2013 Green Gown Awards Australasia
ACTS is delighted to announce the Finalist candidates for the 2013 Green Gown Awards Australasia ~ presented by Ecosave ~ including the ACTS Award of Excellence. To read more about each initiative please click on the category links below.
Congratulations to all the finalists! We wish you good luck as the winners will be announced at the ACTS conference dinner and Green Gown Awards Australasia award ceremony on Thursday 26 September 2013 at WatervieW, Bicentennial Park, Sydney.
Carbon Reduction *sponsored by Mojarra*
|AUT University||Three pronged approach to reducing CO2 emissions – energy, transport and waste|
|Deakin University||There and back again, a tale of intercampus sustainable transport|
|TAFE NSW Sydney Institute__||Print Procurement for a sustainable future|
|University of Wollongong||Moving the masses – a commuter revolution|
Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change *sponsored by Envizi*
|Griffith University||Leadership focused on sustainability|
|Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE__||reTHINK for sustainability@sunshine Coast TAFE|
|TAFE Western||Mission Critical: Sustainability as a strategy for change|
|The University of Auckland||When driving institutional change, context is everything _____________|
Learning & Teaching *sponsored by Sustainability.edu.au*
|Griffith University||Griffith MBA|
|RMIT University||The Matter of Landscape: Sustainable design strategies for RMIT City Campus|
|University of Tasmania||UTAS’ Academic Operations Sustainability Integration Programme (AOSIP)|
|University of Technology, Sydney__||Accountants: The New Climate Change Warriors|
|TAFE NSW Sydney Institute||Early Years Bush Connections|
|The University of Adelaide||Waste Watchers – Bin Monsters come alive|
|Victoria University||VU undertake challenge of eco facelift – Albion Community House, an Ecoliving Centre|
|Sunshine Coast TAFE||reTHINK for sustainability@Sunshine Coast TAFE|
|Unitec Institute of Technology||Going Green at Unitec!_____________________________________________|
|Curtin University||John Curtin Weekend|
|Curtin University||The SWIM Team (supported wage workers in motion)|
|Engineers without Borders & ANU||Humanitarian Engineering Research Programme – Sustainable Solutions Transforming Lives|
|TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute__||Building sustainable communities by strengthening the wellbeing of individuals and families|
Student Initiatives *sponsored by KeepCup*
|James Cook University||Creatively Engaged – How students at JCU are helping transform the campus|
|La Trobe University||Australian Environmental Moot|
|The University of Adelaide_||Waste Watchers – Bin Monsters come alive|
|University of Wollongong||Sunsational – Team UOW’s ‘Illawarra Flame’ Sustainable House|
ACTS Award of Excellence – Institutional
|James Cook University|
|Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE|
|The University of Adelaide|
ACTS Award of Excellence – Individual
|Belinda Bean||Macquarie University|
|Delwyn Langdon__||Griffith University|
|Geoff Scott||University of Western Sydney|
|Natasha Lay||University of Technology Sydney ________________________________________|
|Stuart White||University of Technology Sydney|
“Three pronged approach to reducing CO2 emissions – transport, energy and waste”
AUT University has and continues to implement sustainable transport, energy efficiency and waste reduction initiatives as a three pronged approach to reducing CO2 emissions. From 2007 a number of sustainable transport initiatives were implemented, including a University Travel Plan. Since implementing these initiatives the percentage of students travelling to our North Shore campus by public transport (including the AUT shuttle bus) has increased by 40% between 2008 and 2010 and savings of $235,000 have been achieved. These savings now contribute to offsetting the 50% subsidy AUT provides to staff and students. AUT applied for and received grants and loans of $840,000 from the New Zealand government’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority. With these funds 1,000,000kWh of electricity has been saved through energy efficiency projects.
Finally a concerted recycling programme has led to a 20% reduction in waste between 2009 and 2012, whilst paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and cans recycling has increased by 40% between 2009 and 2012.
“There and back again, a tale of Intercampus Sustainable Transport”
As part of Deakin’s commitment to progressing sustainability, a significant strategic effort has been made to improve both on campus and intercampus transport between the Geelong Waterfront and Geelong Waurn Ponds Campuses. Guided by annual TravelSmart surveys, Deakin has reduced its transport carbon footprint by 1346 tonnes CO2 eq with the implementation of the following:
- Establishment of Park and Ride in a convenient location between the two Geelong Campuses;
- Free hourly WiFi enable Intercampus Bus service (usage has tripled from 124 daily in 2012 to 450 a day in 2013)
- The integration of new bike lanes and designated shared roadways at the Waurn Ponds Campus;
- Two new bike hubs, and bike rack upgrades;
- Campaign to reduce fleet kilometres including no use of pool fleet vehicle between campuses (a reduction of 1,242,000 kms over the last eighteen months of fleet kms travelled);
- Promotion of, and improvements to video-conferencing; and
- A Communications campaign
At a cost of $856,000, progressing sustainable transport at the campuses would not have been possible without the leadership and support from the Vice-Chancellor and without the systems in place such as annual transport surveys and institutional commitment to enable change.
TAFE NSW Sydney Institute
“Print Procurement for a Sustainable Future”
The Print Procurement for a Sustainable Future project has enhanced, optimised and improved the imaging and printing choices for staff both within their area and across the Institute, whilst reducing environmental impacts and achieving cost efficiencies. Advantages for staff include better devices and associated system improvements with a wider range of functionality, better cost efficiency and less associated ordering, maintenance / down time. Consequently staff will spend less time on printing issues.
The project brings significant benefits to Sydney Institute and assists in reducing its carbon footprint by either facilitating the increased use of electronic documents or by using more energy efficient devices. This is in line with the Institute’s Environmental Sustainability Commitment Statement.
University of Wollongong
“Moving the masses – a commuter revolution!”
Not many organisations have yet tackled the thorny issue of Transport. We all love the convenience of car travel but there are major environmental, social and financial impacts associated with their use. The University of Wollongong has developed and implemented a significant Sustainable Transport Strategy to shift transport modes from the single driver car to more sustainable and active modes of transport. The ambitious program undertaken by UOW has seen a 17.5% reduction in single use vehicles over the past 7 years and an increase in bus use of 16%.
Some initiatives have been simple and practical; others required extensive investment and organisational commitment. The combination of these activities has resulted in nothing short of a commuter revolution!
The UOW Transport Project is a how to guide for other education institutions looking to move the masses to greener pastures, from the convenient to the sustainable.
Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change
“Leadership focused on sustainability”
A focus on the environment and sustainability has been a key element of Griffith’s evolution since its foundation forty years ago. Four case studies highlight Griffith’s commitment to sustainability:
1. Griffith Environmental Loan Fund (GELF): In 2009 the University leadership established the Griffith Environmental Loan Fund (GELF). This $1.5 million fund targets corporate sustainability through upfront loans that fund internal projects to reduce environmental impact.
2. Sustainability commitment refocused: In 2010 Griffith’s Executive Group endorsed a project to refocus the University’s sustainability agenda through 2011 and beyond. Griffith reviewed its sustainability activities, specifically to reduce its carbon footprint and more broadly of the way that the principles of sustainability are promoted across the University. The outcome: the University’s Sustainability Plan 2013-2015 was approved by Council in December 2012.
3. EcoCentre: Opened in 2001, the EcoCentre is now a leading environmental education hub that promotes sustainable development and environmental education. A wide range of community education programs have been delivered over the past 12 years.
4. Sir Samuel Griffith Centre – Nathan campus: Completed in July 2013, this 6 Star Green Star building is Australia’s first self-powering teaching and research building driven by sustainable energy with hydrogen-metal hydride storage and solar technologies.
Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE
“reTHINK for Sustainability @ Sunshine Coast TAFE”
The Sunshine Coast TAFE has a vision to be a leader in Education for Sustainability and Sustainable operations. We have therefore developed a holistic strategy and series of action plans to embed sustainability into everything we do. Sustainability is incorporated into our Strategic Plan and our action plans involve up skilling our staff to equip them to embed sustainability throughout their training packages in accordance with the Greenskills Agreement. We are also continuing to make our own operations more sustainable thereby practicing what we teach. ReTHINK is our masthead and incorporates the three prongs of EfS, Sustainable Operations and Community Engagement. Our staff and students are involved in the reTHINK programme and develop sustainability initiatives within their own teams. SCT has shown considerable savings in energy, and resource consumption since implementing reTHINK in 2010 and in 2010 was certified as Australia’s first and only Carbon Neutral Educational facility. Our teachers continue to undertake Professional Development in EfS and this was recognised in 2012 when SCT was a finalist in the Australian Training Awards – Skills for Sustainability.
“Mission Critical: Sustainability as a Strategy for Change”
Sustainable practice is increasingly being viewed as a central component of high-performance organisations. However, what is not always as visible is the need for an integrated framework to support the sustainability portfolio, and for sustainability itself to be practised as a management discipline in its own right if it is to contribute in a meaningful way to organisational performance.
Sustainability as a strategy for change has been a feature of TAFE Western’s approach to sustainable practice since 2007. However, the Institute lacked an articulated ‘whole of institution’ approach to embed sustainable practice as a central organising principle for the organisation. In mid-2011, sustainability was incorporated into the 2011-2013 Strategic Plan as part of ‘ensuring TAFE Western is a vital part of Western NSW’. In 2012, the Institute conducted a strategic reorientation of its sustainability portfolio from the perspective of sustainable practice as a strategic tool to assist in positioning the organisation for change. 18 months later, and building on the work of the previous five years, the Institute has a new governance architecture and management framework for its sustainability portfolio. Through a process of consultation and engagement across the organisation, TAFE Western has also activated programs under all four key focus areas of its Sustainability Framework – Leadership and Governance, Education for Sustainability, Operations, and Engagement.
The University of Auckland
“When driving institutional change, context is everything!”
The Sustainability and Environment Programme has been instrumental in implementing a culture of sustainability within the University – through its work with faculties and departments, and with students and the local community. The work is on-going and is reliant on the strengths of the relationships and the goodwill the programme has been able to establish in its seven year history. The achievements to date are no less remarkable considering the programme consists of only two fulltime resources and one part-time resource.
Learning & Teaching
Griffith University has a long and proud history of promoting sustainability. Our Business School was the first Australian Business School to commit to the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRiME). We have worked to embed sustainable, responsible practices into all that we do, from research and teaching to business practices and campus life. This commitment is perhaps best embodied by the evolution of our Master of Business Administration program (MBA). The Griffith MBA has evolved to embody three key values: responsible leadership; sustainable business practices; and a global orientation. Values not normally associated with MBA programs.
Dr Nick Barter (MBA Director) and his team have completely revitalised the Griffith MBA Program to prepare students to become responsible leaders of financially, environmentally and socially sustainable organisations that the world clearly needs to bring about. Changes that will minimise the many problems including environmental disasters, climate change and growing social unrest.
“The Matter of Landscape: Sustainable Design Strategies for RMIT City Campus.”
A series of complimentary project based teaching and learning initiatives across the RMIT Landscape Architecture program has provide an opportunity to showcase how RMIT is transforming its built environments through innovative and sustainable design. This project primarily involves designing, developing and evaluating green roofs for RMIT city campus as a way of demonstrating best practice sustainable design in the city of Melbourne. RMIT’s Leadership as a living laboratory and its fostering and nurturing of external stakeholders, industry engagement, and internal cross-disciplinary and departmental engagement ensured the multi-talent, outcomes of this project.
University of Tasmania
“UTAS Academic Operations Sustainability Integration Program (AOSIP)”
The Academic-Operations Sustainability Integration Program (AOSIP) was developed in 2010 with the vision of enabling learning for the ‘sustainability’ literate UTAS student through inclusion in active responses to sustainability challenges faced by UTAS. Partnerships between academic discipline areas and the UTAS Sustainability team within Commercial Services and Development (CSD) ensure the vision is widely shared. AOSIP is a focal point for the UTAS Education for Sustainability Community of Practice (EfS CoP), an initiative launched by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students & Education) in 2011. The EfS CoP has embraced the AOSIP as a key activity in its remit, as it encompasses collaborative and interdisciplinary projects using the campus as a living laboratory. The program now includes nine academic departments undertaking a variety of projects from infrastructure design and delivery, to data gathering and risk assessments. Projects have resulted in operationalised institutional strategies and plans, grant income and internal and national awards.
University of Technology Sydney
“Accountants: The New Climate Change Warriors”
In 2012 the UTS Business School integrated energy efficiency into the curriculum of 5 undergraduate and 2 post graduate subjects. These subjects are compulsory for all Accounting Majors and include compulsory subjects for the Bachelor of Business Degree. This move ensures all UTS Business students now graduate versed in the importance of, and knowledge necessary to support energy efficiency initiatives. Accounting students graduate with skills to mount a business case for sustainability initiatives such as energy savings, and how to support sustainability strategies in organisations. Integrating energy efficiency into standard subjects means we are able to reach a group of student who traditionally do not choose sustainability elective subjects.
Skills for Sustainability
TAFE NSW Sydney Institute
“Early Years Bush Connections”
In 2012, Fran Hughes, Head Teacher, Early Childhood Education and Care, TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute, Randwick College, led a group of students on a study tour to Denmark to look at the European Forest School concept. What they experienced led to the development of Early Years Bush Connections, an adaption of the Scandinavian pedagogy for young children learning in the Australian bush. This is a training program for pre service learners, early childhood practitioners and environmental educators. It is based on the principle that through learning about nature, in a natural setting, children are more likely to grow up respecting and caring for the environment.
This training program is an Australian first and was run for the first time in Centennial Parklands and TAFE NSW Randwick College in May/ June 2013 with 20 participants from childcare centres across Sydney. The feedback from the first round of students was overwhelmingly positive. The curriculum has been developed through a network of industry partners, including Early Childhood Environmental Network and Centennial Parklands, who are as passionate as Fran about learning in the bush. Participants have already started to develop nature based learning programs back in their own Child Care Centres. It is estimated that as the training program continues, it will be delivered across Australia.
University of Adelaide
“Waste Watchers – Bin Monsters Come Alive”
The Waste Watchers – Bin Monsters Come Alive program, was a campaign designed to teach correct recycling behaviours to students in response to high contamination rates in cafeteria recycling bins on the North Terrace Campus
The unique program utilised a range of methods to raise awareness and teach correct source separation skills to improve recycling rates. Personalities were developed for landfill and recycling waste streams (bin monsters “Larry Landfill” and “Rosie Recycling”) and working with catering retailers, utilised storytelling, social media, colourful imagery, signage and incentives to instruct, reward and reset expectations about recycling. By the end of the program, recycling rates had more than doubled in the Hub, to an average of 99.65kg of recycling per day, compared to a baseline average of 33.99kg of recycling per day. The diversion rate is equal to avoiding approx. 21 tonnes of CO2 per year.
“VU undertake challenge of eco facelift – Albion Community House, An EcoLiving Centre”
Victoria University (VU) students undertook the green challenge of converting a heritage listed house into a sustainable EcoLiving Centre (ELC) in Albion, the first of its kind in Melbourne’s West.
VU partnered with Brimbank City Council, City West Water and with input from community partners to retrofit the existing Albion Community House with sustainable features to develop an ELC and successfully promote sustainable living to the community. The project was supported by a $300k grant from the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund and financial and in-kind support from all of its partners.
The 1920s Federation Bungalow is representative of many homes in the area and serves as a demonstration eco-house; providing educational opportunities for the community to learn about sustainable living. VU implemented a Sustainability Learning and Behavioural Change project involving 100 students, from a range of disciplines from the Trades College who completed most of the retrofitting works as part of their course. These students have now been exposed to new sustainability retrofitting skills that are not traditionally taught in their respective trades. The ELC was a community and work-integrated learning initiative for our students and provided them with the opportunity to practically apply their theoretical sustainability skills and knowledge.
Sunshine Coast TAFE
“reTHINK for Sustainability @ Sunshine Coast TAFE”
reTHINK for Sustainability @ Sunshine Coast TAFE is our holistic approach for a continuous journey to incorporate sustainability into everything we do. reTHINK for Sustainability @ Sunshine Coast TAFE (reTHINK) is the masthead for our overall sustainability programme. It encompasses a three pronged approach:
Education for Sustainability (EfS): giving students and staff an understanding of sustainability and ways to implement innovative solutions throughout their businesses, communities and lives.
Sustainable Operations: identification and reduction of our own resource use, energy and water consumption and waste generation.
Community Engagement: being a vital and vibrant part of the community in which we operate through leadership and involvement in community activities. Our Sustainability Discovery Centre is the centrepiece and provides a community asset offering a range of innovative multimedia and hands-on discovery stations enabling people to think about sustainability and giving them the option to rethink their sustainable practices.
Unitec Institute of Technology
“Going Green at Unitec!”
Unitec kick started its Environmental Sustainability Strategy in 2011 with a $100,000 environmental fund for staff and students leading to immediate implementation of projects across faculties and campus.
Unitec’s Going Green campaign then injected more fun into green initiatives with a Green Gorilla mascot by focusing on feel good initiatives. Visible activities and permanent installations like carpool car parks, recycling stations, tree labels, staff mini bins, a free book-a-bike pilot, stream planting and communication around these were used to demonstrate, create, and reinforce a culture of sustainability for students and staff.
The campaign has been a great success with an increase in the number of staff who perceive Unitec as environmentally friendly, over 200 eco reps, over 160 students and staff signed up to carpool and the campus well on track to meet its waste reduction targets with substantial electricity, water, waste and paper savings.
“John Curtin Weekend”
John Curtin Weekend, Curtin Volunteers!’ largest community project began in 1999 when six groups of students and staff undertook community-initiated projects at various locations around WA. They aimed to embody the values of vision, leadership and community service which were values that John Curtin, our University’s namesake and Australia’s former Prime Minister, held dear. Since its inception, JCW has grown substantially and in 2012, approximately 500 volunteers visited 37 regional and metropolitan sites, engaging in projects nominated by the local community. Past projects include assisting with town events and races, maintenance and restoration of community sites, re-vegetating local nature strips and youth engagement.
The achievements include:
- Contributing positively to the local and wider community by assisting with various community projects
- Contributing a net amount of approximately $62,993 in-kind, through volunteering activities, to communities in WA in 2012.
- Promoting volunteerism and community-mindedness amongst Curtin University’s students and staff.
“The SWIM Team (Supported Wage Workers in Motion)”
Disability often limits opportunities for people to source, secure and sustain employment. In fact, all too often people with a disability are overlooked when searching for work. When that job seeker has an intellectual disability or learning spectrum disorder, finding meaningful work becomes extremely difficult.
To facilitate the inclusion of people with intellectual disability and learning spectrum disorders into its everyday functions, Curtin University embarked on the SWIM (supported wage workers in motion) initiative to engage workers with disabilities to support various operations across the University. The SWIM initiative offers long term, on-going opportunities to people with an intellectual disability and learning spectrum disorders to participate in work on its largest campus.
Through their work at Curtin, the SWIM teams are developing new skills and opportunities to learn, and are offered a wide variety of tasks to participate in. The University has also reaped many benefits from including the SWIM teams into its workforce including increased workplace morale and disability confidence, engagement with external community groups and meeting its operational needs. The Swim teams are a win win programme for all involved.
Engineers without Borders and ANU
“Humanitarian Engineering Research Program – Sustainable Solutions Transforming Lives”
The Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) Research Program is an innovative education and research program that engages students from Australia’s major universities in humanitarian based, engineering research projects that aim to develop real-world, sustainable technological solutions to support disadvantaged communities in Australia and across Asia.
It has been established to support the organisation’s long standing community partnerships, supporting local partner organisations in Aboriginal communities in Australia, as well as Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam and Timor Leste. By working collaboratively with community partners, universities and research institutions, the EWB Undergraduate Research Program provide students with the opportunity to tackle serious environmental issues, including climate change, water quality and deforestation, and determine their impact on developing communities through a final year or honours research project, or thesis.
TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute
“Building sustainable communities by strengthening the wellbeing of individuals and families”
For TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute, sustainability is more than just a single program or initiative; it embraces social inclusion and environmental outcomes for the community including tailored programs such as The Orchard Hills Farm program where our most vulnerable community members benefit from our strong industry and community partnerships. Capacity building has played an integral role in the program to sustainably renew environments, improve social and economic outcomes for individuals and communities by addressing disadvantage through individual and community empowerment, education and training a safe, accessible and supportive community learning space. The project has a clear focus on sustainable eco-friendly Australian organic farming and building practices. The success of the program can be measured by 90% completion rates and importantly, 9 0% of students overall obtaining employment or re-enrolling in further training. WSI is committed to continuing its work in this complex area.
James Cook University
“Creatively Engaged – How Students at JCU are helping to transform the campus”
Student engagement and communication forms a key part of the University’s sustainability strategy. Several projects have a focus on engaging the student community and communicating sustainability programs. Including:
- The Sustainability Symposium and Fair, students played a major role in student engagement;
- The Action Fund for Sustainability ($175,000) to support students and staff undertake sustainability initiatives. Of 11 successful applications, 4 were entirely student driven, and another 2 had students as core project team members.
- The Sustainability Interns program, which engages students in a variety of projects that benefit the university and the wider community
- The Green Bike Fleet and bike workshop, aimed at providing affordable bikes and free servicing to students on campus
- The community garden project, which allows student residents to produce their own food on site and engages the local community in workshops and activities within the garden
- The Real Food Box project, run by students to bring a weekly local food market to campus
- TropEco stall and ‘sustainability pledges’ during O-week to engage students in sustainability activities
La Trobe University
“Australian Environmental Law Moot”
The Australian Environmental Law Moot launched in 2012 at the Federal Court of Australia, in Melbourne. This is a nation-wide mooting contest, open to all Law Schools across Australia. Through this moot we seek to further the commentary and jurisprudence across climate change, environment, energy, resources, water and planning law and public policy, by inviting the best and brightest, upcoming talent from across Australia’s Law Schools to compete in the Moot, critically and creatively engaging with a relevant and topical moot problem that illuminates our interpretation and application of the law today. The Moot is returning in 2013, building on its amazing success, and establishing itself as a preeminent feature of the annual mooting calendar. Prior to its launch there was no nation-wide environmental law mooting contest in Australia.
The University of Adelaide
“Waste Watchers – Bin Monsters Come Alive”
The “Waste Watchers – Bin Monsters Come Alive” program, was a campaign designed to teach correct recycling behaviours to students in response to high contamination rates in cafeteria recycling bins in Hub Central, a large student space on the North Terrace Campus. The program was both for students and by students, with numerous groups being involved in implementing various stages of the program.
Personalities were developed for landfill and recycling waste streams (bin monsters “Larry Landfill” and “Rosie Recycling”) and working with catering retailers, the program utilised storytelling, social media, colourful imagery, signage and incentives to instruct, reward and reset expectations about recycling.
By the end of the program, recycling rates had more than doubled in the Hub, to an average of 99.65kg of recycling per day, compared to a baseline average of 33.99kg of recycling per day. The diversion rate is equal to avoiding approx. 21 tonnes of CO2 per year.
University of Wollongong
“Sunsational – Team UOW’s ‘Illawarra Flame’ Sustainable House”
The Solar Decathlon competition challenges teams of university students to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.
The “Illawarra Flame” Solar Decathlon project was initiated by the UOW Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, but also involves students and staff from other Faculties and TAFE Illawarra Institute. This team of UOW and TAFE students and staff have worked tirelessly since 2011 to demonstrate the possibility of retrofitting Australia’s ubiquitous fibro home and to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced building energy technology in new and existing homes. Team UOW won entry into both the US and China 2013 Solar Decathlon Competitions. Team UOW chose to go to China. Team UOW is the first and only Australian team in a Solar Decathlon, competing against 23 teams, from 33 universities and 13 countries. “The Illawarra Flame” is the first retrofit home in a Solar Decathlon competition.
For information on the ACTS Award of Excellence nominees please click here. Voting is open to all ACTS members for both the institutional and individual awards. The deadline to cast your vote is COB Wednesday 28 August 2013. Have your say – vote today!