The green university is here, just ask staff and students
La Trobe seeks answers on environmental sustainability
La Trobe University has launched a competition to come up with the best ideas from students and staff for making the University a more sustainable place to study and work.
Launched by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson, the competition is calling for new ideas in infrastructure, curriculum and general practice, and invites staff and students to contribute to the greening of La Trobe.
"La Trobe must lead the broader community in environmentally sustainable practice, so when our students go out into the world they can share their positive experience in sustainability and change the environment for the better," Professor Johnson said.
"My goal is to use the great minds we have on campus to focus on this problem, and tap into our collective wealth of creativity," he said.
Prizes have been donated by local businesses to reward contestants, but the biggest motivator is the University's intention to implement the winning ideas into its own green strategy.
"We are already doing lots of things which reduce our environmental footprint, such as smarter energy and a reduction in water use. Now we're looking for something really radical which will pave the way for other institutes and businesses to follow," said the University Estate Director, Tony Inglis.
"We want 'out of the box' thinking that will come up with something truly new and innovative," he said.
The recent installation of a bank of solar panels and a new bicycle complex are just some examples of La Trobe's commitment to sustainability. Other initiatives the University is well-known for include a highly efficient co-generation plant running on natural gas, which meets the electricity needs of the Bundoora campus and sends power to the local community, and the extensive moat system which uses recycled water to keep the University's gardens green.
Competition submissions will be judged by a panel representing the University and external environmental agencies. Judges will be looking for viable ideas that show innovation and creativity, and can demonstrate a positive impact on sustainability compared to 'business as usual'.
Entries close on September 5 and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the University some time after that.
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