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Otago Polytechnic Australasian sustainability award finalist

Otago Polytechnic finalist in Australasian sustainability awards

The ongoing success of Otago Polytechnic’s comprehensive sustainability strategy has been recognised with a nomination in the prestigious 2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia.

The Awards, which are in their fifth year, acknowledge Australasian tertiary institutions for best sustainability practice within operations, curriculum and research. Otago Polytechnic is a finalist in the category Continual Improvement – Institutional Change.

The Awards will be announced at a function in Hobart, Australia on Thursday 6 November as part of the annual Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) conference.

“We’re thrilled to be recognised as one of the leading sustainable tertiary institutes in Australasia,” says Jean Tilleyshort, the Polytechnic’s Director: Sustainability. “We’re making great progress on our sustainability journey and our carbon footprint is constantly reducing. The recent replacement of our coal-fired boilers with woodchip boilers alone reduced our ecological footprint by 19%.”

Sustainability is built in to the mission, values and strategic goals of the organisation, permeating through to the roles of every staff member.

“Every division of the Polytechnic has been involved in implementing our sustainability strategy,” Ms Tilleyshort says. “Every team has sustainability objectives and every curriculum area has built sustainable practice into its programmes. All Polytechnic staff can take real pride in this award nomination.”

Among the Polytechnic’s notable sustainability achievements are a 50% reduction in waste to landfill from 2010 and 2013; a 32% decrease in water consumption over the same period; and an 11% decline in paper use and printing in the past two years.

In addition, the Polytechnic’s sustainability training programme, Adding Sustainable Value – offered in partnership with the Sustainable Business Council and The Natural Step – has engaged with 80 businesses over the past three years to improve their ecological profile.

Community groups have also benefitted from a considerable number of volunteer activities and student projects. In 2013, 1580 hours were put in to volunteering activities alone, involving 346 staff members and students.

-ENDS-


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