Taking the lead with climate change

Acting not just for the immediate benefits that sustainability bring, but to be champions in their fields, the Climate Change Leadership finalists offer a collective vision for what can be achieved.

This award recognises exceptional work and/or leadership in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation in NSW.

Carbon neutral at Charles Sturt

As Australia's largest regional university, Charles Sturt University (CSU) is also the first in Australia to officially achieve certified carbon neutral status.

CSU managed this through a combination of carbon reduction and offset programs such as a cogeneration facility at the Bathurst campus, large solar photovoltaic systems on a number of newer buildings, and an institution-wide building management system of networked buildings and smart meters connected to an intelligent control system.

CSU vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann says that carbon neutral certification is a just reward for years of planning and investment in people, systems and infrastructure.

‘With this certification we hope we can inspire other organisations, both regional and national, to achieve these standards and do their bit for the planet.’

Climate Council: from crowd sourcing to shifting the public narrative

The Climate Council was created from Australia’s largest-ever crowd-funding campaign. It has a two-fold mission: to conduct climate research based on the best science available and to raise awareness of these issues though effective communication.

In its first three years the Climate Council has shifted the public narrative on climate change, particularly on the three theme areas of extreme weather, renewable energy and international action. It has carved out a niche as a climate change communications organisation offering accurate and relevant information to the public.

Fujitsu Australia: transparency and energy efficiency in the data centre industry

Our growing dependence on digital data has led to big increases in energy consumption. And in Australia, data centre energy is powered predominantly by fossil fuels.

When major business IT service provider Fujitsu Australia realised that data centre energy use accounted for the bulk of its own carbon emissions, the company began a collaboration with NABERS, the national environmental rating system for buildings, to create the NABERS Energy for Data Centre benchmarking tools.

These tools allow data centre energy efficiency to be validated against an independent standard and Fujitsu’s data centre portfolio became the first in Australia to be fully certified. Using these tools the company has significantly cut its energy use.

Fujitsu has helped raise the industry standard for data centres and has provided support to its customers to rate their own data centres and replicate Fujitsu’s practices.

Teachers Mutual Bank: banking on climate change

Climate change leadership and innovation at the member-owned Teachers Mutual is central to its practices, investments, operations and creation of sustainable financial products.

Its $500-million Debt Issuance Programme was the first certified ethical wholesale cash product in Australia, and the first based on fossil fuel criteria.

The bank is carbon neutral and doesn’t use member deposits to directly lend to, or buy equity or debt in, any large-scale greenhouse polluting activities from fossil fuel exploration, extraction, production and use.

‘We use climate change as an opportunity to help the bank compete better,’ points out the bank’s Corin Millais. ‘The wider benefit is that we set a high benchmark for what constitutes climate change action by a bank. We may be small, but this has some influence in the wider finance and banking sector and the investor community.’

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An independent judging panel has decided the best nominees in NSW in the Built Environment category of the Green Globe Awards. A gala evening will be held in October to announce and celebrate the winners.

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