August Staff Representative Network Update - special sustainability seminar, cycle skills training, DSC, sustainability data @ MQ, upcoming focus for September - heaps going on!

Capturing Sustainability Data at MQ

You can't manage what you don't measure and Macquarie University is measuring our energy use, carbon emissions and environmental performance with the help of software provider, CarbonSystems. The Carbon System’s Enterprise Sustainability Platform (ESP), which is web-based, is a comprehensive solution which will streamline the measuring and monitoring of our energy use and efficiency, water consumption and waste generation, for Campus buildings and all University assets.
The system is in the final stages of setup and once in place, the main benefits will be:
  1. Effective management of sustainability data
  2. Efficiency Modelling - Identification of consumption patterns will help us to develop effective planning strategies and initiatives, which in turn will allow us to implement optimal energy efficiency projects.
  3. Sustainable Solutions - With a more complete picture of usage and costs, areas for operational improvement can be identified and cost saving solutions implemented. In particular, the ESP will help us successfully tackle carbon reduction management by allowing us to accurately assess the impacts, payback periods and return on investment of our energy efficiency and other environmental initiatives. It will also help to curtail rising energy prices, delivering financial benefits.
  4. Compliance Reporting - The ESP will provide data assurance for our reporting obligations under the National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS), Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO), Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) and our Annual Report.
  5. Energy values at a building level - Essentially it will help us to effectively plan our sustainability projects, keep you informed and engaged and help create a more sustainable University.
For more information, please contact Hilary Bekmann, Manager Sustainability, Macquarie University Property at 

Exclusive for SRN Members - Sustainability Seminar

An opportunity to hear from a leader in UK University Sustainability – not to be missed!

Internationally renowned Jimmy Brannigan from ESD Consulting in the UK is coming to Macquarie University. Jimmy has a vast experience working with Universities and Colleges, and other organisations such as WWF to stimulate change for sustainability. At this seminar Jimmy will provide an enlightening discussion on the NET positive ™ concept, which seeks to recognise the positive sustainability impacts that organisations such as Universities have - rather than the typical practice of focusing on the negatives! This seminar will be a motivating and informative session to assist you in broadening your perspective of possibilities to better capitalise on creating positive sustainability impacts in your department and for the University more broadly.
Where: McKenzie Room, Level 3 Campus Hub (C10A)
When: Wednesday 19th September, 9.30am-10.30am with morning tea provided
BYO: Friend/colleague and your own coffee mug
RSVP: Monday 17th September to Cindy Cunningham –  

University Travel Survey

Macquarie University Property invites you to participate in a short travel survey about how you currently travel to Campus and why you travel that way. Using this information, the University will develop and implement sustainable transport programs and policies to enhance the environmental, social and health qualities of staff, students and the local community.
By completing the survey, you will go in the draw to win one of two $200 vouchers for the experience of your choice at Red Balloon.


The survey will close on Wednesday 29 August, 2012. Information from this survey will only be used for statistical purposes.

Department Challenge Countdown

The 2012 Department Challenge winds up less than 2 weeks!
So many achievements so far:
·      RSPCA Cupcake Day Fundraised $1677 (+ nearly $300 from the Tuesday student group that sold leftover + all the individual department fundraisers!)
·      Shoes for Planet Earth = 150 pairs collected
·      Swap Party = 470 items kept out of landfill + $242 for Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services.

Don’t forget lots of extra points can be earned in the Bonus Round category. The bonus section of the Challenge is an opportunity for Departments to identify a maximum of 3 different sustainability related initiatives that have commenced/been implemented since the beginning of the year. More than 3 initiatives to choose from? That’s great – choose your top 3 which will hit the best mark for social, environmental, economic, scope and reach!

Please join us for the 2012 Department Sustainability Challenge Awards Ceremony on Thursday 4 October 2012, 3.30-5pm in the Level 3 of the Campus Hub to celebrate our achievements and give out the winning awards. Please RSVP by emailing with the names and emails of those attending. 

How Do Your Surroundings Support Sustainability?

Following on from the feature article above, focusing on green design, this month's exercise invites you to consider the extent to which your spaces are designed for sustainability.
Take a look around your space - whether it be your home, office or even a public space. Does the design encourage sustainable behaviours? Consider the following:
  1. Is it easier to do the sustainable than the unsustainable thing? For example, it is it easier to recycle than send waste to landfill? Or easier to access by foot or bike than by car? 
  2. Is the sustainable option presented as the default for such behaviours as printing, lighting, heating and getting around?
  3. How many people are doing unsustainable things through habit? That is, without really thinking, just because that is what they are used to doing in that situation. What elements of their surroundings are supporting that behaviour? (Do the same for sustainable behaviours).
  4. Do people really know how to act sustainably in that space? Have they been encouraged and engaged?
If you see any aspects of the space which could be re-designed to support sustainable behaviours, consider what you could do to make that happen. 
Source: Awake 2012 Newsletter
Awake provides psychology-based tools and services which support organisations and communities to develop a culture of sustainability. 

Free Cycle Skills Workshops 

Join our free Cycle Skills Workshops to learn bike maintenance, safety and on-road skills. Cycle Skills is a free course available to all Macquarie University staff and students. The course is designed for people who can already ride but want to develop more skills in riding safely within various cycling environments. All participants must bring a well functioning bicycle and an Australian Standards approved helmet to participate in this course.

Friday 31 August; 7 - 10am
Outdoor Active Court 1, Macquarie University
Bookings and complete Course Forms essential. Click here for more information.
Diary and Events

29 August
6 - 8pm
Living Building Challenge Public Lecture

31 August
7 - 10am
Cycle Skills Workshop
Campus Outdoor Court 1

6 September
2 - 4pm
Mars Creek & Gymnasium Rd

19 September
9.30 - 10.30am
Exclusive SRN Seminar
Lv 3, Campus Hub

17 October
8 - 10.30am
Ride 2 Uni Day
Central Courtyard

30 October
10am - 1pm
Final SRN Meeting for 2012
Zofrea Room, Lv 3, Campus Hub

For more details on the above, visit our Events page. 

2011 Sustainability Annual Report

Find out how the University performed in its fourth year of sustainability activities, across our 12 areas of focus. The report is based on the 2011 calendar year performance and highlights how we are progressing on the sustainability journey at MQ. See the full report here.

Focus for September

Soon there will be nine billion of us on the planet. Our societies must grow to meet our needs, so we can put enough food on the table for everyone. 

Already, almost a billion of us go to bed hungry every night. Not because there isn’t enough. But because of the deep injustice in the way the system works. And because too many of the ways we grow today are using up and destroying the natural resources on which we all rely. 

We can grow in a better way – one that contributes much more to human wellbeing, and ensures that everyone on the planet will always have enough to eat. Your challenge in September is to GROW! Growing. Whether you have a small inner city apartment or a decent backyard, there is always room to grow your own herbs, plants, natives, fruits or veggies. It’s really simple!

Share your garden photos, articles, recipes, tips, ideas, questions and experiences on Macquarie Sustainability facebook, all around the theme of Grow in September. 

Next SRN Meeting

30 October
10am - 1pm
Zofrea Room, Lv 3, Campus Hub

Last SRN Meeting Minutes

Miss the August SRN Quarterly Meeting? Minutes available here.

Thank you!

Thanks to all the SRN members who completed an evaluation on the August SRN workshop. Much appreciated! 

Welcome New Members!

Jessica Bowen-Rennie - Campus Experience Sport

Amber Warner - Campus Life Administration

James Borbone – Campus Experience Sport

What's in Season this August?

Find out here.


Congratulation to Gumnut Cottage who have received an SRN grant to develop a vegetable and herb garden and to Campus Life Retail who have also received funding to install eco-switches at desks which enable multiple computers and devices   to   be switched off at the end of the day to reduce standby energy consumption at night.

Grants of up to $500 are available to assist SRN members to implement sustainability focused initiatives. To see the projects that were funded in 2011 and to download the grant guidelines and application form, click here. Please contact Cindy Cunningham on 9850 1087 if you have any questions or need any assistance with completing grant applications. 

Eco Fact

An unplugged mobile phone charger wastes 95% of the energy used doing nothing.


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