2 his parents were involved in a car accident that left his father severely disabled. “I was put forward for a trip to Stewart House when I was 11 and I can still remember the difference that made! It was a fantastic two weeks, I attended classes, visited the zoo, museums and went on a ferry ride,” said David. “Due to their accident, Dad was left disabled and mum was his full time carer, being one of seven kids, we didn't have family holidays.” David Crowe, Singleton Public School Principal “Now that I am a teacher, I am proud to be a regular donor to Stewart House and my school supports the cause too! Stewart House made a real difference to my life and I encourage you to help them continue to make a difference to other kids’ lives.” Stewart House helps kids in a wide range of challenging circumstance, and relies on donations to continue providing this important service. Find out more about Stewart House and how they help. Back to top.