Auckland University of Technology
Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is based in Auckland, New Zealand and has over 25,000 students enrolled and just under 3,000 staff members. They have four campuses located within Auckland that offer a wide range of programmes though five faculties; Business and Law, Culture and Society, Design and Creative Technologies, Health and Environmental Sciences and Te Ara Poutama (Maori Development).
Over the past few years AUT has focused on improving efficiencies around transport, waste and energy consumption. In its attempts to become more energy efficient, AUT’s Estates Group successfully applied for a large amount of grants and loans from the Government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to implement a range of energy-related initiatives. Some examples of these initiatives include the replacement of 500 halogen lamps with LEDs, UVC treatment lamps for improving efficiency of air conditioning, and three whole of building lighting upgrades. A recycling programme also been introduced to reduce waste through providing facilities for recycling paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and cans and the implementation of an external recycling system.
A number of transport focused initiatives have also been introduced including the installation of 63 bicycles and 80 motorcycle parking spaces, and car park pay and display machines at both the North Shore and South campuses to disincentivise car travel. The Alternative Transport Programme was also implemented to incentivise staff to relinquish their AUT parking and instead use sustainable transport to get to work.
The success of these initiatives is evident. Recent surveys have shown that both staff and students are changing their habits. There was a 17% increase in students using public transport to access the North Shore Campus between 2008 and 2010, and the number of staff driving to work alone to the City campus decreased by 20% between 2006 and 2012. Waste sent to landfill has reduced by 20%, while recycling increased by 40%, between 2009 and 2012.
In 2013, AUT was awarded:
- Highly Commended in the Carbon Reduction category of the Australasian Green Gown Awards;
- Winner of the Mega Efficiency – Impact category of the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network awards; and
- Judges’ Commendation in the Energy Management category of the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network awards.
Since entering these awards AUT has made further progress with Fresh and Clean through a ‘green’ chemical and microfibre cloth trial in bathrooms in AUT. The trial has resulted in conventional cleaning products being replaced with Environmental Choice certified products, which has led to a 41% reduction in chemical use and a reduction in bacteria counts. The trial has now been rolled out in bathrooms throughout 11 buildings at the City campus. Annual chemical use is expected to decrease by approximately 2,500 litres.