2019 Sustainability Awards

 The UC Sustainability Awards are an opportunity to recognise those in our community who are working to improve the world around us. The 2019 Sustainability Awards celebrated individuals and teams across 6 categories, and this year we were delighted to welcome UC Vice Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae Professor Cheryl de la Rey to present this year's Awards!

2019 Sustainability Awards

For more information on the 2019 winners, see UC's media release here, or check out our 2019 Sustainability Awards blog.

And the winners were:

 

Category Name Project Title
SUPREME AWARD WINNER Bronwyn Hayward IPCC Land Climate Meeting and Side Events
 WINNER ACADEMIC STAFF -INDIVIDUAL Susan Krumdieck Transition Engineering, Building a Sustainable Future (book published Oct 2019) 
HIGHLY COMMENDED (ACADEMIC STAFF INDIVIDUAL) Sally Gaw

Microplastics in Aotearoa New Zealand

HIGHLY COMMENDED (ACADEMIC STAFF INDIVIDUAL) Tim Huber
HIGHLY COMMENDED (ACADEMIC STAFF INDIVIDUAL) Piers Locke Pedogogy of hope - teaching that inspires engagement in environmental action
WINNER ACADEMIC STAFF - TEAM  Environmental Science staff Team Environmental Science
HIGHLY COMMENDED ACADEMIC STAFF TEAM: TEACHING The Chemical and Process Engineering Academic Team Sustainability is embedded in Chemical and Process Engineering teaching at UC
HIGHLY COMMENDED ACADEMIC STAFF TEAM : APPLIED HydroEco Engineering Research Group [Aisling (Ash) O'Sullivan, Tom Cochrane, Frances Charters, Peter McGuigan, Aude Thierry and research students] with support from Facilities Management THE STORMINATOR™ - A Sustainable Stormwater Treatment Solution Using Food Waste Shells
HIGHLY COMMENDED ACADEMIC STAFF TEAM : APPLIED EPECentre Joule log heating team: Dr Bill Heffernan, Dr Nurzhan Nursultanov, Mr Ryan van Herel Electric alternative to toxic chemical fumigation for export logs
WINNER: STUDENT RESEARCH Helena Ruffell Wastewater treatment plans as a source of microplastics to the environment
HIGHLY COMMENDED STUDENT RESEARCH Mehrnoush Tangestani (AND Daniel Smith) Omega-3 fatty acid production from New Zealand algae
HIGHLY COMMENDED STUDENT RESEARCH Sergio Hansen, Julian Maranan (Project Team: AOS01) Treatment Performance of an Innovative Downpipe Stormwater Treatment Solution
HIGHLY COMMENDED STUDENT RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL Niebert Blair, PhD Student Discovery of the dynamic balance of sustainability - Lessons learned from Amerindian hinterland villages in the Amazon region of Guyana, South America
WINNER STUDENT-LED PROJECT TEAM Amelia Dewhurst,  Rose Bayldon, Florence Ferguson, Josh Watson Christchurch Climate Challenge 
HIGHLY COMMENDED STUDENT-LED PROJECT TEAM UC For Climate Core Team UC For Climate 
WINNER STUDENT-LED PROJECT INDIVIDUAL Courtney Wright-Watson Establishing EnviroSoc
HIGHLY COMMENDED STUDENT-LED PROJECT INDIVIDUAL Ella Knobloch
HIGHLY COMMENDED STUDENT-LED PROJECT INDIVIDUAL Varvara Sidorenko Eco Volunteering 
WINNER GENERAL STAFF - INDIVIDUAL Linda Morris Life time of Reusing, Re purposing and Re cycling
WINNER GENERAL STAFF - TEAM Haere-Roa/UCSA Building Project Team Wellbeing Precinct Low Carbon Energy Scheme
HIGHLY COMMENDED GENERAL STAFF TEAM Procurement Supply Chain Influence
HIGHLY COMMENDED GENERAL STAFF TEAM Mt Barker Forestry Mt Barker Forestry

Congratulations to our 2019 Nominees! 

   

Category

Name

Project Title

 

 

 

ACADEMIC STAFF -INDIV

Susan Krumdieck

Transition Engineering, Building a Sustainable Future (book published Oct 2019)

Sally Gaw

Microplastics in Aotearoa New Zealand

Tim Huber

Waste reduction through design

Bronwyn Hayward

IPCC Land Climate Meeting and Side Events

Bronwyn Hayward

Services to IPCC

Piers Locke

Pedogogy of hope - teaching that inspires engagement in environmental action

 

 

 

ACADEMIC STAFF - TEAM

HydroEco Engineering Research Group [Aisling (Ash) O'Sullivan, Tom Cochrane, Frances Charters, Peter McGuigan, Aude Thierry and research students] with support from Facilities Management

THE STORMINATOR™ - A Sustainable Stormwater Treatment Solution Using Food Waste Shells

EPECentre Joule log heating team: Dr Bill Heffernan, Dr Nurzhan Nursultanov, Mr Ryan van Herel

Electric alternative to toxic chemical fumigation for export logs

Pieter Pelser, Jim Briskie, helen Warburton

BIOL 273 Campus Biodiversity inventory

Environmental Science staff Team

Environmental Science

NZPSA 2019 Organising Committee

Developing a Sustainable Conference Model for UC

The Chemical and Process Engineering Academic Team

Sustainability is embedded in Chemical and Process Engineering teaching at UC

 

 

 

STUDENT - RESEARCH

Mehrnoush Tangestani

Omega-3 fatty acid production from New Zealand algae

Emma Rees

Keeping the Kaupokonui Stream Cool

Daniel Smith and Mehrnoush Tangestani

Sustainable production of Omega-3 fatty acids by algae

Sergio Hansen, Julian Maranan (Project Team: AOS01)

Treatment Performance of an Innovative Downpipe Stormwater Treatment Solution

Helena Ruffell

Wastewater treatment plans as a source of microplastics to the environment

Felix Morgenstern and Etienne Gil-Goldsbrough

Degradation Characteristics of Compostable Plastics in Controlled and Uncontrolled Composting Environments

 

 

 

STUDENT-LED PROJECT

Amelia Dewhurst

Christchurch Climate Challenge

Amelia Dewhurst,  Rose Bayldon, Florence Ferguson, Josh Watson

Christchurch Climate Challenge

Harjot Gill

Sustainability and Waste Management

Ella Knobloch

Personal sustainability passion

Niebert Blair, PhD Student

Discovery of the dynamic balance of sustainability - Lessons learned from Amerindian hinterland villages in the Amazon region of Guyana, South America

Rose Bayldon

Christchurch Climate Challenge Conference

Patricio Gallardo Ocampo

Transition of Freight Transportation to Zero Carbon

Courtney Wright-Watson

Establishing EnviroSoc

Varvara Sidorenko

Eco Volunteering

Abby Robertson

Te Ao Māori in Waiutuutu Community Garden

UC For Climate Core Team

UC For Climate

UC Bike: Bikefest Group

Encouraging commuter cycling at UC

 

 

 

GENERAL STAFF - INDIVID

Isabel Andrade

The Role of Adaptive Capacity: Transition Engineering of Zero Carbon Building Retrofits

Lauralee Mather

Eathly

Linda Morris

Life time of Reusing, Re purposing and Re cycling

 

 

 

GENERAL STAFF - TEAM

UCSA Food and Beverage

Coffee Price structure change

UCSA Events Team

Globlets

Mt Barker Forestry

Mt Barker Forestry

Haere-Roa/UCSA Building Project Team

Wellbeing Precinct Low Carbon Energy Scheme

Procurement

Supply Chain Influence

Sust Awards Cheryl

Thank you to our sponsors...

Yealands Trade Aid

2017 Sustainability Awards

The University of Canterbury Sustainability Office rewards those departments and people around campus that are making the effort to make this University more sustainable.

Nominees are judged against the following criteria: scope/reach (eg is this a small portion of the UC community, is it UC wide, does it reach beyond the University?), innovation, challenge (how easy or hard was this to implement?) and the overall sustainability credentials of the project. Judges included a new criterion for deliverability - has this already been implemented or is it still at concept stage?

Nominations were assessed by an independent panel made up of representatives from Christchurch City Council, Ara Institute of Technology and the UCSA.

Awards were presented at a ceremony in September by Prof. Wendy Lawson (PVC Science), Darryn Russel (Acting Director, Learning Resources) and Emily Barker (Vice President, UCSA).

The Supreme Winner won a trip to gorgeous Hokitika, via a breathtaking rail journey through Arthur's Pass on the TranzAlpine. Accommodation, food and awesome activities were all included.

And the winners were:

Entrant nameProject title
Tom Meaclem High Efficiency Fertilisers 
Fair Trade Steering Group Fair Trade Accreditation
Mark Homewood, Capital Works Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre Stormwater
Jackson White The Solar Project
Facilities Services Low Carbon Campus
Ming Bai Energy Transition Engineering
Selva Ganapathy and Jingfang (Joyce) Chen Fog Water Harvesting
Mechanical Engineering Department Eco-Marathon Design
Events and Partnerships Events Waste Reduction
Tohoa Tetini (preferred name: MahMah Timoteo) UC Divestment Campaign
Glynne Mackey Sustainability and Social Justice

See previous winners on our Past Sustainability Awards page.

Thanks to our sponsors

Glynne Mackey is a lecturer in teacher education, and from 2004 to present day, has been developing courses for early childhood (EC) and primary teachers on sustainability, social justice and ecojustice. From 2004 all EC students have had a compulsory Year 3 course in sustainability and now this is open to primary students. In the sustainability course, students are challenged in their personal attitudes around sustainability and environmental behaviour as well as what this means for the professional teacher.

Students are encouraged to be sustainability leaders in their school or centre and ensure children have opportunities to realise their own competence and agency in making a difference for a better future.  The course has evolved under different course codes. It began as more of a focus on environmental education in 2004 and as worldwide understandings towards environmental issues have changed it has become more integrated with social justice and ecojustice.

Maori concepts and practices have a significant place in the development of content for the courses and they clearly show the importance of kaitiakitanga, caring, community, collaboration and interconnectedness. Glynne’s work in teacher education and sustainability has been recognised internationally. She was a key person to bring several New Zealand tertiary teacher education institutions into the UNESCO initiative to Re-orient Teacher Education towards Sustainability and has represented the University and New Zealand at the biennial conferences. From 2010 this has meant working with one other New Zealand colleague to establish sustainability groups within all sectors of teacher education throughout New Zealand – setting up internet forum groups and special interest groups at education conferences in New Zealand and generally promote teacher education to include sustainability.

Since 2010 the College of Education has been in the UNESCO network and contributed to the activity of the network 2010-2017. In 2017 the Education Council of New Zealand reviewed the standards for graduating and registered teachers in New Zealand. Glynne wrote to the CEO of the Education Council advocating for sustainability to be more visible in the standards. She received a positive response from the CEO and now sustainability is included in the new framework under the teacher’s Commitment to Society to promote and protect ‘the principles of human rights, sustainability and social justice’.

Since 2015 Glynne has worked with an international group of five early childhood academics to contribute to the UNESCO resource bank as the early childhood contribution to the Global Action Plan, Priority Action Area No 3 – Building capacities of educators and trainers. Each year the group invites projects from around the word and decides on awards. Glynne is the co-coordinator of this GAP initiative.

  • Glynne Mackey, Wendy Lawson and Matt Morris

    Glynne Mackey with Professor Wendy Lawson, PVC Science and Dr Matt Morris, Sustainability Advisor.

This year’s Fair Trade Diamond Award goes to Selva and Joyce for their extraordinary vision and commitment in solving an urgent problem in many impoverished communities throughout the developing world: access to clean drinking water. They have undertaken social and environmental development work, with a low environmental impact.

“Inspired by the Warka Water Tower project, Selva began to explore the possibilities of fog harvesting in Tamilnadu, India. Stories about the farmers’ suicide in the drought-hit regions were the motive behind beginning to research about water conservation and water-related work. He initially wrote to Warka Water to know about replicating and further developing their model, and they had no hesitation in giving a go ahead as the intent was to help the community. Selva’s team then redesigned the existing model.” Part of their work programme is to fully train people in the communities they are working with to ensure they can maintain and operate the equipment, thus empowering them and ensuring the on-going sustainability of the initiative.

The project is still in the implementation stage in India. They will be presenting their idea at Schneider Electrical’s Go Green in the City 2017 competition global finals in Paris next month.

The judges found this a breath-taking and heart-warming proposition, and felt it fitting that this year’s Fair Trade Diamond award be given to Selva and Joyce as their work will directly benefit communities in the developing world, and potentially those least able to deal with the coming effects of catastrophic climate change.

  • Joyce Chen and Emily Parker

    Joyce Chen accepting her award from Emily Parker, UCSA Vice President.

It is obvious that the car is a key problem for sustainability, but it seems it isn’t going away. This group of students, with the help of Bruce Robertson, took on a massive challenge to put in an entry into the Shell Eco-Marathon Design Challenge, which was held in Singapore in March. As the nominator for this entry explained: “Typically teams focus only on the amount of fuel the vehicles uses, but this team took a wider perspective and explored options for whole product life cycle energy use. The result of this was the design and build of a small car that is the first in the world to be made entirely from recyclable thermoformed plastic sheets.

Selection of this material supports reduction in energy consumption at three stages, those being the initial manufacture, service life, and end of life.” The judges loved that the car has been taken around schools, and is therefore a teaching tool. They were very impressed by the huge challenge of pulling the project together in a short space of time, and also by the outcome: a working model that could improve sustainability outcomes for transport internationally.

  • Ben Murton, Robbie Murray and Emily Parker

    Ben Murton and Robbie Murray accepting their award from Emily Parker.

Tackling the hardest sustainability challenge of our time appears to be something world politicians have managed to neglect for decades. Taking positive steps towards a lower carbon future therefore needs to be done business by business, institution by institution, and home by home.

The Gold Award for General Staff this year goes to Rob Oudshoorn and his team in Facilities Services for their work in quietly retrofitting the campus with literally hundreds of interventions that have collectively begun to drive down our carbon profile. Mostly these have been around a range of energy efficiency measures which are now already in place. Construction is also underway for the new Wellness Precinct, which will be low carbon, and heated via ground source heat pump – a very significant step away from non-renewables. This award goes to Rob and his team for their commitment to the vision of a low carbon future for the University and deftness in taking practical, considered steps that take us directly there.

  • Rob Oudshoorn and Darryn Russell

    Rob Oudshoorn (left) accepting his award from Darryn Russell (AVC Māori).

The judging panel was stunned by the nomination for the CAREX project led by Professors Angus McIntosh and Jon Harding. They noted that this work is of national importance and is complex, current and critical. The Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment is focussed on improving freshwater sustainability through development and evaluation of restoration solutions for agricultural streams, surely a massive issue for Canterbury and the nation at large.

The team’s approach has (1) Proven that management and protection efforts are most effective in small waterways; (2) Highlighted the need to address local hotspots of contamination that circumvent riparian protection; (3) Developed alternatives to managing nuisance weeds; (4) Installed the first NZ bioreactors used to reduce nitrate pollution; and (5) Demonstrated that sediment traps can reduce sediment and pathogen pollution to downstream waterways.

The team uses multiple approaches to clearly and effectively communicate our findings effectively (e.g., Field days, newsletters, social media, public seminars and presentations to Councils and community groups) and they have developed CAREX Demonstration Sites to be places of knowledge generation, transfer and citizen science efforts. They work with over 20 landowners and farm managers and more than 60 other stakeholders from local government to NGOs to industry.

Their plan is to continue the project and extend their learnings to catchments across the North and South islands to test sequences and combinations of new restoration tools (e.g., habitat creation, sediment removal, nutrient remediation) in efforts to address the simultaneous stressors responsible for declines in freshwater mauri and mahinga kai. As they say, “we predict that when barriers to restoration success, including environmental, social and economic, are removed, management can be transformed and recovery can be achieved.”

  • CAREX team and Wendy Lawson

    Members of the CAREX team accepting their award from Professor Wendy Lawson.

Getting solar panels on campus buildings is a perennial question, and it was unanticipated that the question would be answered by a student. But that is exactly what has happened. Jackson made it his business as sustainability champion on the exec to get solar panels on a building at UC and achieved this within a matter of months – a pretty extraordinary achievement. In order to do this he needed to build a political consensus, a practical course of action and budget and attract sponsorship, all of which he pulled off with typically understated aplomb.

The judges were hugely impressed by this outcome, which means an early learning centre is now powered by the sun. Children will now have an experience there that could change their views on sustainability for life. The judges also particularly noted the social media work Jackson did to tell the story and inspire other students about what can be done. In addition, and while this was not part of their decision, the judges wanted to highlight the huge amount of work Jackson is doing within the UCSA for sustainability and congratulate him on these efforts, which will make a significant difference at UC for years to come.

  • Jackson White and Emily Parker

    Jackson White accepts his award from Emily Parker.

It is always exciting when academic staff give accolades to general staff for their work – and this is what has happened with stormwater design work for the new RRSIC building. Academic staff from the Sciences and Engineering had a lot of input into designs for this building, and one of the stand out results is how stormwater is treated before being discharged into Okeover/Waiutuutu Stream.

Projects of this scale are inevitably hugely collaborative, but Mark wins this award as Project Manager for successfully marrying the concept of the Living Laboratory with practical stormwater treatment and the cold reality of the budget. This piece of work, which creates a new learning environment for students and academic staff, builds upon the notion of campus as a Stormwater Research Park and 20 years of stream rehabilitation on campus. As such, it not only creates learning opportunities for those on campus but has direct practical application as an exemplar for the wider Christchurch rebuild and best practice construction relating to urban waterways internationally. 

  • Mary Watson and Darryn Russell

    Mary Watson (Capital Projects) accepts the award on behalf of Mark Holmwood from Darryn Russell.