Green Impact 2020 Awards

For the second year in a row, UNSW students and staff were awarded for their passion for sustainable change at the Green Impact awards ceremony delivered virtually on 27 November 2020.

At the Green Impact awards on 27 November, UNSW celebrated the incredible efforts of staff and students to make our home, office and residential spaces more environmentally sustainable.

Throughout the four-month program, 277 staff and students completed 1123 actions, transforming the way we innovate and embed sustainability in our day-to-day lives. This year’s toolkit was slightly different, allowing participants to complete working from home actions along with workplace tasks in six sustainable categories including waste, health and wellbeing or biodiversity.

Guest of honour, UNSW Provost Professor Anne Simmons commended the efforts of everyone involved.

“Green Impact awards are a wonderful recognition of the University’s community sense of social responsibility for our environment,” said Professor Simmons. “The Green Impact initiative has shown that student and staff at every level of the University are prepared to lead by example on environmental sustainability. It also demonstrates that the changes to our behaviour and our practices, however small, have a really powerful impact if we act collectively.”

Teams implemented actions, ranging from crazy jumper campaigns to reduce the use of heating appliances, adding pot plants to their workspace, to setting up meat free virtual lunch parties or promoting at home exercising. Six project teams have also been working hard to implement some fantastic new initiatives such as growing mushrooms from coffee grounds and planting an indigenous edible garden.

This year, we also had several outstanding student teams, two of which won second and third at the Green Impact awards ceremony! We strongly encourage all students to get involved next year, either as part of a team or as a student auditor.

Congratulations to the following winning teams:

1st place MCIC_Green
Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, DVCE
2nd place (tied) Green Laboratories at the Upper Campus
Faculty of Medicine
2nd place (tied) Global Green Chain
Student team from Science and Law
3rd place Green Beans: Sustainable Sprouts
Student team representing The Producers - Arc

The awards also celebrated the innovative initiatives by individuals and teams who went above and beyond.

Earth Defender’s Institute was named the Working from Home team champion for their hard work in integrating recycling, composting and energy saving practises into their households. They have also been passionate about creatively using homegrown produce, making their own marmalade from scratch.

Global Green Chain team was recognised for their innovative engagement efforts in bringing sustainability to not just their everyday lives but also to the community.

Nancy Torrens was recognised as the staff champion during the program for her outstanding efforts in all areas of sustainability.

Miles Portek was announced the Working from Home champion for his commitment to the program. His enthusiasm for sustainability has been reflected in his actions this year which have included running sustainability workshops for the UNSW community and raising over $2000 for the protection of the Daintree rainforest. You can donate to his campaign here:

UNSW Head of Sustainability, Will Syddall said:

“Green impact is absolutely critical for how we improve awareness about environmental sustainability across our campuses. It is great to see so many of staff and students involved and great projects and ideas being put forward and implemented. Congratulations everyone for taking part”.

The Green Impact program forms part of the engagement and integration outcomes of the Environmental sustainability plan 2019-2022 launched earlier this year.

Next year UNSW Sustainability are hoping for an even bigger and better program, so stay tuned for program details in 2021!

Missed the online awards? You can still watch the ceremony here.