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APRIL 2021 EDITION
WELCOME TO ACTS LIMITED!
The ACTS team is delighted to announce that the transition of our governance structure - from an association incorporated in Queensland to an Australian company limited by guarantee (CLG) - has now been completed! 

This transition has been years in the making; from first being tabled at the 2019 Annual General Meeting in Dunedin, to being supported unanimously by a special resolution of voting members in July 2020. The administrative component of the transition was finalised on the 6th April 2021 when ACTS was officially registered as a CLG under the name of Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) Limited. 

This change in governance provides a number of advantages to ACTS, including increased flexibility of board membership, utilisation of federally and internationally recognised structure and improved integration with Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), while maintaining the core attributes of the organisation.

Members will continue to make ‘big picture’ decisions, including whether to change the constitution (including its purpose), appointment of directors and decisions about winding up the organisation. Our ABN, employees and contractual relationships also remain unchanged. 

The organisational changes that have now come into effect are:
  • ACTS is now governed by a constitution (formerly Association Rules),
  • ACTS Inc becomes ACTS Limited, with an ACN instead of an IA registration number,
  • Committee members are now company directors, and
  • The Secretary can be located anywhere in Australia (formerly limited to Queensland).
In the final step of the transition, we have retired the 'INC' component of the ACTS name and logo, and are well into the process of updating publications and digital platforms accordingly. Members can access our new logo files here and are invited to update any digital references to ACTS where appropriate. 

The ACTS constitution is now available on our website (link below) and if you have any questions regarding the transition process or the new governance structure, please contact the team at info@acts.asn.au
VIEW THE NEW ACTS CONSTITUTION
YOU VOTED! MEMBER ROUNDTABLES ARE HERE

In the last edition of enACT we invited members to vote on topics to be featured as part of the 2021 ACTS member roundtable series.

These roundtable meetings will provide an informal virtual platform to share ideas, challenges and practical solutions with colleagues on the areas of sustainability that matter most to our members.

As voted by you, upcoming roundtables will focus on the following topics: 

  • Circular economy (May)
  • Biodiversity and conservation (June)
  • Carbon and climate (June)
  • SDGs (July)
  • Strategy and policy (August)
  • Student engagement (August)
  • Sustainability reporting (September)
  • Building and grounds (September)
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (October)
Each meeting will be limited to a small number of active participants, allowing everyone the opportunity to share experiences, ask questions and contribute to general discussions. Members can also register as listen-only participants (while still having the ability to submit questions for discussion). 

The ACTS team will confirm active participants based on expressions of interest that are representative of as many member institutions as possible. As such, active participants may be limited to 1-2 individuals per member institution (depending on overall registrations). 
The series kicks off with the Circular Economy Member Roundtable on Wednesday 19th May, 11.00am - 12.30pm AEST | 1.00pm - 2.30pm NZST.

Current ACTS Members that are making efforts to transition towards a circular economy are now invited to register interest to join as an active participant or a listen-only participant using the link below.
JOIN THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY ROUNDTABLE
ACTS Spotlight: Featuring the University of Otago's Sustainability Neighbourhood campaign
UQ ACHIEVES SILVER STARS RATING

Congratulations to the University of Queensland for being the second cohort member to receive a STARS rating!

The University of Queensland (UQ) has achieved an international Silver STARS rating for its sustainability performance in nearly 80 areas including research, teaching, innovation, energy, water, wellbeing, governance and more.

UQ’s inaugural STARS report accompanies the rating, outlining current and planned initiatives for each area.

“Now, we have a way of measuring our outcomes that is transparent and comparable across the tertiary sector.”  Rob Moffatt (Acting COO).

VIEW UQ'S INAUGURAL STARS REPORT
LEARN HOW STARS CAN WORK FOR YOU 

ACTS member institutions are eligible to participate in a special cohort that will complete the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting process together in 2021, with the ultimate aim of earning a STARS Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Rating.

Cohort Benefits

  • Opportunity for global benchmarking and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Public recognition of a STARS Rating.
  • ACTS member discount on a STARS subscription.
  • Regular conference calls and ongoing AASHE staff support throughout the reporting process.
  • Access to a private, online community to brainstorm ideas, share resources and ask questions.

Members are invited to attend an introductory no-obligation 45-minute call on Wednesday, 28 April at 10:00 am AEST (8am AWST) | 12.00pm NZST.

REGISTER TO ATTEND
GREEN GOWN AWARDS AUSTRALASIA
2030 CLIMATE ACTION SPOTLIGHT

2020 Winner
The University of Newcastle

Supported by
 
Highly Commended
Monash University
Read the case study
Finalist
La Trobe University
Read the case study
Finalist
RMIT University
Read the case study
Finalist
UNSW Sydney
Read the case study
#ACTSOFCONNECTION IS JUST WARMING UP!

Our new online engagement program is off to a flying start with the first of over 30 events scheduled for this year taking place in April. To celebrate Earth Hour we went back to basics with an introductory climate change webinar, sorting the science and debunking some of the most common climate change myths and misconceptions. Plant and food enthusiasts alike were treated to live demonstrations through our Ethical Eats and Houseplants 101 sessions, and for Earth Day we gave back to our local communities by joining in a collective plalk event. 

The #actsofconnection program is designed to provide easily accessible and ongoing sustainability engagement activities for any type of organisation or institution. Our team does all the work to design and deliver a fun and engaging calendar of events to help your employees increase their knowledge and awareness of important sustainability issues and learn simple yet meaningful they can contribute to creating a better future for all. 

Coming up soon on #actsofconnection:

  • Composting three ways! Hosted by Victoria University of Wellington
  • Discover bees for World Bee Day
  • World Environment Day photo competition 
  • Introduction to Planetary Health Hosted by Monash University
  • Yoga basics - guided session
  • How to run a sustainable event Hosted by the University of Melbourne

If you're interested in learning how this program can help drive sustainability engagement within your organisation then check out our website today!

LEARN MORE ABOUT #ACTSOFCONNECTION
AUSTRALASIAN UNIVERSITIES DOMINATE AGAIN
Australasian universities have continued to dominate the Times Higher social impact ranking, with our region retaining pre-eminence in league table based on alignment with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The 2021 Impact Rankings is the third edition and the overall ranking includes 1,115 universities from 94 countries/regions.

This year The University of Sydney is the world number two (behind the University of Manchester) with RMIT third, La Trobe University fourth and University of Wollongong equal sixth, with Aalborg University in Denmark. The University of Auckland is equal ninth, with Arizona State University (Tempe). Another 13 Australian institutions and 3 New Zealand institutions are in the top 100.

Our regional institutions also achieved standout results across the individual goals, with The University Sydney first in the world for clean water (SGD 6) and the University of Canberra and RMIT ranked first and second for their efforts to reduce inequality within and among countries (SDG 10). The University of Newcastle is first for strengthening partnerships for the goals (SDG 17), whilst La Trobe University, Western Sydney University and Charles Darwin University ranked second, third and fourth respectively for gender equality (SDG 5). La Trobe University is also first in the world for protecting and restoring life on land (SDG 15).
VIEW THE FULL 2021 THE IMPACT RANKINGS
CALL FOR CASE STUDIES!
ACCELERATING EDUCATION FOR THE SDGS

SDSN is requesting case studies to help capture the rapidly expanding work of the SDGs within higher education institutions, and the amazing diversity and innovation of approaches. The new set of selected cases will be added to the existing website and launched during the 2021 International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD).

Case studies can cover one or more of the following areas:

  • Curricular initiatives for university students: Cases related to learning & teaching activities integrated in undergraduate, graduate or research degree programs, such as lecture material, assignments, class activities and projects, study trips, etc.
  • Co-curricular initiatives for university students: Cases related to learning & teaching activities not included in degree programs, such as student-led or student engagement activities, living labs on or off campus, volunteering programs, summer schools, etc.
  • Community at large: Cases that involve external partners, such as university networks, industry partners, or public services; community outreach and engagement activities; living labs outside the campus; etc.
  • University staff and processes: Cases related to building capacity and ownership for education for SDGs among faculty members and university staff; and creating internal structures, processes and institutional transformations to support its implementation.

Cases will be selected based on the innovativeness of their approach, the extent of their impact (in terms of their ability to reach and transform learners), the potential for replicability and scaling up in other university contexts, and the conciseness and clarity of the case information submitted.

Cases must be submitted in English by the deadline of April 28, 2021.

SUBMIT A CASE STUDY
ADVANCING SGDS IN STUDENT MOBILITY PROGRAMS

The Forum on Education Abroad has developed Guidelines for Advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals through Education Abroad.

These guidelines serve to direct the education abroad sector toward social, economic, and environmental sustainability by connecting the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Guidelines, a sample SDG Impact Table, and the SGD Impact Worksheet are now available for download. 

VIEW THE RESOURCES
DATES TO REMEMBER
STARS Cohort Webinar [28 April]
International Composting Week [2 - 8 May]
#ACTSOFCONNECTION Composting 3 ways! [5 May]
Green Gown Awards Australasia 2021 Launch [11 May]
ACTS Member Roundtable: Circular Economy [19 May]
World Bee Day [20 May]
International Day for Biological Diversity [22 May]
ISCN Virtual Conference [2-4 June 2021]
World Environment Day [5 June 2021]
ACTS members are invited to share news and events in upcoming editions of enACT. To be featured please email a brief description, landscape image and link to info@acts.asn.au.
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