Research shows that when users are provided with direct and real time energy consumption information, it is possible to save 5-15% of energy consumption!
Choosing the right venue to hold our conference is key to reducing our environmental footprint! ACFID is proud to be holding #ACFID2019 on the Kensington Campus, which offers a variety of ways to engage with sustainability practices onsite.
The UNSW is the first university in Australia to commit to moving to 100% renewable energy – and is on track to reach this target by 2020, as part of a 3-year Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP). The ESP will address UNSW’s key issues, commitments, targets and activities across 10 focus areas, each supporting a specific theme of both the UNSW 2025 strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The plan includes initiatives such as increasing onsite solar energy generation, designing new buildings to be greenhouse gas emissions-free, and targeting older, less efficient buildings for upgrades.
Over 840 Energy Management Units monitor onsite energy, water, and gas consumption across the campus, with information displayed in real time on an interactive online dashboard for most campus buildings – including The Roundhouse, where ACFID Conference will be held. Students and visitors alike can view how personal or group behavioral changes such as switching on or off lights can increase or decrease sustainability and consumption. Check out the interactive dashboard here.
Students can also engage in a variety of programs on campus to decrease their personal footprint – such as community gardens, stationery reuse center, e-recycling options, cup library for coffee cups, book swaps, battery & e-waste drop off, composting…. you name it! They even have a container vending machine where you can return your single use beverage container!!
In 2019 TZG Architects were awarded the NSW Architecture Award for Sustainability, following extensive upgrades to The Roundhouse which will result in improving the building’s energy usage. Where possible, items were reused or sourced using sustainable products – the central dome skylights, oculus and facade were re-glazed to increase their ability to regulate light and heat. Sustainably sourced NSW Spotted Gum timber was used to panel the walls and build the staircase.
Recognizing the importance of water conservation, a rainwater tank capable of capturing 535 m3 of water has been installed underneath the adjacent lawn. This captures 15% of UNSW’s rainwater and runoff which then filters through soil and recharges the Botany Sands Aquifer below. The bore water extracted from the aquifer, is used in non-potable applications such as laboratories, irrigation, flushing toilets, cooling towers and the YMCA Pool on campus.
Within the venue there is a plastic straw ban in force, all paper products are recycled, and staff’s personal waste bins have been removed. But the initiatives don’t stop there – not satisfied with enabling change within their own walls, The Roundhouse recently hosted an event series aimed at educating event organizers on how to hold more sustainable, eco-friendly events.
All of these initiatives are already having an impact:
- 93% of all waste was diverted from landfill.
- The percolation pit enabled UNSW to capture and return 160 megalitres of water, the equivalent of 64 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
- UNSW ranked in world’s top 10% in a leading Green University Ranking
For more information about the sustainability initiatives at UNSW visit https://www.sustainability.unsw.edu.au or for more info about the sustainability initiatives of the Roundhouse visit https://www.arc.unsw.edu.au/roundhouse/about/our-sustainable-efforts
For further questions or queries, UNSW have a Sustainability Guy! You can contact Miles Portek on [email protected]