The award was in the ‘Net Zero Action’ category and was presented by NSW Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean at a ceremony held on 25 October.
The University picked up the award in recognition of its efforts to achieve net zero emissions through energy efficiency and onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) initiatives, switching to 100% renewable electricity through a landmark Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and measuring and targeting value chain emissions from sources such as purchased goods and services, investments, and travel.
UNSW ingenuity played a key part in this recognition: UNSW is now powered by electricity from the Sunraysia Solar Farm, which uses PERC silicon solar technology pioneered at UNSW by Professor Martin Green and the late Professor Stuart Wenham.
"This award reflects many years of work since UNSW Estate Management began installing onsite solar PV systems and working on a solar Power Purchase Agreement”, said Head of Environmental Sustainability William Syddall.
“Having switched to 100% renewable electricity in 2020, our focus is now on electrifying campus infrastructure and tackling emissions from our supply chain, investments, and travel. Most of these emissions are outside of our direct control and can only be reduced through engagement and partnership."
Banksia Foundation CEO Graz van Egmond describes the 2022 winners as exceptional. “From creating a unique web tool that allows farmers to protect birdlife on their property to tackling antimicrobial resistance in livestock production with antibiotic-free feed supplements, the impressive crop of winners is a picture of ambition, creativity and innovation.”
“Our judges were impressed by the calibre of this year’s winners and especially, the young leaders who are inspiring local communities to take climate actions,” said Ms van Egmond.
As one of the winners of the NSW Sustainability Awards, UNSW will be progressing to the 34th National Banksia Sustainability Awards, with winners announced in March 2023. For more information click here. For further information regarding the UNSW Environmental Sustainability Plan 2022-24, click here.