USC a finalist in national sustainability awards | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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USC a finalist in national sustainability awards

USC has been named one of 35 finalists in the 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia for its ongoing efforts to make the 100-hectare Sippy Downs campus as sustainable as possible.

The Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) awards, to be announced in Melbourne in November, shortlisted USC in the category of ‘Creating Impact’ for its recycled water and water conservation strategies.

The category recognises institutions that have achieved significant sustainability-related outcomes on campus or in their community using minimal and/or limited resources.

USC was the first university in Australia to supplement “make-up” water for its Olympic-standard swimming pool with recycled onsite lake storage water.

USC Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said the treated lake water met the Australian Standard for Potable Water Classification, proving it was an innovative solution to water conservation issues.

“The treated lake water is also used in our cooling towers as part of the campus air-conditioning system, which is linked to a real-time monitoring and control system,” she said.

“These initiatives save $35,000 a year in mains water costs and supply in excess of 20,000 litres of recycled water a day. That’s about 13 percent of USC’s total daily water usage at Sippy Downs.”

The ACTS Green Gown finalists are from 17 institutions around Australia.

In the 2016 awards, USC was top three in the Facilities and Services category for its utilities management strategy. In 2015, it was a highly commended finalist for its water refill campus initiative. In 2014, it won a carbon reduction category award for its integrated waste management system.

— Julie Schomberg

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