It can be easy to feel overwhelmed at the moment.

While not surprising, the release of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report on the climate crisis and its 'code red for humanity' hits hard, and is only compounded with the ongoing pandemic, systemic social injustices and massive losses in global biodiversity. There are no doubts, the situation is dire.  But humans seem to respond best to immediate threats, so hopefully there is a positive among all the chaos - we are finally starting to see the issues we have been fighting for so long now truly come into the spotlight. As these crises get the long-overdue bandwidth they deserve, we must stand strong, share and apply the thinking and knowledge we have at the ready to keep going and remind ourselves that there is still hope to mitigate what we're doing to the planet (and ourselves) - if we act now.

To this end ACTS will continue our mission to support our broad community of practice focused on advancing the sustainability agenda. Our work is driven by our small but dedicated staff team, and supported by our voluntary Board of Directors, who's members drive the governance aspects of ACTS and seek to support our staff in the great work they do. While not often visible, it is important to recognise the Board's important contributions to ACTS.

There have been several recent changes with the Board that give me an opportunity to highlight members of the group. Within the last month we have had to say a very fond farewell to Clare Walker who recently left the University of Melbourne. Clare is a sustainability stalwart that contributed a great many things in many different ways, but knowing she is still going to be out there championing sustainability makes her departure from the sector more palatable. With Clare’s departure, we have been fortunate to welcome (back) to ACTS, Sue Hopkins, also from the University of Melbourne, to take up Clare’s Director role until the AGM later this year. Sue rejoins ACTS after her former days as a much loved member of staff!  

I’d also like to recognise and congratulate Ray O’Brien who has taken up the mantle of Vice President – New Zealand - a change that was made possible under our new constitution. Under the new governance structure we have also recently changed our secretariat. Delwyn Langdon from Griffith University is a founding member of ACTS and probably one of the longest serving Secretaries for an NGO! Del is stepping down as Secretary - but not from the Board - so we will have the benefit of her vast knowledge and experience for some time yet. This change has allowed ACTS to make available an opportunity for another sustainability champion to step up, and we are delighted to welcome Sally Northover from Macquarie University to the Secretary role.

You will have a chance to ‘e-meet’, re-meet, welcome and congratulate Sue, Ray and Sally at the AGM in October, where we will also put the new ACTS Strategy to you for ratification. Until then, I hope you'll join us in welcoming all our new members, as well as congratulating all this year's institutions and champions announced as finalists last week in the Green Gown Awards Australasia - you can read more about them below!

Corey Peterson
ACTS President
"I have very much enjoyed being part of the ACTS Board. Our members hold the ACTS network dear, as it not only provides the knowledge and connections we need to do our work well, we always know there are others experiencing similar challenges to us and who will be there to support us in practical terms and also more personally" - Clare Walker
“It's with great delight that I return to the ACTS team! I’m so excited to support the work of ACTS, delivering sustainability activities and driving change within the sector - and to do it with a wonderful group of committed and passionate individuals. I’ll try my very best to fill such big shoes and I look forward to working with you all” - Sue Hopkins
"It's great to have the position of Vice-President - New Zealand established to better portray the strong trans-tasman collaboration that is core to ACTS" - Ray O'Brien
"When we incorporated ACTS in 2006, I never envisioned how important we would become to sustainability and our sector. I am so proud of ACTS and am honoured to be part of its ongoing journey. I have been fortunate to work with the most amazing people and I'm delighted to welcome Sally to our special and unique organisation" - Delwyn Langdon
“I’m super excited to become a part of the ACTS team and looking forward to helping behind the scenes to support the meaningful work towards a more sustainable future across the sector“ - Sally Northover
This year’s Australasian Green Gown Awards’ finalists represent over 900,000 students and more than 60,000 staff from 11 different institutions!

Their exceptional projects and initiatives, featured across 10 different award categories, demonstrate the innovation and creativity of institutions leading the transition towards a future that is just, equitable and fair for all.

We hope you'll join us in celebrating the achievements of all our institutional and individual finalists this year. You can learn more about them following the link below, and we'll also be sharing finalists case studies and videos over the coming months... so watch this space!

The category winners will be announced as part of a virtual awards ceremony on November 18, 2021 - along with the announcement of the highly anticipated Sustainability Institution of the Year award! More details on the awards ceremony and how you can get involved will be available soon.
Throughout the month of July, we challenged Green Impact teams to complete as many sustainability actions as possible in just 30 days. On the line was not just an epic prize pack donated by some absolute legends, but bragging rights for being crowned winners of the inaugural Green Impact Cup!

Needless to say, the competition was fierce and we were blown away by the efforts of all our participants. Collectively, 59 teams from 9 universities logged a whopping 999 sustainability actions in July!

Whilst the leaderboard changed weekly, ultimately it was Green Conservation from the University of Melbourne who were crowned victors after logging 85 actions with supporting evidence within the competition timeframe!

Honourable mentions go to teams from Monash University, who collectively logged over 400 actions, making the university the highest overall points scorer, closely followed by the University of Melbourne in second place and the University of Sydney third. 

An extra shoutout also goes to the Northern Clinical School team from the University of Sydney as our best newcomer team. They logged 30 actions as part of the Cup after just starting in the program.

Thank you to all the teams that took part! We can't wait to see what else you achieve as your Green Impact programs start to draw to a close for this year. 
The University of Sydney's Member spotlight
ACTS Digital Badges Suite
ACTS digital badges are now available for you to highlight your organisation's commitment to sustainability! They can also be used to celebrate your ACTS membership and achievements from participating in our programs, such as Green Impact or the Green Gown Awards Australasia.

A range of new badges are now available in various size formats for download via our members portal. Please note that their use is exclusively for current members, program subscribers and award finalists and/or winners.

We look forward to adding more to the catalogue of badges and welcome any feedback from members on areas you would like highlighted. 
Member Roundtables are a fantastic opportunity for you to connect in an informal virtual setting to share ideas, challenges and practical solutions with colleagues from across the ACTS network. 

Each meeting is limited to a small number of active participants, allowing everyone the opportunity to share experiences, ask questions and contribute to general discussions. You can also register as a listen-only participant while having the opportunity to submit comments and questions for discussion. 

Members are invited to register as active or listen-only participants for the following upcoming roundtables: 
  • Circular Economy II (August 24, 2021)
  • Sustainable Procurement (September 2, 2021)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (September 30, 2021)
Don't forget! You can always access recordings from past roundtables via our online member portal. Recent roundtables have focussed on carbon and climate, biodiversity and conservation, and circular economy.
Green Campus Day banner showing the bee hives from UTS
The launch of a new sustainable fund has seen RMIT take the final step in minimising investments with a material impact on climate change.

The new global fund excludes companies with carbon reserves and companies which derive material revenue from fossil fuel-related activities.

The initiative is in line with RMIT’s Responsible Investment Principles, which guide the University’s investment managers to ensure the portfolio minimises activities that have an impact on climate change and fossil fuels.
ACTS and STARS logos locked
In partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), ACTS member institutions are eligible to participate in a networking opportunity aimed at helping ACTS institutions complete the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting process. The ultimate goal of the group is to provide ongoing support to members to help earn a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum STARS 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.

Monthly calls led by AASHE staff for ACTS members are being held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, 10:00 – 10:30 am AEST. You can sign up for STARS at the discounted members rate and join the cohort today!

The world has changed rapidly in the past year and continues to do so every day. To help the AASHE community remain effective in such a dynamic environment, you are now invited to submit for the Emerging Issues Call for Proposals for the Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education (GCSHE).  

AASHE's virtual conference is the largest stage to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities. Proposals related to racial justice, campus reopenings, and resilience in the face of climate change are particularly welcome.

Proposals are due by 20 August 2021.


2020 Winner

The University of Newcastle
Read the case study
Highly Commended
Western Sydney University
Read the case study
Monash University
Read the case study
Murdoch University
Read the case study
Member Roundtable: Circular Economy II [August 24, 2021]
MR: Sustainable Procurement [Sept 2, 2021]
Green Campus Day [Sept 21, 2021]
Member Roundtable: SDGs [Sept 30, 2021]
AASHE's #GCSHE [Oct 12 - 14, 2021]
ACTS Annual General Meeting [Oct 20, 2021]
Green Gown Awards Australasia [Nov 18, 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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