University in running for national sustainability award

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University in running for national sustainability award


A USC staff members checks the University's water filtration system

2 November 2016

The University of the Sunshine Coast is a finalist in the 2016 Green Gown Awards Australasia, a scheme dedicated to recognising excellence for sustainability both nationally and internationally.

It is one of three university finalists in the facilities and services category for its program called Smart Utility Management – Smart Savings for USC.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Mooloolaba Surf Club tomorrow, Thursday 3 November, in conjunction with the annual three-day ACTS (Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability) conference hosted this year by USC.

The ACTS conference, to be held at USC’s Sippy Downs campus from today to Friday 4 November, will challenge participants with the question: How do we work together to drive the sustainability agenda as the solution to building a smart future?

Media are welcome to attend the ACTS conference at USC Sippy Downs today, tomorrow and Friday morning.

Presentation topics include sustainability planning in a disaster zone, saving money with smart utility management, certified carbon neutrality, renewable energy and “living labs”.

The keynote speaker this morning was University of Gibraltar Vice-Chancellor Professor Daniella Tilbury. Thursday's keynote address will be by Greg Cree, chairman and founder of Project 4 Change Ltd.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the University had been passionate about sustainability since it enrolled its first students 20 years ago, and its 2016 Green Gown finalist nomination reflected its progress.

The nomination read: “Since 2012, USC has experienced a 20.1 percent growth in footprint and 42.5 percent 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.”

USC was highly commended in the same category of last year’s Green Gown Awards and won in 2014 for its carbon reduction and integrated waste management system.

— Julie Schomberg

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