You know there are significant cultural shifts happening when education industry advocacy groups start pouring time and effort into fighting climate change. The international education sector is one example of an industry where sustainability and environmental responsibility has become an important KPI. CANIE (Climate Action Network for International Educators) formed out of a growing grassroots belief that fighting climate change, far from being a peripheral concern for the sector, is in fact part of its core business. It is an initiative formed by international education practitioners from around the world who see the need and the opportunity for the education sector to step up and act on climate change.



CANIE works to help individual practitioners become leaders within their institutions, agents of real and meaningful change. Effective action ranges from developing campus-wide sustainability policies to achieving strategically placed environmental wins in one-off events. Like conferences, for example. In 2019, the AIEC (Australian International Educational Conference) was held in Perth. The focus of the event was obviously education. However, by partnering with Fifteen Trees, CANIE had attendees considering the impact of their flights, and got some trees planted along the way.


Ailsa Lamont, colleagues and students.


By offering Fifteen Trees seedlings as contest prizes – one tree per hour of flight time – one hundred trees were planted as a direct result of CANIE action. Seven winners, hailing from Brisbane, Wellington, Dublin, Sydney and Singapore, reduced the impact of their flight-based carbon footprint, and the conference itself trod a little more lightly on the earth.


Congratulations to Jogvan Klein (Melbourne), Douglas Proctor (Dublin), Rob Malicki (Sydney), Heidi Piper and Sarah Todd (Brisbane), Cara Jacoby (Wellington) and James Kelly (Singapore). The carbon cost of your flights to the Perth conference has been offset.


Ailsa Lamont, founder of Pomegranate Global (sustainability consultancy), co-founder of CANIE, and organiser of the prize, believes that a strong appetite for sustainable international education will be a key aspect of student decision-making in years to come. Fifteen Trees are proud to be a small part of CANIE’s action and can’t wait to see what else they achieve in their sector.



On behalf of the 5 winners, 100 trees were planted in Yea, VIC at the property of Michael and Jan Coonan, long time members of the Yellow Creek-Dairy Landcare Group. The revegetation site is such a significant conservation area, that the Coonans have fenced off the entire area from stock to protect this important remnant of grassy forest.


Michael and Jan. Can you spot the new trees (in their protective sleeves) behind them?


Writer – Sarah Hart.

Sarah is an artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form. You can find Sarah here.

Yellow-Diary Yea – 300 trees / 150 The Age&SMH / 100 CANIE