Sustainability Achievements

The University's commitment to sustainability has been celebrated with a succession of awards over the last few years.

Ruby Craven watching the 2021 Green Gown Awards Australasia online ceremony.


Ruby Craven, Bachelor of Arts

Winner of the ACTS Awards of Excellence ­– Student award in the Green Gown Awards Australasia.

Ruby follows her passion for climate and inter-generational justice and demonstrates leadership in sustainability initiatives and practical solutions while at University. Learn more about Ruby's achievements.

Virtual Sustainability Tour

'Highly Commended' in the Building Back Better category in the ACTS Green Gown Awards Australasia.

Awarded for its innovative response to on-campus tours being halted during the pandemic, the online tour enables new audiences to explore sustainable initiatives, services, and infrastructure on campus. Learn more about the awards.


Chris Dixon, Master of Environment

Winner of the ACTS Awards of Excellence ­– Student award in the Green Gown Awards Australasia.

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). Learn more about Chris' achievements.

Choose to Reuse Plate Program

'Highly Commended' in the Creating Impact category of the Green Gown Awards Australasia.

The Choose to Reuse Plate Program 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, and was awarded for its innovative approach to sustainability issues and wider societal impact. Learn more about this award.

Learning and Teaching Building (Werribee campus redevelopment)

Six star Green Star rating

The building received a six star Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) ‘Design and As Built’ rating, representing world leadership in building design and construction.

WEBs north wing (Western Edge Biosciences Stage 1)

Six star Green Star rating

The building received a six star Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) ‘Design and As Built’ rating, representing world leadership in building design and construction.

Old Quad Redevelopment,

Sustainable Architecture Award, Australian Institute of Architects 2020 Victorian Architecture Awards

The Ian Potter Southbank Centre, the new home of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, was shortlisted in the ‘Educational Architecture’ category.

The Australian Rainforest Boardwalk in the System Garden, Parkville

'Landscape Architecture Award’ in the Small Projects Category at the Victorian Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) awards.

'Eco Heroes' Green Impact Team, University of Melbourne Early Learning Centre

Engagement Innovation award, Green Impact Australasia Awards.

Student and Project Assistant George He was also a finalist in the Student Champion category.

Harriet Deans, teacher at the Early Learning Centre and Green Impact participant, tuning into the Green Impact Australasia Awards ceremony online.
Group picture of award winners at awards ceremony


Murra Warra Wind Farm and Melbourne Renewable Energy Project power purchasing agreements: 'Partnerships for Progress' award winner from the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN).

Bees@Unimelb: Winner of ‘Creating Impact’ category at the ACTS Green Gown Awards.

Raveena Grace: 'Highly Commended' in the 'ACTS Award of Excellence - student' category at the ACTS Green Gown Awards.


Sustainability Executive, Outstanding Leadership Team

From mid-2015 to early 2017, staff and students built the foundations for institutional change in the form of a strategic Framework comprising a Sustainability Charter, Plan and Report.

John Pederick, ACTS Award of Excellence - Staff

John, Facilities and Operations Manager, Faculty of Science, has been a sustainability champion and driver for change across the university for many years.

Sustainability@Melbourne, Continuous Improvement - Institutional Change (Highly Commended)

We've accomplished great success in the past year. Notably, 100% Fairtrade Kitchen consumables, more solar panels campus wide, successes in Green Impact and other sustainability events.

Fair Food Challenge, Student Engagement (Highly Commended)

This student-run initiative runs a series of projects such as community kitchens, a serving ware re-use service, a portable bike kitchen, community lunches, food waste workshops and free fruit boxes in the library.


Nick Swan, ACTS Award of Excellence – Staff

A bold and passionate operator, Nicks’ commitment to sustainable practices in reuse and recycling has taken Melbourne Universities’ internal reuse program and transformed it into an industry leading service. He has successfully driven fundamental change in operational practice and ideology, through both idealistic and pragmatic approaches.

He continually strives to implement new and innovative practices above and beyond normal job requirements. The efficacy and engagement of his work practices and principles, permeates into both his professional and personal spheres.

Sophie Lamond, ACTS Award of Excellence – Student

Sophie has developed and championed a student-led co-designed vision for fair food policies in Australian universities. She has built extensive networks both within the University of Melbourne and universities across Australia creating a community of practice working on transforming campus food environments.


Danielle Rostan-Herbert, Sustainability Manager - ACTS Award of Excellence – Staff

Throughout her role as Sustainability Manager, now as Sustainability and Environmental Services Manager, Danielle has shown leadership in sustainability not just within her immediate team, but throughout the University and other tertiary networks. Danielle plays an important role in the University of Melbourne’s Sustainability strategy and is responsible for University-wide targets to reduce energy, carbon, water and waste.

Emily Newton, Waste & Recycling Assistant - ACTS Award of Excellence – Student

Emily is an active advocate for holistic sustainability. Prolific in her endeavours both on and off campus, Emily volunteers in the community, studies in the Master of Environment program, and works in the Sustainability Team at the University of Melbourne. With a particular focus on waste education, she enjoys showing people the true impact of their consumption and waste.

Emily has demonstrated a relentless desire to go above and beyond what’s expected of her. Planting trees, cleaning beaches, auditing waste for her local council and the University, organising events to promote Fair Trade, as well as programs to increase re-usable coffee cups.

2015 Green Gown Awards


Continuous Improvement - Institutional Change

Integrating Sustainability at Melbourne – A whole of University approach
The Sustainability Program has grown since 2006 to include initiatives across leadership and governance, facilities and operations, learning teaching and research, and partnerships and engagement. The Program has seen increases in carbon savings from 9,713 in 2008 to 31,754 tonnes in 2014, water savings of 164ML/pa (30%) since 2006 and savings from the furniture reuse program of $2,821,815 based on estimated retail replacement value and $130,445 on landfill charges.

Facilities and Services

The Furniture and Equipment Re-use Service offers a range of workstations, storage solutions, and other items for sale at a low cost, presenting a sustainable and economic alternative to purchasing new furniture or equipment. It is available to University of Melbourne departments, faculties and affiliate organisations. The project has been underway for 3 years and has saved an estimated $200K on landfill charges and $3.5M savings on retail replacement.

Student Engagement (Highly Commended)

C15Hack was Australia’s biggest green innovation hackathon, 41 students worked in small teams to tackle 7 different challenges from across the campus and Melbourne city-wide. They had 24 hours and a designed process, with tons of great prizes, challenges and activities along the way. The winning team, Wildversity, has gone on to gain seed funding through the University’s Green Innovation Fund for their campus biodiversity app.