Our awards

Our awards


Green Gown Awards Australasia - Student Engagement Winner 

Tap It, Bottled Water Free Campaign, wins Green Gown Award Australasia!

Macquarie University's Sustainability team have won the student engagement award at the annual Green Gown Awards Australasia, recognising their innovative 'Tap-it' campaign to encourage switching from bottled to tap water.

The Australian Bottled Water Institute estimates that Australians are spending over $500 million on bottled water every year. While a litre of tap water in Sydney costs only a fraction of a cent, residents can pay upwards of $3.88 a litre for bottled water, as Choice Magazine explored in 2013.

"A growing movement to avoid bottled water and choose the humble tap is gaining momentum both in Australia and around the world," says Belinda Bean. "Macquarie University is part of this movement and is spreading our 'Tap It - It's Fresh and Free' message."

An army of student volunteers helped Macquarie Sustainability to develop a campus wide Tap Map, hand out over 2,000 re-usable water bottles (made in Australia from renewable sugar cane), and hosted a popular Bottled Water Free Day that once and for all dispelled the myth around tap vs bottled water - 62% preferred tap over bottled in blind taste tests, and many couldn't tell the difference!

With students successfully recruiting more than 700 members of the Macquarie University community to pledge to choose tap whenever available, staff have also taken up the message throughout the year across the North Ryde campus:

  • Cognitive Science started Pimp My Water station to make refilling fun
  • Faculty of Human Science hosted "Nude Drinks" to promote the initiative
  • The Department of Marketing and Management handed out 'cookies and a leaflet' promoting Tap It
  • Biology located and promoted all bubblers within their building
  • Campus Life installed new Tap It filtered water bubblers
  • Music, Media, Communications and Cultural studies integrated Tap It into MAS 389 "Public Relations Theory" as an example of good PR.

Guests at the Green Gown Awards, now in their fifth year, included sustainability professionals from tertiary education and leaders from the sector, such as the Australian Greens, Australian Conservation Foundation and the Office for Learning & Teaching (OLT).

"Being awarded as the winner against tough competition was indeed an honour" said Director of Sustainability, Leanne Denby. "It highlights the dedication and commitment of both our staff and students involved in the Tap-it campaign we've been running throughout the year".

I'm in

Empower your team, friends or family to go bottled water free with M-Power: Tap It.


Winner of Green Lifestyle Large Business Award

Green LIfestyle Awards 2012 Winner 

The Green Lifestyle Awards showcase the companies, people and products that are actually out there doing truly wonderful things to minimise impact on the environment, help make a green lifestyle easy, and show the carbon-emitting mainstream players how it should be done.

Macquarie won the Green Lifestyle Large Business Award! It was our focus on core business through education and engagement that set us apart from the other entries and saw us take out the big prize, so yay us!

Highly Commended for Green Gown Awards Australasia - Skills for Sustainability

Macquarie’s skills-for-sustainability initiatives won a Highly Commended Green Gown Award Australasia. Our aim to go beyond individual behaviour change or single actions, instead seeking to implement systemic change within the University, our community, and society at large. Macquarie addresses both formal and informal skill development. The Learning and Teaching Plan has sustainability amongst its core values, and is considered a principle and enabler that will guide the implementation of Macquarie’s values. The programs and practices of the University reflect a commitment to sustainability in the University’s social, physical and cultural environments.


Winner of Bicycling Achievement Awards - Educational Institution Award

This award recognises commitment and innovation in promoting and encouraging cycling to school or educational institution, with Macquarie University taking out the winning prize in 2011. 

Macquarie University has made a significant achievement in becoming a cycle-friendly Campus. This has occurred through a sustained investment of cycling infrastructure and the development of complementary behaviour change programs to promote cycling to Campus. In 2006, Macquarie University took the first step towards becoming a cycle-friendly Campus with the development of the Macquarie University Bicycle Master-plan. A key focus of this strategy was to building more bicycle parking and end of trip facilities on Campus and to improve cycling accessibility across the Campus. Since 2006, the University has built an additional 227 bicycle parking spaces as well as becoming the first university campus in NSW to install dedicated end of trip parking, showering and locker facilities known as the ‘bike hubs’. There are currently 110 users of the campuses two bike hubs. The University has also built two new 3m wide shared user paths on University Ave and Link Road to improve accessibility coming into Campus. In 2009, Macquarie began a program of cycle skills training courses which have trained over 150 people. Free bicycle ‘tune ups’ for staff and students have also been provided each year and in 2010 the University developed a regional cycling map to assist students and staff in finding the best routes to Campus.

AWWWARD "Site of the Day" for our Green Campus Guide

Awwward is the awards scheme for design, creativity and innovation on the Internet so we’ve created an evaluation system based on 4 criteria: Design, Creativity, Usability and Content. Our Green Campus Guide won a "Site of the Day" Awwward.

City of Ryde's Annual Spring Gala competition - 5 titles!

2nd Place in Best Bushcare Site

Knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers from Bushcare@MQ (Macquarie staff, students, and community) use solid bush regeneration methodology on the Ecology Reserve, Mars Creek site and results have been excellent to date. The habitat value is good as is the resilience and diversity.

Innovation Award in Best Bushcare site 

Awarded for the campus Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest remnant restoration project of our Thursday Bushcare@MQ group.

Innovation Award in Best Edible Garden 

Previously a car park, the Bush Tucker Garden provides not only a beautiful space in which to enjoy the out doors but is also a valuable educational resource with primarily local plants used by the Darug people.

Participation in Best Edible Garden 

Community members and students tend plots in this large Community Garden. Compost and horse manure, along with abundant rain have ensured plenty of verdant growth this year.

Winner of Best Pre-School Garden and Participation in Best Children's Garden

Gumnut Cottage has seen numerous changes as the University campus has grown over time. The outdoor environments were transformed with the development of the Cochlear building opposite Gumnut. This resulted in a vast outdoor space which is surrounded by beautiful tall gum trees, winding tracks, rock walls, a grassy slope and is now home to two friendly chickens.

The staff have always focused on establishing and maintaining relationships to support families and children and are now embarking on a journey of finding innovative ways to deliver and share learning programs that enhance learning for all.


Winner NSW State Government Green Globe Public Sector Sustainability 

Awarded a Green Globe for our holistic approach to sustainability.

Macquarie University has developed a holistic strategy for change towards sustainability, which includes all aspects of our functions from procurement, resource efficiency and transportation to learning and teaching, engagement, fair trade, and governance. Through a collaborative and participatory approach we have been able to achieve significant results in each of these areas.

Our resource focus has led to substantial savings in energy, water and waste. Most notably is our Sydney Water awarded 4-star achievement in water management; our 70% diversion of waste from landfill; and our large-scale energy savings initiatives such as the installation of a third chilled water tower. Our learning and teaching focus endeavours to ensure that all students become socially and environmentally responsible citizens through including interdisciplinary studies that focus on society and the environment in all degrees. Our focus on responsible purchasing has seen us become the joint first Fairtrade accredited university in the Southern Hemisphere, and the abolishment of plastic in our Food Court area.

These changes have occurred through the efforts of our staff and students. We recognise their contribution by giving prizes and awards, thanking them for their support. Importantly, we recognise their efforts by publicly communicating what has been achieved so far.

NSW Keep Australia Beautiful Runner Up - Water Conservation

With a campus the size of a small town, and an obligation to educate and enhance society and the environment, waste management at Macquarie is both a challenge and a responsibility. Yet a decentralised waste system, reflecting the University's governance structures, prevented us from developing an integrated approach to waste management. After conducting a comprehensive waste audit (2008), we took steps to change waste management practices. Through a collaborative approach and stretch targets, we have transformed a challenging waste management situation to a system that addresses the cycle of reduction, reuse and recycling within a short 18-month timeframe.

NSW Keep Australia Beautiful Highly Commended - Waste Minimisation

Macquarie University uses approximately enough water per week to fill two Olympic pools. In line with our core function of educating and transforming society, we demonstrate and educate for best practice in water use. We actively pursue ways to improve performance through a holistic approach to water management. Guided by the hierarchy of water use reduction: behaviour change, efficiency and supply management we are transforming our Campus through education, improving the performance of our fixtures and fittings and targeted supply projects large projects such as sewer mining and storm water harvesting.


FTAANZ Certified Fair Trade University

Early in 2008, a small group of student campaigned Macquarie University to trial a Fair Trade coffee blend and provided free coffee and chocolate tastings. The response was overwhelming with 862 signatures petitioning to make the change within the first few hours. This movement gathered momentum, and by December 2008, the whole campus was selling only 100% organic / Fair Trade coffee, tea, chai and hot chocolate. 

In 2009, Macquarie University became Australia's joint-first certified 'Fair Trade University' by the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, and is continuing to make socially responsible choices that will impact on farmers, workers and their families in developing nations.


Bronze Medal in the Green Buildings Awards

Recognising the environmental sustainability of the mixed mode E4A and E4B buildings. The building incorporates an active fa├žade, which allows the building to be naturally ventilated. The air conditioning is not activated until the temperature exceeds 25 degrees. Internally, open plan work spaces and glazed partitioned offices allow natural daylight and natural ventilation to reach central portions of the building. North/south orientation and external sun shading devices minimise solar heat gain whist highlight windows maximise natural daylight.


NSW State Government Green Globe Award for Sustainability

Awarded for our tri-generation plant, located next to building C7A. The plant uses gas to fuel two generators that produce electrical energy to power the surrounding buildings. The heat recovered from the generators is used to run an absorption chiller. It produces chilled water for consumption in surrounding buildings, as well as providing heating to various buildings including the pools in the Aquatic Centre. The system reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 44% compared to a traditional system.

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