Recognition of the University of Tasmania’s commitment to sustainability continues with success in three categories of the Green Gown Awards Australasia.
The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges. The awards are administered by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS).
The University’s winning projects are:
Curious Climate Tasmania team
The Curious Climate Tasmania (CCT) team received the Benefitting Society Award. The CCT team bridges the gap between experts and audiences on the topic of climate change. Their work involves teaching climate literacy to young people, a fundamental topic for future resilience and citizenship not yet covered in Australian curricula.
The team deliver scientific engagement through participant-driven questions. In 2021, they asked 1000 students what they wanted to know about climate change, receiving 273 unique questions. These questions were given to 57 field experts, ranging from climate scientists to engineers to lawyers. All questions were answered with the CCT team providing images and text formats to help children engage with the material.
They also specialise in handling climate change-related feelings, and encourage conversation and action. Its website provides the questions and answers received from students and experts, as well as education on how best to act and react.
Eve Poland - Individual Award for Student Sustainability Champion
Student Eve Poland received the Individual Award for Student Sustainability Champion. Eve has a passion for environmental advocacy and education, believing in an individual’s power to create change and uphold responsibility for the planet. She founded the UTAS Zero Waste Society, and set up a recycling wall, paper collection service, and compost system in the Jane Franklin Hall.
Eve supplied rotary compost bins and worm farms to Jane Franklin Hall and facilitates environmental resilience events through the Zero Waste Society. In 2020 Eve received the Tasmanian University Student Association Gold Award and Best Collaboration Award for her dedication to sustainability.
The Diploma and Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living team
The Diploma and Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living team received the Next Generation Learning and Skills Award. The Diploma and Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living are fully online courses at the University, focused on creating a broad understanding of the concepts, implications and relevance of sustainability. The courses are Australia-wide and reach communities normally poorly served by standard university offerings.
The courses directly link with the University’s commitment to sustainability, and their major successes include increased interest in sustainability education across the University, and students’ reporting that the sense of benefitting the community and planet improves their general mental wellbeing.
This year’s success follows the University winning Sustainability Institution of the Year at the 2021 Green Gown Awards Australasia. The University is the 2022 Times Higher Education number one university in the world for climate action, assessed against UN Sustainable Development Goals.