ACU wins award for sustainability

Photo of Professor Marea Nicholson accepting award

ACU's Sustainability Program has been awarded the New South Wales Business Chamber Business Award (North East region) for excellence in sustainability.

The Award recognises the work of the many ACU staff (particularly the Facilities Management Team and Sustainability Coordinator Mark Doggett) who are responsible for the University's high level of energy and water efficiency, strong recycling performance and commitment to the sustainable design of new buildings and the renovation of existing buildings.

These efforts have resulted in the University making significant savings in energy, water and waste management costs while lightening its environmental footprint.

Associate Vice-Chancellor NSW/ACT Professor Marea Nicholson accepted the award at a ceremony in Milsons Point Sydney on Thursday 28 July.

Professor Nicholson said it was, “fantastic to be part of an organisation that, whilst being committed to protect our heritage, is at the same time determined to meet the challenges facing all businesses today, to ensure we maintain our sustainability credentials and meet all of our new goals in this area.”

The North Eastern Business Awards is an annual program that recognises success in the areas of business leadership, business ethics, sustainability, innovation, export, small business, employer of choice, local chamber of commerce. As a winner at the Regional Business Awards, ACU is automatically entered as a finalist in the State Business Awards that will be announced on Friday 25 November in Sydney.

ACU was nominated for the award from amongst a competitive field that included Blackmores, Hemingway’s Coffee Shop in Manly and the Butcher & the Chef. The University received the award for its outstanding environmental sustainability goals and the initiative and actions it has undertaken to achieve these objectives in the previous 12-24 months.

In 2015, ACU was Australia’s most energy efficient university for the second year in a row, and Australia’s third most efficient consumer of mains water, objectives that were achieved through a combination of sustainable practices in our capital works program, procurement management and building operations.

ACU has applied Green Building Council of Australia Green Star benchmarks on indoor environmental quality and energy and water performance of multiple major refurbishments and new buildings. Sustainability specifications have been included in key facilities management, capital works, and Information Technology contracts. ACU Facility Managers have worked consistently to reduce the energy and water consumption of its buildings through programs targeting the aligning of building cooling and heating schedules to building usage, the widening of heating and cooling set-points to reduce heating and cooling demand and the replacement of halogen lights with LEDs or CFL globes.

ACU is continually endeavouring to meet its own ambitious goals on sustainability. Work is underway right now to create the necessary framework that will embed sustainability throughout our University and continuously improve our environmental performance.

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