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Source: Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

05 Nov, 2020

And that’s a wrap for Green Impact 2020! Green Impact is a global program with almost 25,000 people taking part in 190 different countries completing almost 86,000 actions. The program demonstrates that each change we make, no matter how small, adds up to something greater and is embodied in a quote from Sir David Attenborough “The problems may seem daunting, but together we can change course”.

This year AUT had seven teams completing an impressive 153 actions working through a toolkit containing sustainability related actions aimed at making our University and community a more environmentally friendly and socially just place in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Green Impact awards ceremony was held Last week, MC’d by David Hall, chair of the VC’s Sustainability taskforce and senior Lecturer, to highlight the fantastic work the teams had done and why action at this time is incredibly important. This year’s overall winner was the Kakariki Team from AUT’s Libraries and is the first team in AUT history to take out a Gold Award.

As for the gold award, it is the highest award that you can gain in Green Impact so we are incredibly impressed they reached this in only their second year of doing the programme. It required a large amount of teamwork, coordination and dedication to the cause!

Here’s a look at this year’s teams and what they achieved:

  • The Kakariki Team was made up of around 20 library staff with as many as 90 at one stage or another. Their favorite action was their shared winter soup lunch to celebrate Matariki and promote wellbeing. The Kakariki team collaborated with Library Māori Engagement to organise the lunch which was attended by up to 50 staff members from across all three campuses.
  • Green Is the New Black, an all student team of 15, noted their favorite action was participating in the Herbs and vegetable planting workshop. Their whole team attended either the North or South workshop to learn how to start growing vegetables in their own gardens and what to plant throughout the year.
  • Green Beanz is a returning staff team who got themselves involved with Plastic Free July. Their team members collected suggestions of how to reduce their plastic waste and shared these amongst their team throughout the month. They also created a moving image piece to promote various ways that plastic can be avoided that was played across the video walls on campus.
  • Fresh Green$, a new team of staff members regularly collaborated with one another to identify ways to make small but important changes to benefit the environment.
  • S&P Green is a returning staff team that designed and ran their own ‘Imperfect Challenge’. This was inspired by Anne-Marie Bonneau’s (the Zero-Waste Chef) quote “we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly.  We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”. Their challenge gave participants the nudge to do that thing they have been meaning to try, be it catch the bus, install that bokashi system, or bring their own containers to the supermarket.
  • Eco-Puff Girls, another all-student team of 5 didn’t know each other before the program but jumped straight in. They found their regular face-to-face and online meetings were great for motivation, inspiration, sharing ideas and achieving sustainable actions as a team.
  • The AUT Gym is another new staff team that immediately decided to move from paper forms to electronic ones. Erin, who lead this change, noted that in a typical year they would have 2500 people sign up, each would require four sheets of paper, they would also use paper for First Aid course and School Holiday program sign ups. All of these processes are now electronic.

For more information on the program Staff can visit AUTI and Students Student Hub Online. If you too would like to join us to better our community, Green Impact will return early 2021! Sign up to our Sustainability Fortnightly newsletter to get more environmental, social and economic sustainability information and initiatives!