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people & Planet

People & Planet

“We need change; we want change”

- Pope Francis

Mercy Community’s People & Planet Project forms the foundation of how we, as an organisation, act to reduce our carbon footprint and operate more sustainably. 

Every person has a role to play in embedding the longstanding commitment of the Catholic Church, the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Community to serving the poor and vulnerable, while looking to new evidence-based approaches for climate change mitigation and climate resilience. 

In line with Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, our People and Planet committee have begun implementing some great initiatives to address the Laudato Si’ Goals.  

Please keep visiting our website to track our progress and learn how you can play your part.  

Laudato Si' Seven Principles

Response to the cry of the Earth

A call to protect our common home for the wellbeing of all, as we equitably address the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and ecological sustainability. Actions could include the adoption of renewable energies and energy sufficiency measures, achieving carbon neutrality, protecting biodiversity, promoting sustainable agriculture, and guaranteeing access to clean water for all.

Response to the cry of the poor

A call to promote eco-justice, aware that we are called to defend human life from conception to death, and all forms of life on Earth. Actions could include projects to promote solidarity, with special attention given to vulnerable groups such as indigenous communities, refugees, migrants, and children at risk, analysis and improvement of social systems, and social service programmes.

Community engagement

A synodal journey of community engagement and participatory action at various levels. Actions could include promoting advocacy and developing people’s campaigns, encouraging rootedness and a sense of belonging in local communities and neighbourhood ecosystems.

Ecological economics

Acknowledging that the economy is a sub-system of human society, which itself is embedded within the biosphere–our common home. Actions could include sustainable production and consumption, ethical investments, divestment from fossil fuels and any activity harmful to the planet and the people, supporting circular economies, and prioritizing care labour and protecting the dignity of workers.

Simplify lifestyles

The idea of sufficiency, and promoting sobriety in the use of resources and energy. Actions could include reducing waste and recycling, adopting sustainable dietary habits (opting for a more plant-based diet and reducing meat consumption), greater use of public transport, active mobility (walking, cycling), and avoiding single use items (e.g. plastic, etc.).

Ecological education

Re-thinking and re-designing curricular and institutional reform in the spirit of integral ecology in order to foster ecological awareness and transformative action. Actions could include ensuring equitable access to education for all and promoting human rights, fostering Laudato Si’ themes within the community, encouraging ecological leadership (students, teachers), and ecological restoration activities.

Ecological spirituality

Inspired by a profound ecological conversion and helps us to “discover God in all things”, both in the beauty of creation and in the sighs of the sick and the groans of the afflicted, aware that the life of the spirit is not dissociated from worldly realities. Actions could include promoting creation-based liturgical celebrations, developing ecological catechesis, retreats and formation programmes, etc.

What are we doing to achieve this?

Green up your workspace

Being green in the office doesn’t only benefit the planet, but our own health, that of our team members and studies have found that indoor plants can improve concentration, productivity, and team well-being by 47 per cent. 

Plants can also help remove toxins from the air and help you breathe easier.  

Recycling and Composting

We are currently investigating implementing recycling and composting solutions across all Mercy Community sites. Pollution and waste are closely linked with our throwaway culture. In each of our workplaces and at home we can increase our personal efforts to reduce consumption, purchase products with less packaging and recycle what we can.  

Community garden

Community gardens are credited with increasing environmental and sustainability education, improving waste management and improving the health and well-being of participants.

Creating a community composting garden or worm farm significantly reduces the amount of refuse going to landfill and reduces the costs and carbon emissions to process your garbage. Compost can enrich soil with nutrients, greatly reducing the use of fertilisers or pesticides.

LED installation

Energy efficiency and sustainable building management are at the heart of any green office. We have recently conducted an LED audit of key buildings on the Nudgee campus and will look at rolling out LED installation throughout Aged Care and the rest of Mercy Community sites.  

Finding a greener way to commute

It’s time to think about switching your car trip into the office for public transport or even better by bike or foot if you can. Even if just one day a week.  

You’d be surprised as to how quickly cycling to work becomes a habit you won’t want to give up!  

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