AUT has won the Revolutionising Energy Award at the 2019 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.
The Revolutionising Energy Award is presented to an organisation that is transforming its own energy system or enabling a systemic shift to renewable energy.
Lucy McKenzie, Sustainability Advisor, says it is fantastic to be recognised for the positive changes we have made so far.
"AUT has been implementing resource reduction initiatives since the late 2000s and the Sustainability Roadmap gives us clear direction for future improvement. While there is still more work to do, it's great to be able to celebrate the steps that we have taken towards creating a sustainable future for people and the planet."
The reduction of energy consumption, costs and CO2 emissions have been major areas of focus for the University. Buildings have been designed or modified to include energy efficiency measures, such as enhanced insulation, LED lighting, displacement ventilation and heat pump chillers. Many staff within Estates – the Facilities Services team and in particular the Maintenance Managers - were integral in achieving this award.
New Zealand's first electric bus, which reduces CO2 emissions by 80%, was also introduced to AUT's shuttle fleet in 2018. These initiatives, as well as others across the University, have reduced CO2 emissions by 181 tonnes between 2016 and May 2019.
The judges commended the effort made by AUT and made special mention of the University’s Sustainability Roadmap.
“AUT has an impressive target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in the next five years. It is making good progress and after two years has saved 181 tonnes of carbon dioxide by energy efficiency measures, investing in an electric bus, which shuttles students from one campus to the other, and replacing gas heating with electric. It has also launched a sustainability roadmap so is a good role model for similar organisations.”
The NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards are New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainability awards. Now in their 17th year, they recognise and celebrate success in sustainability.