Digital Customer Experience and Digital Transformation Winner 2023

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We are thrilled to be recognised as an ABA100 Winner for Digital Customer Experience and Digital Transformation in the Australian Business Awards 2023 for our work with Sustainability Victoria (SV) on their ResourceSmart Schools program.

ResourceSmart Schools (RSS) is a leading, internationally recognised sustainability and climate change education program offered by Sustainability Victoria (SV), an agency of the Victorian State Government. The structured framework and facilitated support provide guidance, knowledge, and skills to achieve measurable environmental change within and beyond the school gate. By participating in the program, schools implement appropriate solar generation systems, energy efficiency and other sustainable practices (water efficiency, improved waste management, and biodiversity improvement) through curriculum, school operations, culture and community.

Matt Genever Interim CEO at Sustainability Victoria was thrilled at the awards announcement, "The ResourceSmart Schools program is an incredibly important programme at Sustainability Victoria. It helps us to make sustainability the norm across Victorian schools and future generations. We have been looking to transform the program for some time to bring an exciting new digital experience to support participating schools . This award recognises the hard work the SV Education and Digital teams and our partner Exco Partners have put in to bring new life to the program. I am very proud of the team for their work to make the ResourceSmart Schools project a success."

We worked with SV to transform the RSS Online platform. This digital web application supports the schools to track their activities and record their achievements as they strive for a 5-star accreditation in sustainability.

The ResourceSmart Schools program has been running for almost 20 years. In 2015, the program was recognised in the Banksia Education for Sustainability Awards for leadership and achievement in raising awareness of sustainability issues. Banksia judges described the program as displaying a 'best-practice' and 'world-leading' approach to sustainability education with strong evidence of its impact.

By 2022, however, the digital platform that supported the program was limiting its effectiveness. The digital platform was built on an ageing technology stack that needed to be faster, more intuitive, and more responsive to the school user's needs.

Sustainability Victoria engaged us to help transform the digital platform and rejuvenate the success of the program.

We established the project with the following objectives:

  • Deliver a transformed digital platform that -
    1. Enables SV to continuously improve, expand and evolve the RSS online system to meet changing program and user needs.
    2. Utilises contemporary web development architecture, languages, and frameworks.
  • Deliver an improved customer experience.
  • Support the SV education team to be able to deliver an uplift in their available tools to support schools
  • Migrate the current system's data into the new system

The initial user and customer research, conducted as part of the project discovery phase, suggested three key themes that needed to be addressed throughout the project to improve customer experience:

  • Motivation: creating a user experience that encourages users to get involved and feel like they are making a difference, rather than just doing 'bookkeeping' as was the sentiment from the old system.
  • Communication and support: Finding ways to support the users throughout their journey and communicate with them via effective digital channels.
  • Usability: improvements to the overall usability of the platform, making it easier to find information, complete tasks, and navigate around the platform.

The transformed digital platform was deployed into production in time for Term 3 of the school year 2022, delivering:

  • A new digital web-based platform and revamped customer experience addressing findings from the user research
  • Access to the platform for over 3,000 Victorian schools and learning institutions.
  • A streamlined administration portal, making it easier for SV to support schools.
  • A revised and simplified set of program actions to better support schools' sustainable resource usage for electricity, water, waste, gas, and paper usage.

The RSS Online application supports over 120,000 teachers throughout Victoria and over 1 million enrolled Victorian students and will continue to contribute to Victoria's sustainability through:

  • Saving more than $45 million on bills
  • Planting over 5.2 million trees
  • Saving more than 180 thousand tonnes of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions
  • Diverted almost 200 thousand cubic metres of waste from the landfill
  • Saved almost 2 million kilolitres of water

This award represents the hard work the SV and Exco Partners team put into this project and reflects the RSS program's contribution to Victoria throughout its history. We are privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Sustainability Victoria on such an important initiative and are incredibly proud of the result our team, as a whole, has been able to deliver.

Learn more about the amazing work from Sustainability Victoria's ResourceSmart Schools here: