2016 Green Gown Awards Australasia Finalist Brochure

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CONTENTS 2 Facilities and Services 13 Recognising facility and service excellence 2 across an institution and how sustainability International Awards is embedded throughout. 3 Built Environment 15 Recognising new or refurbished buildings or Learning, Teaching and Skills student residences in tertiary education which Recognising achievement in the development have good energy and environmental of academic courses, skills and capabilities performance. relevant to sustainability. Foreword

About the Awards

5 Student Engagement 17 Recognises initiatives which have been developed and/or substantially influenced by students and are aimed at changing awareness and behaviour of student groups, 6 staff or communities.

Award Ethos


Our Sustainability Ethos


Carbon Reduction Recognising initiatives which have achieved significant reductions in the carbon footprint of an institution.

9 Community Engagement Recognising initiatives by tertiary education institutions which create significant benefits for local communities, disadvantaged groups and/ or society as a whole in either Australasia (or host country) or developing countries.

20 Leadership Recognising sustainability leaders - exclusive to senior strategic leadership, at executive or governance level, at a tertiary education institution.

22 ACTS Award of Excellence - Staff 10 Recognises the sustainability achievements of an individual ACTS staff member who has 11 been working hard to achieve change towards Continuous Improvement Institutional Change sustainability at any level. Recognising sustained and successful activities 22 to improve the performance of whole of tertiary ACTS Award of Excellence - Student education institutions, campuses, faculties and Recognises any student from an ACTS member buildings, at a holistic level over a number of institution who deserves recognition for years. sustainability related activities undertaken. 2016 Judging Organisations

Headline sponsor of the 2016 Green Gown Awards Australasia 1



As we celebrate another year of amazing achievements throughout the sector, we congratulate not just this years finalists, but all institutions innovating and educating towards a sustainable future. There is an astonishing amount of work being undertaken in the sustainability space throughout Australia and New Zealand, and each and every institution deserves to be recognised for the commitments they have made and continue to make towards a more sustainable society. Year on year, entries in the Green Gown Awards continue to demonstrate the commitment institutions are making towards achieving a sustainable future through operations, learning and teaching and broader community engagement. The winning and commended entries have been chosen by an independent judging panel as the best examples of these efforts, though every entry is to be applauded. I would particularly like to thank our judges for the time they have put into deciding our winners. There are few opportunities for our sector to be recognised for our ongoing sustainability contributions. In this light, ACTS is extremely pleased to keep adding value and opportunity for recognition amongst peers and colleagues. On a global scale, the awards have seen some exciting new changes, with the addition of the GUPES Green Gown Awards. These are supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES). They cover 6 regions: Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; North America and West Asia. GUPES joins Australasia, the UK & Ireland and French-speaking Europe & Canada to compete for the coveted International titles. For the first time, we will see the International Awards announced through UNEP in the spring of 2017. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to acknlowdge our sponsors, in particuluar our headline partner - Biniris. The generous support of these organisations allows ACTS to deliver the high calibre awards our sector so truely deserves. Please join me in congratulating all those who have been recognised this year! This brochure provides a brief overview of all our finalists, and you can learn more about them in the amazing case study videos developed specially for the awards at www.acts.asn.au. Leanne Denby President, Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS)

INTERNATIONAL AWARDS The Green Gown Awards underline the value and recognition that winning offers, and highlights the continued importance of sustainability within the international tertiary educational sector. The winners from the regional Awards compete for the international title in three categories – Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change, Community Engagement and Student Engagement.



Monash University are Passive House Pioneers

Inveresk Student Apartments – Nurturing the Future

Monash University has renovated a dilapidated asbestos clad warehouse at the Clayton campus into an innovative energy efficient, vibrant and comfortable open office space for their Buildings and Property Division. The building uses Passive House design principles to create an office space which has a low energy demand, high indoor environment quality and a rooftop 70 kWp solar array. The solar array currently generates 63% of the building’s energy requirement. Through building tuning and behaviour change measures, Monash is working towards further reducing the energy demand to achieve energy neutrality.

The University of Tasmania’s Inveresk Apartments project is an innovative, environmentally, economically and socially sustainable student accommodation facility at the Inveresk campus, Launceston. The development consists of two three-storey buildings containing 120 new studio apartments and support facilities. The project is bold – both aesthetically and in the innovative prefabricated, modular, technology of its construction, with each apartment having a full lightweight-timber frame. The project aligns the similar goals of a range of stakeholders to deliver a facility that brings benefits to the University, the City of Launceston and the local construction industry.



1. Forming a collaborative design team allowed

1. Timber is a very real option as a substitute for

integrated design development & optimisation. 2. High performance building products are available, however, not always through standard suppliers so need to allow lead time to do product research. 3. Retrofitting is much harder than a new build if seeking passive house certification therefore aim for new build rather than retrofit if possible.


concrete and steel in the construction of larger commercial buildings. 2. Engaging a wide range of stakeholders at an early stage of a project helps generate a range of ideas that can lead to an improved result. 3. The benefits of sustainable design and development are not just environmental and monetary. They extend to include lifestyle and social outcomes.

2015 Winner: Central Institute of Technology Green Skills Training Centre: A catalyst for Green-Star construction

Living Building: The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute The award-winning Global Change Institute (GCI) is an international flagship building for sustainability. Zero-energy, carbon-neutral and designed to operate in harmony with its natural surrounds, the GCI embodies UQ’s commitment to embedding sustainability across all aspects of campus life. While GCI researchers work across four key areas to address the global challenges facing us today (clean energy, food systems, healthy oceans and sustainable water), the building itself is a vital research tool, open to weekly tours for school students and other members of the public; it’s also an innovative example of sustainable design that could influence the architecture of tomorrow.

TOP 3 LEARNINGS 1. Innovation and willingness to experiment is

key to fostering solutions for a sustainable future. 2. Sharing our project with the community via activities such as tours and MOOCs has helped raise the GCI’s profile and disseminate valuable sustainability knowledge. 3. Collaborating with experts both inside and outside UQ has allowed the University to shape this project according to best industry



Carbon Reduction in the Sunshine State: The University of Queensland’s Solar Program UQ’s innovative solar program has established the university as one of Australia’s largest solar energy generators, with almost 47,000 PV panels totalling 5.8 megawatts of installed capacity and still growing! This infrastructure is reducing UQ’s emissions by more than 7,750 tonnes per annum – equivalent to taking around 3,000 cars off the road. The solar arrays generate 8.4 million kWh of electricity – equivalent to 1,450 average homes – and save UQ more than $1 million every year. The solar program also provides a valuable teaching and research asset that is engaging with the university and wider community in helping to reduce emissions.

FedUni’s Greener Building Program To June 2016, FedUni has allocated $1.9 million of its own funds to introduce the Greener Buildings program aimed at reducing GHG emissions and operating costs. The program focused on energy efficiency, staff travel and landfill waste. The program has been a huge success with GHG emissions reduced by 17% (or 3,959 tonnes) and financial savings of $572K per year. In addition to the GHG emissions reduction the University also achieved the reductions in electricity consumption and natural gas consumption, waste to landfill, reduction in pool vehicle fuel consumption and air travel. Furthermore, there has been an increase in Victorian public transport spend by 80% and increase in recycled waste.



1. Emissions & cost savings are able to be

1. Undertake a comprehensive energy audit to

reinvested into further carbon reduction activities as well as research. 2. Implementing renewable energy on a large scale helps shift people’s attitudes & reframe solar as a mainstream energy alternative. 3. Our live online data feed, social media & competitions has proved a valuable means of educating & engaging staff, students & the wider community. 5

identify the programs with the best return on investment. 2. Regular reporting to stakeholders on financial, and environmental benefits from the capital investment. 3. Celebrate success with staff and students.

2015 Winner: Victoria University of Wellington De-carbonising Vic

Energy Reduction Program – Towards Carbon Neutrality by 2030 The University of Melbourne’s Energy Reduction Program has implemented over three hundred projects which deliver annual savings of $3.13 million and over 200,000 tonnes of saved carbon dioxide (t CO2-e) emissions since the program started in 2008. The University secured a landmark $9.1m loan from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to continue the transformation of their campuses toward a sustainable future – and ensure that they reach the goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2030.

ABOUT THE AWARDS The Green Gown Awards Australasia is the only Award scheme dedicated to recognising excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australia and New Zealand. Their aim is to recognise and reward institutions taking a positive step towards sustainability, whether large or small, and provide a real and positive platform for others to aspire to and learn from. The Green Gown Awards Australasia is continually developing, with 10 categories open to Australasian institutions in 2016, including three individual categories to recognise and reward our senior leaders, students and peers. The Awards are administered by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), and is governed by a cross sector agency steering group made up of: • Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) • Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) • Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) • Federal Government • Office for Learning & Teaching (OLT) • TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) • Tertiary Access Group (TAG) • Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA)

TOP 3 LEARNINGS 1. Don’t get ready, get started! Universities can

be difficult places to start something new, but they can also be incredibly supportive if you find the right people to back you up. 2. A strong vision is key - decision-making is easier when the whole project team shares the vision. 3. Collaboration is key. Working with different internal departments & external stakeholders results in a superior project outcome.

AWARD ETHOS The Awards were created to recognise and reward sustainability excellence, but also to ensure the lessons and examples of good practice are shared within the tertiary education sector as far and wide as possible. Please be sure to view the invaluable and inspiring videos from this year’s and previous years’ finalists. There is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. 6


Just like the Swiss, we are officially neutral! CSU is the first, and currently the only, university in Australia to achieve certified carbon neutrality. The University is one of only 23 Australian organisations to be officially recognised for reaching this national standard. They have continued a downward trend in greenhouse gas emissions over the past nine years from 177kg CO2-e per square metre in 2011 to zero in 2015. CSU sought Carbon Neutrality status through the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) administered by the Department of Environment (DOE). As defined by the DOE, Carbon Neutrality is achieved when “Net greenhouse gas emissions of an organisation, a product, service or event are equal to zero”.

Sustainable Urban Precincts Program There’s a quiet green revolution taking place at RMIT in Melbourne, where a $98 million urban sustainability project – the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere – is underway. The Sustainable Urban Precincts Program, is a “once in a generation” opportunity for the University to achieve a fundamental shift in momentum toward true sustainability. The program will generate valuable intellectual capital, creating a ‘living laboratory’ which will accelerate skills development and enhance industry capabilities in sustainable urban futures.



1. Measure, monitor and continually review

1. Strong industry engagement has been the key

systems to understand where your largest carbon reductions can be made and then offset the difference. 2. Think small to think big – small changes in an organisation can have a big impact. 3. The market has many clever people with expertise and technology that can assist you on your carbon reduction journey – make sure you tap into it! 7

to achieving best-practice outcomes for the University. 2. Leveraging Learning & Teaching and Research opportunities from large capital projects provides invaluable outcomes for students, providing real-world experience and career pathways. 3. Ensure comprehensive measurement and verification plans are developed for the works.

OUR SUSTAINABILITY ETHOS The 16th International ACTS Conference, including the Green Gown Awards Australasia ceremony, has been run with sustainability at the heart of its ethos and practices. The event has been sponsored by Climate Friendly who will offset our carbon emissions, including the travel of all delegates. The Surfclub Mooloolaba is located on the stunning beach front in Mooloolaba, within easy walking distance anywhere in this picturesque town. Also due to it’s location on the Sunshine Coast, it is conveniently situated for public transport links and within easy reach of Maroochydore airport. The Surfclub, Mooloolaba has created a menu which is not only delicious, but ethically constructed sourcing locally produced food and wines. The charming table decorations have been hand made by the students of ‘Lockyer District High School‘ in Gatton, creating unique ‘recycled’ decorations to wow our guests. The Green Gown Awards Australasia trophies once again, have been made using 100% recycled glass by Victorian glass artist Kirsten Laken. Each Award is truely one of a kind. The highly commended certificate frames have been hand made by Melbournian designer and creator Custom Industrial from 100% recycled and repurposed materials, right down to the unique beveled glass salvaged from a set of french doors.


Pallet Perfection: Life Skills training and wood reuse and upcycle partnership

Seeds of Change: Riverbank Restoration at The University of Queensland

Pallet Perfection brings new life to old wood and helps empower those with disabilities to develop skills and capacity to gain work experience. The program removes ‘dis’ from disability, proving that young people have the ability to create beautiful upcycled furniture. In addition, the program has the added benefit of removing items from landfill and turning it into something both sustainable and useful.

By partnering with the University community, the State Government, and local NRM groups to plant around 12,000 native seedlings at UQ’s St Lucia campus, one of Brisbane’s busiest urban spaces, this project has restored habitat for threatened species (particularly birds) by creating wildlife corridors that offer food and shelter. It has also removed hundreds of kilograms of plastic waste from mangrove areas of the Brisbane river. The project represents a valuable community engagement opportunity for UQ: two of the three tree-planting stages were carried out by staff and student volunteers, and the restored riverbank presents UQ students and researchers with ongoing scope for ecology and environmental management learning, discovery and engagement.



1. There is a solution to avoid unnecessary

1. Engaging the University community in a mean-

waste, it just takes some creativity and simple resourcing to create beautiful upcycled furniture. 2. Start with some simple designs to build up knowledge and skills. 3. Be prepared to expand the program to meet increased demand as word of the program begins to spread. 9

ingful way has helped disseminate knowledge and understanding of key sustainability issues. 2. Wide collaboration ensured that this project was guided by expert advice and valuable resources. 3. The benefits this project brings to the rest of the sector and beyond is facilitating long-term solutions for a more sustainable future.

2015 Winner: La Trobe University Easy as Pi! Using e-waste to support learning opportunities for school students.

Tune in: making sustainability radio THINK: Sustainability is a weekly radio program produced in collaboration with radio 2SER and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) sustainability team, students, and faculties. Co-hosts Jake Morcom and Ellen Leabeater are young and engage listeners in their own personal journeys of exploration, discovery and participation. The tempo is up-beat, fun and solutions focused. Each 30 minute episode consists of three distinct stories, with the hosts linking interviews with experts to their own personal experience. Think waste to wealth, grids to growth. From what’s possible to what’s practical. THINK Sustainability. Every Sunday on 2SER 107.3 and on podcast.

TOP 3 LEARNINGS 1. Collaborating can be powerful and energising. 2. The sustainability narrative has to be a positive one if we want to engage people over the longer term. 3. Simple story telling can be inspiring, and radio or podcast is a great medium to do it.

JUDGING ORGANISATIONS ACTS would like to extend a huge thank you to our panel of judges who provide their time, commitment and expertise to decide the winners. The 2016 judges are from 39 sector support, government and industry organisations and are experts in their particular field of sustainability. Over the years we are extremely proud to have collaborated with and had support from over 60 organisations. 1 Million Women AAEE Association for Tertiary Education Management AASHE, USA Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility Australian Council for Private Education & Training (VIC) Australian Government – Office for Learning & Teaching and Department of Industry Centre for Sustainability Leadership Biniris Department of the Environment, Carbon Neutral Team EcoBuy Energy Efficiency Council EAUC, UK Environment Education Victoria (EEV) Envizi Fairly Educated Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand Future Business Council Green Building Council Australia Green Cross Australia Honeywell Jacobs Engineering Learning & Teaching Sustainability Low Carbon Living National Centre for Sustainability National Centre for Volunteers National Tertiary Education Union NSW Government – Environment & Heritage Pangolin Associates Project4Change QLD Government Southern Cross University Sustainability Victoria Sustainable Buildings Research Centre Sustainable Supply Chain School Swinburne Institute for Social Research Swinburne Leadership Institute TAFE Directors Australia Tertiary Access Group Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association Universities Australia



Griffith’s sustainability approach – planned, focused, celebrated! Griffith University’s sustainability approach is planned, focused and celebrated. Their Sustainability Plan incorporates economic, environmental and corporate social responsibility in executive management, HR, teaching, research, community engagement and operational practices. All areas are striving toward sustainability KPIs and outcomes. Outcomes include: 30% energy usage below sector average plus renewable energy initiatives; installation of 7000 video phones and upgraded 60 video conferencing facilities, significantly reducing travel needs between five campuses (estimated savings in 2015: $1,590,577 in staff and travel costs); establishment of Sustainability Teaching Network; and introduction of Sustainability Week and Staff awards.

Going Green @ Waikato ‘Going Green’ @ Waikato encompasses all aspects of sustainability. It is a broad and engaging programme that reaches thousands of staff, students and the community. Their unique projects: POW! ‘Prevent our Waste’ videos have been viewed by over 7,000 people worldwide; The Eco Emporium, run by students, gifts unwanted items to the community, and teaches skills on upcycling and repair; WASTED has resulted in 30 tonnes of waste being diverted from landfill and a 30% increase in recycling, and; Imagine Sustainability Day, culminated in broad outreach and collaboration with 260 stakeholders. The University’s Prius C hybrid car fleet (48) is one of the largest in NZ.



1. A planned approach gives clear direction and

1. Have a plan or framework in place, but allow

focuses efforts and resources. 2. A strong planning focus provides a framework for new initiatives to be developed and implemented. 3. Celebrating sustainability achievements engages, and recognises the efforts of staff and students.


for flexibility.

2. Collaborate and include, develop and nurture relationships.

3. Engage, be creative and have fun.

2015 Winner: The University of Melbourne Integrating Sustainability at Melbourne – A whole of University approach

UTS Think.Green.Do Over the past 10 years UTS has steadily improved its sustainability performance, with initiatives including: integrating sustainability into high level strategic plans, strategies and policies; Green Star certified “living lab” buildings; the Think:Sustainability radio program, and; social equity programs. Through its research, teaching and learning, operations and community engagement, UTS has achieved successful outcomes and made significant progress towards sustainability by minimising its environmental impact, promoting social justice and maintaining financial viability.

TOP 3 LEARNINGS 1. In order to achieve real gains support from the Vice Chancellor and Senior Executive is critical.

2. That taking the time to develop focused

communication and engagement activities can make a significant impact on raising awareness, encouraging positive behaviour change and sustainability outcomes. 3. Harnessing the enthusiasm of sustainability champions can mitigate a lack of staff resourcing in the Sustainability team.

Veolia provides timely and efficient environmental solutions to education facilities, including water and wastewater treatment, effective waste and resource recovery services and the application of district energy networks, CHP or biomass systems to provide electricity and heating/cooling. These holistic services help to transform facilities and campus grounds into genuine green icons, reducing costs and boosting green credentials. Veolia works with many of Australia and New Zealand’s largest educational facilities to help you maintain operational efficiency, ensure the utmost in occupational health and safety, as well as reducing your environmental footprint. By understanding your unique challenges and key performance indicators, our team of specialists will work with you to help maintain your profitability and operational capacity, with a particular focus on water, energy and waste management.

www.veolia.com.au integratedbydesign.veolia.com.au



Smart Utility Management = Smart Savings for USC

Fleet Management 2.0: Car Sharing with the Local Community

Since 2012, USC has experienced a 20.1% growth in footprint and 42.5% increase in student enrolments. To address the increase in utility consumption, a range of innovative financial and engineering initiatives have been implemented to proactively manage utilities including: reassessment of electricity charges, installation of smart metering/control systems and installation of lake water treatment technology for the Sports Stadium pool make-up water and cooling towers (as part of the air-conditioning system). This has resulted in significant environmental and financial savings since 2013 including utility cost savings of $1.5 million, 7140 tco2-e emissions and 20,000 litres per day in mains water use.

La Trobe University has transitioned from a traditional organisation owned & managed vehicle fleet to an innovative fleet management solution in partnership with a car sharing scheme which has reduced operating costs, improved staff/user experience and increased the access to car sharing opportunities for students and local communities. This builds on the carbon offsetting program already put in place to ensure all vehicle emissions are offset through the purchase of Australian native forest regeneration off-sets. A program that has led to ongoing research projects based in the forests and undertaken by researchers within the University’s School of Life Sciences.



1. Start with ‘low hanging fruit’ energy and water

1. Engage widely and challenge the market to

initiatives for quick wins in performance. 2. Undertake an environmental performance and cost benefit analysis of each project in the procurement stage. 3. Promote and celebrate successes with all stakeholders to emphasise the value of how every action contributes to the achievement of sustainability goals and objectives. 13

develop innovative solutions to the problems posed. 2. Trial innovative projects on a small scale initially prior to scaling up based on proven performance. 3. Take the time to develop a communication plan appropriately detailed in line with the complexity and scale of your project.

2015 Winner: The University of Melbourne Furniture and Equipment Re-use Service

Driving the Future: Electric Vehicle Fast Charging at The University of Queensland In early 2016, UQ installed Queensland’s first solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) fast-chargers. This infrastructure is free for staff, students and the general public to use in order to help encourage the uptake of EV travel. The Gatton campus fast-charger is now also making regional EV travel possible for the first time in Queensland. In the first three months of operation, the chargers have already been used hundreds of times, delivering 9,000km worth of energy – enough to drive from Brisbane to Perth and back. This has saved nearly 1,000 litres of fuel and over 1,700 kilograms of CO2-e.

TOP 3 LEARNINGS 1. Project success is providing a valuable case

study for other businesses keen to facilitate sustainable transport infrastructure – proving that ‘if you build it they will come’. 2. The University wanted to provide the appropriate infrastructure in order to support and encourage the move towards more sustainable transport by short circuiting the ‘chicken and the egg’ argument.



Embedding Sustainability into Teacher Education Alliance (ESTEA) Over 10 years, educators from Griffith University, James Cook University, and Queensland University of Technology have developed a holistic framework for the embedding of sustainability. Focused on teacher education, the framework is applicable to other disciplines and consists of: a systemic model for radically re-orienting teacher education towards sustainability; a guide to support implementation; a handbook of in-depth case studies; two reports; and professional development workshops that, collectively, portray efforts and outcomes of implementing education for sustainability (EfS) in a range of different settings. The framework is novel in that it goes beyond individual EfS initiatives within a single discipline or university to radically re-orienting a whole system towards EfS.

Sustainability Teaching and Learning - Research and Demonstration Program at the University of Melbourne’s Early Learning Centre The Early Learning Centre (ELC) is a specialised research and demonstration kindergarten attached to the University of Melbourne. It is situated in Abbottsford, Melbourne - next to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and the Abbottsford Convent. The ELC is a vibrant learning community where children, families, teachers and researchers work together to contribute new knowledge and understandings to the theory and practice of instilling environmental values via early childhood education.



1. Change for sustainability requires the re-

1. Projects that involve a community of

orientation of the whole education system. 2. Most people support change for sustainability, but require professional development through collaborative networks to enable them to incorporate sustainability into what they are already doing. 3. Change for sustainability begins from the inside and takes time. 15

collaborators (children, teachers , researchers) are always rewarding and more engaging. 2. Think of everything as a learning experience – education is a continual, never-ending process. 3. Environmental education in the early years can lead to positive environmental attitudes/ awareness throughout life.

2015 Winner: Sustainability Consortium for Learning Standards Building national consensus for essential learning in tertiary sustainability education

2017 is just around the corner... SIPS of sustainability lead to lifelong addictions: Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) University of Tasmania’s Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) is a best-practice example of place-based education recognised with institutional, national and professional awards. SIPS provides authentic student learning experiences via collaborative design of learning programs that address oncampus operational priorities. To date, SIPS has involved 76 projects, 975 students, 32 staff, 12 discipline areas and all Tasmanian campuses. Through curricular, extracurricular and research projects, SIPS engages students by guiding input to solutions for real-life challenges. Via SIPS, students develop and use disciplinary skills to highlight positive sustainability impacts of their learning.

RMIT University is set to host the 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia in Melbourne next year at the iconic Storey Hall. Built by the Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society as a meeting hall in 1887, the building was an important symbol of social and political protest. Storey Hall has today found new life as a major architectural site of the city, and as a significant contributor to the arts and exhibiting calendar.

Submissions for the next Green Gown Awards cycle open in May!

TOP 3 LEARNINGS 1. A formalised approach ensures institutional

buy-in and the ability to avoid going through separate approval processes for every project. 2. Be flexible as to what constitutes operational outcomes to ensure student engagement and experience. 3. Share successes regularly, always talk up the program and framework when discussing specific project outcomes.

Image credit: John Gollings (2007)



Trace the Bean This project involved Melanie Lazelle, a Master of International Development student and RMIT’s Fair Trade Coordinator visiting the supply chains of some of RMIT’s fair trade products merchandise in India. The project highlighted the impact of fair and ethical trade on people along the supply chain; RMIT’s impact as a Fair Trade University; and how students at RMIT can have an impact through their purchasing power. It has created links for future engagement with students and fair trade, and the results are being used as evidence to improve RMIT’s operations in support of ethical procurement, and increase student awareness and support of ethical trade.

Inspiring Students Nationally: “HOPE for the Future” - Students for Sustainability Conference “Sharing sustainable solutions that are practical and being implemented by students - actual, fundamental change!” Participant evaluation, 15-16 September Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury Campus. The “HOPE for the Future”: Students for Sustainability Conference succeeded in its aim of empowering and connecting undergraduate students nationally on vital sustainability issues in a supportive, professional atmosphere. Western Sydney University student volunteer Justin Whittle volunteered for six months with the Office of Sustainability to produce and inspire undergraduate student participation. The conference is an outstanding exemplar of inter-disciplinary learning and collaboration.



1. Investigate theoretical concepts such as fair-

1. Offer funding assistance to students. 2. Think carefully about keynote speakers – make

trade and sustainability.

them relevant.

3. Work in a small organising team, it can take

too long to get responses back from a larger group.


2015 Winner: James Cook University The JCU Green Bike Fleet - new love for unwanted bikes

Vic Energy – Inter-Hall Energy Saving Competition In 2015 second year student Bethany Paterson developed and launched Vic Energy - an energy saving competition between two Halls of Residence. The project was developed by students for students. Cumulatively the two Halls saved 18,000 kWh of electricity (2,500 kg of CO2) and the competition reached 4,291 people through Facebook. The financial savings were used to buy pool bikes for the Halls. The project also provided the basis for academic work through an independent study paper and a summer scholarship with the Psychology department. It is being repeated again in 2016 – this time with 4 more Halls.

TOP 3 LEARNINGS 1. When you find a motivated student empower them to take the project as far as they can.

2. Students engage more when it is a fellow student giving the message.

3. Support students to develop and deliver

projects by connecting them to the right people and giving them the right resources.



A Source of Inspiration: Source Community Wholefoods as a playground for student engagement with sustainability Source is a not-for-profit sustainability cooperative. Established by a group of Geography and Environmental Studies students, Source is a wholefoods cooperative, bustling cafĂŠ, educational centre, and creative playground for students to come together (with each other, academics, professional staff and the community) to discuss and create new sustainability ideas and projects.

Going Green @ Waikato: Student Engagement Student engagement plays a key part in The University of Waikato’s sustainability journey, via research, course work, quirky projects, community outreach, volunteering and competitions. They have delivered projects as diverse as: community gardens and worm farming, waste audits, building of solar powered composters, fun educational films, Zombies!, ecological education with schools, junk to art, sustainability surveys, and a student run Eco Emporium. Students have developed links with the community, learnt skills around project management, branding, innovation and creativity. Approx. 3000 students have been engaged and involved.



1. There is a lot of value in providing students

1. Be prepared to change your plans- students

with a physical and social space to think and act creatively around campus sustainability. 2. Student ownership is vital, enabling projects to respond to the needs and priorities of current students. 3. Great things happen when staff and students are given a physical and social space to engage outside university hierarchies.


often have better ideas.

2. Succession planning- students come and go. 3. Be creative, innovative and have fun.


2015 Winner: Professor Grant Guilford Victoria University of Wellington

Professor Lesley Hughes Pro-Vice Chancellor, Macquarie University Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development), Lesley Hughes has been an incredible influencer, policy maker, and change agent, particuarly in relation to climate change. Not only does she work tirelessly at Macquarie University to influence the conversation around sustainability – particulary in research – she is also heavily involved in numerous activities of high importance and ouput. Lesley is an amazing motivator and has the capacity to influence and inspire everyone she meets. With a wicked sense of humour, and a clear sense of what is right, Lesley is a formidable force that has had significant impact not only on the higher education sector, but the state of the world more generally.

Professor John Dewar Vice-Chancellor and President, La Trobe University Professor John Dewar commenced the role of Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University in January 2012. Since this time, he has successfully led a major organisational change program, transitioning the University to a financially sustainable operating model; developed and implemented the University’s Future Ready strategy and supporting Sustainability Plan; embedded the ‘sustainability thinking’ essential across all undergraduate coursework; established sustainability-focused research focus areas in food security and social justice; replaced 30% of the University’s fleet vehicles with GoGet car sharing vehicles for use by staff and students; successfully lobbied the Victorian government for a dedicated express bus from the Reservoir train station to the Melbourne campus; and drove the University’s commitment to divest from the top 200 coal, oil and gas companies within five years. Professor Dewar shows extraordinary leadership and commitment to sustainability in all aspects of teaching and learning, research and operations at La Trobe University.

Professor Paul Gough Pro Vice-Chancellor, RMIT University Professor Paul Gough is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice President, College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University. Paul has chaired the RMIT Sustainability Committee since he joined the University at the start of 2014. Over his two year tenure of the Committee great strides have been made to broaden the definition of sustainability, placing greater emphasis on social responsibility. Paul has created a space for more productive dialogue and increased transparency on the University’s sustainability performance and a focus on meaningful engagement with students.



ACTS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - STAFF Ben Pike, The University of Adelaide Ben Pike is discreetly leading sustainable change on campus through grassroots projects using best-practice technologies to support world class teaching and research. Ben’s role as Technical Services Manager in the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, puts him in a unique position to create sustainable change. Engaging daily with executives, academics, researchers, students and staff, Ben is leading transformation across campus.

Danielle Rostan-Herbert, University of Melbourne Throughout her role as Sustainability Manager, now as Sustainability and Environmental Services Manager, Danielle has shown leadership in sustainability not just within her immediate team, but throughout the University and other tertiary networks. Danielle plays an important role in the University of Melbourne’s Sustainability strategy and is responsible for University-wide targets to reduce energy, carbon, water and waste.

Daisy Amanaki, UTS Daisy Amanaki has worked in the UTS IT department for 20 years and recently coordinated the donation of three shipping containers of classroom furniture and equipment to schools in the Cook Islands. With triple bottom line benefits the project diverted material from landfill, provided five schools with new furniture, and improves the educational prospects for kids in the Pacific.

ACTS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - STUDENTS Emily Newtown, University of Melbourne Emily is an active advocate for holistic sustainability. Prolific in her endeavours both on and off campus, Emily volunteers in the community, studies in the Master of Environment program, and works in the Sustainability Team at the University of Melbourne. With a focus on waste education, she enjoys showing people the true impact of their consumption and waste and has demonstrated a relentless desire to go above and beyond!

Terese Corkish, UTS Tess Corkish is a final year Global Studies and Communications student. She is a warrior and innovator in the climate change movement. As Youth Engagement Officer at Catholic Earthcare Australia she has run workshops around Australia for approximately 15,000 school students, and is an active member of 350.org and AYCC. Tess is passionate about recruiting the world’s religions to accelerate the transition to a safer climate future.

Thomas Crawford, University of Tasmania Tom is passionate about social and environmental justice and is thoughtful, considered, polite and passionate in his activism. Tom’s passion permeates every part of his life: his studies have focused on sustainability, particularly UTAS and Tasmanian specific food waste problems and solutions and he has since gone on to win a grant from the local council to establish a community composting hub. 22

ACTS administers the Green Gown Awards Australasia for the sector, as well as leading, inspiring and equipping our members and stakeholders with a shared vision, knowledge and the tools needed to embed sustainability within operations, curriculum and research of the tertiary education sector.

You can view this document online at www.acts.asn.au

Membership Matters ACTS is a non-profit member based organisation representing higher and further education institutions within Australia and New Zealand. Our aim is to inspire, promote and support change towards best practice sustainability within the operations, curriculum and research of the tertiary education sector. We have been supporting institutions for over 10 years and currently represent almost 90% of universities in Australia and New Zealand, as well as TAFE, RTO’s and polytechnics. There are many benefits to ACTS membership: • Latest sector news and developments • A support network of like-minded colleagues • Events and training at discounted rates • Online learning and webinars • Access to unrivalled, comprehensive sustainability resources - case studies, policies, guides, tools, legislation and more from Australasia, UK and USA • Professional development and experience • Sector development tools and practices • ACTS Annual Conference attendance at discounted rates • Eligibility to the Green Gown Awards Australasia and the ACTS Awards of Excellence ACTS offers institutional, affiliate and corporate membership. One registration covers every member of your institution that’s certainly value for money! Be a part of it - join the team today www.acts.asn.au

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