Green projects win sustainability awards

Sustainability awards winners Catherine Pickering and Mark Ballantyne with Prof Martin Betts.
Professor Martin Bets with Sustainability Award winners Professor Catherine Pickering and Mark Ballantyne.

An innovative app detailing Griffith’s plant life and a sustainability teaching course have taken out the top prizes at the inaugural 2014 Staff Sustainability Awards.

Professor Catherine Pickering from the School of Environment and PhD student Mark Ballantyne won the group award for their project, Growing at Griffith, which culminated in the University’s first teaching app available to staff, students and the general community.

The app, GrowsatGriffith, includes more than 300 of the 750 plants found across Griffith’s five campuses and features more than 900 high-quality images.

As well as the app, Professor Pickering and Mr Ballantyne worked with Campus Life to formulate new planting strategies to enhance campus landscaping at Nathan and the Gold Coast. They are also involved in the Slacks Creek rehabilitation project at Logan.

The Growing at Griffith project is also a finalist in the 2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia (Facilities and Services category), with winners announced in Hobart on November 6.

Also from the School of Environment, Dr Michael Howes won the individual category for his new first-year course Introduction to Environmental Sustainability. As part of this project, Michael has modified and created several online sustainability teaching tools to enhance the student experience and share with colleagues.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Martin Betts said the Staff Sustainability Awards were established to recognise innovative and effective sustainable practice at the university.

“Griffith is proudly committed to sustainability and has worked since its founding to embed sustainable practices into all that we do.”

Highly Commended

Highly Commended in the Group Category went to Katrina Medill, Bryan Hill and Jos Lamb from Campus Life for their worm farms project.

After the success of the implementation of four basic worm farms at Mt Gravatt Residential College in July 2013, the Griffith Food team rolled out the new worm farm system at Nathan Colleges, the UniBar and Brook Café, Logan.

“Student participation was encouraged and the outcome has been an impressive reduction of 32,000 litres of landfill waste per year, with further reductions in methane emissions and ground water contamination,’’ Professor Betts said.

Tanya Lindenberg, from the Griffith Business School’s project Friday File Fling, was awarded a Highly Commended in the Individual Category. The project highlighted simple steps staff could take to adopt recycling practices.

Griffith’s EcoCentre Manager Delwyn Langdon received the Lifetime Recognition Award for her work in developing invaluable partnerships and collaborations with local schools, industry, government and the community. The EcoCentre is also a finalist in the Green Gown Awards Australasia (Social Responsbility) category.