UniMelb wins at Green Gown Awards Australasia

Master of Environment student Chris Dixon won the ACTs Award of Excellence – Student award while the Choose to Reuse Plate Program was 'Highly Commended' in the Creating Impact category.

Both awards were announced at the Green Gown Awards Australasia online ceremony on Thursday 26 November. The Awards are run annually by Australian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTs) and recognise excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia.

The ACTs Award of Excellence – Student goes to a student who has demonstrated leadership in sustainability initiatives and practical solutions while at University.

Chris is an active environmentalist both within and outside the University community as a Green Impact Project Assistant and Mentor, a member of the University’s Fairtrade Steering Committee and a highly involved member of the Postgraduate Environment Network (PEN). He has also co-created and is host of PEN Podcasts, a sustainability careers podcast aimed at current students. Chris’ passion has led him to form a sustainable food student society during his undergraduate studies at Deakin University, intern in Belgium for a sustainability community organisation, and has extended to previous work in water stewardship.

The Creating Impact award is given to a University that delivers innovative solutions to sustainability issues, makes a positive environmental impact with limited resources, and shares their successes to create wider societal impact.

The Choose to Reuse Plate Program is a reusable dish service that allows staff and students to purchase meals on Parkville campus without the single-use waste. The service makes reusable plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery available for use at Union House, allowing visitors to enjoy lunch without the unnecessary food and drink packaging.

Launched in July 2019, the service diverted over 240,000 disposable items from landfill in the first six months, resulting in a 23.5% decrease in waste to landfill. The service is an Australian University first and has been guided by the University’s target, to reduce waste to landfill to 20kg per person by 2020, as outlined in the Sustainability Plan 2017–2020. It has also provided a real ‘living lab’ scenario which has led to a number of future opportunities for implementation and influencing progressive behaviour change.

RMIT University won in the Creating Impact category with 'Let's Lead the Way' – an engagement approach encouraging the adoption of sustainable practices and outcomes.

University of Melbourne finalists in the Awards included Helen Lamb for ACTs Award of Excellence – Staff, Victoria Townsend for ACTs Award of Excellence – Student, and the Early Learning Centre (ELC) for Outstanding Leadership Team. Read more about our finalists at Green Gown Awards Finalists Announced.

To view all winners and highly commended finalists of the Awards visit Green Gown Awards Australasia.

More Information

Sustainability Team