Winners announced for 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia

Tuesday, 07 November, 2017

Battery recycling station small 2

Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) has announced the winners of the 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia — an awards scheme dedicated to recognising excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia.

Now in their seventh year, having been brought to Australasia from the UK in 2010, the awards provide the opportunity to recognise institutions, large and small, and reward their sustainability actions and initiatives. Winners were announced at a ceremony at RMIT University on 2 November, as part of the annual ACTS Conference.

Selected across seven group and two individual categories, the 15 winners represent eight institutions from across Australasia.

Built Environment: University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania’s Inveresk Apartments project is an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable student accommodation facility. An integrated environmentally sustainable design (ESD) approach was central to the design.

Community: University of Tasmania

‘Education for Sustainability Tasmania: a UN-recognised Regional Centre of Expertise’ came about from the University of Tasmania’s leadership within the community to recognise sustainability leaders and establish a state-wide network of Tasmanian sustainability partners delivering initiatives across education and research, community, business and government.

Continuous Improvement — Institutional Change: University of Southern Queensland (USQ)

Since 2009, USQ has adopted a holistic, enterprise-wide approach to sustainability: from integrating sustainability into strategic planning (goals and KPIs), policy and procedures (PDs and procurement), to significant renewable energy, waste and water solutions.

Creating Impact: UNSW Sydney

The UNSW Sustainability battery recycling program is a community-based recycling solution that diverts approximately one tonne of potentially toxic waste batteries away from landfill every year. As a significant portion of these batteries is directed into on-campus battery recycling research, the program is contributing not only to better waste management but also to advances in battery recycling.

Facilities & Services: RMIT University

The ‘Bike Hub’ project at RMIT transformed a dark basement car park into a state-of-the-art cycling facility. It offers parking for 400 bikes, change facilities, showers, lockers, drying cupboards, ironing boards and hair dryers. Electric bike charging, repair stations and a bike vending machine stocked with cycling essentials complete the space.

Learning, Teaching & Skills: RMIT University

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Study Tour (Vietnam) is an immersive educational program that provides students with first-hand knowledge of the SDGs in an emerging economy context. During the program, students experience the diversity of Vietnam, from rural home-stays to cutting-edge innovation spaces; from social enterprises to the United Nations Development Program. Students also undertake a multidisciplinary project to improve sustainability outcomes for both Vietnam and Australia.

Student Engagement: The University of Adelaide

The Adelaide Sustainability Association (ASA) provides dynamic professional development opportunities for students at the University of Adelaide. Developed by students, for students, the club with 900+ members is empowering undergraduates through programs, activities and events that increase global environmental awareness, improve skills and develop capabilities relevant to future careers in sustainability.

ACTS Award of Excellence — Staff: Rachael Goddard, University of Waikato

Rachael is the Environmental & Sustainability Manager at the University of Waikato, where she has driven sustainability initiatives, student and staff engagement, outreach and successfully managed environmental and sustainability projects for six years. She conducts research, benchmarking and reporting; serves as a guest lecturer and project manager; develops engaging initiatives and programs around sustainability; created the Going Green and WASTED brands; and set up the Eco Emporium, said to be the first of its kind in NZ.

ACTS Award of Excellence — Student: Sophie Lamond, The University of Melbourne

Sophie has developed and championed a student-led co-designed vision for fair food policies in Australian universities. She has built extensive networks both within the University of Melbourne and universities across Australia, creating a community of practice working on transforming campus food environments.

Image caption: One of the UNSW Sustainability battery recycling stations on campus. Photo: Supplied.

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