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MSDI named joint winner of Green Impact program

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MSDI has been awarded the Monash 2018 Green Impact Overall Winners, alongside the Faculty of Pharmacy.

Monash’s inaugural Green Impact program – a team-driven staff challenge designed to engage staff to make a sustainable difference in their workplace - was officially launched in June and ran until late-September.

In November, MSDI and Pharmacy were announced the Overall Winners at a special awards ceremony after achieving the highest and equal number of points for undertaking an extensive checklist of sustainability tasks specific to the workplace.

Using an online tool kit, the MSDI team, led by Aleasha McCallion and Dr Sue Pepper, worked through the task list, covering a broad range of areas, from climate action and health and wellbeing to urban ecosystems.

As part of the program, the MSDI team recorded the many sustainability actions it already delivers and implemented several new actions across MSDI’s Clayton and City offices, including better automated controlling for heating and cooling and improved use of garden spaces through new plantings, including vegetables.

“This was a group effort over several months… We thank all MSDI staff across all of our many teams and spaces for contributing to this effort,” Aleasha said.

She said the program offered a detailed auditing opportunity of the many sustainable practices MSDI already has in place and highlighted some additional areas it could improve on.

“It also provided a great opportunity to open up the profile of our operational workspace and practices for regular discussion at institute-wide team meetings,” she said.

“This team work of looking for further improvements in our day to day workspace, renewed our commitment, as a growing team, to embedding better sustainable practices in new and innovative ways.”

“Knowing that teams of our colleagues across Monash were also embarking on this initiative and taking up the challenge to implement more sustainable practices was also extremely encouraging,” Aleasha said.

The MSDI team completed their online submission on September 26, along with dozens of teams from across the University. Auditing of the submissions took place in October before the Overall Winners were announced in November. Teams that achieved bronze, silver and gold accreditation were also recognised at the awards ceremony.

Green Impact was originally developed by the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK in 2006. Since then, it has been adopted as a staff-based initiative, and this year, Monash joined eight other universities to run the program in Australia through Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), who recently became the delivery partner for Green Impact in Australia and New Zealand.

Green Impact replaced the existing Green Program, to help embed sustainable practices and behaviours into the workplace at Monash and help the University achieve its Net Zero Emissions strategy.