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Sustainability Awards

11 October 2023

UC's Sustainability Awards are an opportunity to recognise those in our community who are working to improve the world around us. Find out more about sustainability awards at UC.


The Sustainability Awards are an opportunity to recognise those in our community who are working to improve the world around us. Staff (individuals/groups, or in certain categories, activities/initiatives) are eligible for each award.  There are two prizes for each award: Winner and Highly Commended.

This year there are 4 awards based on UC’s Strategic VisionSustainability Policy, and Ngā Uara | Our Values, and focus on Research for Sustainability, Teaching and Learning for Sustainability, Sustainable Operating Practices, and Partnerships for Sustainability.

The 4 awards for 2022 are:

1. Advancing Sustainability Research Award (Research for Sustainability) 

Recognises research staff/group who have led to a positive outcome for the environment and/or society. It could be as part of a research programme or a research initiative. Strong nominations will demonstrate sustainability is explicitly embedded in the research or outcomes and advances any of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); strategic partnerships; innovation; and contributions at the local, regional, national, or international scale.

2. Advancing Sustainability Knowledge Award (Teaching and Learning for Sustainability)

Recognises staff/group for quality teaching, learning and knowledge sharing in sustainability themes across UC’s academic and operational communities.  It could be as part of an activity or initiative.   Strong nominations will demonstrate teaching, learning and knowledge sharing in sustainability that advances any of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contributes at the local, regional, national, or international scale.

3. Protecting our Planet Award (Sustainable Operating Practices)

Celebrates individuals, teams, projects, activities, or initiatives which have worked to enhance UC’s environmental impact by contributing to sustainability best practice into their day-to-day work or their service to the campus.

4. Building a Sustainable Community Award (Partnerships for Sustainability)

Celebrates individuals, groups or activities that contribute to enhancing the health, wellbeing, equality, diversity and/or inclusion of our community, either within the university or beyond.

And the 2022 winners were...

Advancing Sustainability Research AwardProfessor Steven RatuvaThis award recognises Professor Ratuva's work and leadership on the Pacific Ocean and Climate Crisis Assessment (POCCA) Research Project, a partnership between UC, University of the South Pacific and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Highly Commended Advancing Sustainability Research AwardDr Joya KemperThis award recognises Dr Kemper's contributions to theoretical developments in sustainable and healthy consumption from a consumer science perspective, particularly sustainable food.
Winner of the Advancing Sustainability Knowledge AwardPrimary Science and Technology Team: Bronwyn Beukes, Ceri de Boo, Tracy Henderson, Kaitlyn Martin, Shweta Sharma, Sara Tolbert, and Sandra Williamson-LeadleyThis award recognises the Team's work in developing an innovative course helping trainee teachers create and contribute knowledge for a better society.
Highly Commended Advancing Sustainability Knowledge AwardEnvironmental Science Programme: Professor Sally GawThis award recognises the programme's new pathway in teaching practice that weaves together theory and practice, scientific and profession skills to contribute to the SDGs.
Winner of the Protecting our Planet Award Jessica Saul: Te Rua MakerspaceThis award recognises Jessica's significant contributions to staff and student well-being in Te Rua Makerspace by creating an inclusive, welcoming and relaxing space in her low-waste, repurposed materials and creative workshops, craft-a-noons and drop-in sessions.
Highly Commended Protecting our Planet AwardProfessor Don HineThis award recognises Professor Hine's expertise in environmental psychology contributions to two UC strategic projects: single-use water bottles and air travel.
Winner of the Building a Sustainable Community AwardProfessor Bronwyn HaywardThis award recognises Professor Hayward's significant sustainability partnerships contributions as a lead author in Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

Awards were presented and celebrated at the UC Staff Hui Whakamānawa event on Wednesday 30 November 2022 where the Vice-Chancellor awarded all recipients.

Check out all the past Sustainability Award winners, nominees and projects here.

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