4 November 2013

Six of The University of Queensland’s most environmentally aware staff members have been recognised at the annual Green Program Awards.

The event celebrates those who excel as ambassadors for sustainability in the workplace.

More than 150 Green Office and Green Labs Representatives were invited to mark the event at a lunch where Alan Egan, Director of the UQ Property and Facilities Division (P&F) presented the awards.

The flagship Green Office award program is in its ninth year. For the first time, Green Laboratories awards also were presented.

“The addition of the UQ Green Labs Program speaks to the success of the Green Office Program over the past seven years, made possible by staff dedicated to improving environmental practices in their work areas,” Mr Egan said.

“The award recipients are champions of sustainability – leading the way and inspiring others to embrace change.”

Geoff Dennis, P&F Deputy Director, provided an overview of the University’s ‘green’ programs.

Dr Thomas Sigler – of the UQ School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management– gave a presentation on sustainability and urban sprawl.

Six awards were presented across three categories: Best New Area, Most Motivated Representative/Team and Best Initiative.

Mikiko Miyagi and Jacky Hung accepted the Green Labs award for the Best New Area on behalf of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience Level 2 North Labs, which achieved a score of 81 per cent on its first annual audit.

Ms Miyagi said their success was due to enthusiasm and a bit of creativity.

“Our laboratory is in an older building, so we need to be innovative in looking for ways to use less energy intensive working methods,” she said.

Small changes had made a big difference, Mr Hung said.

“We introduced practices like sharing equipment and reagents to minimise waste, and centralising glassware washing and autoclaving to reduce water and energy usage,” he said.

“We’re fortunate to be working with others who are passionate about ensuring that these changes are sustained.”

The Green Office and Green Labs programs operate through a network of representatives in faculties, schools, centres and administrative units throughout the University.

After starting with seven staff members in 2005, the Green Office Program now has 131 representatives across 93 organisational units.

Although the Green Labs program was just launched this year, it has 24 representatives, covering 18 UQ laboratories.

The UQ Sustainability website has more information about the Green Office program and the Green Labs program.

Green Office Awards

Best New Area
• Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence library, Micheline Francois

Most Motivated Rep/Team
• Julia Groening, Queensland Brain Institute
• Highly commended: Jenny Hall, Dentistry Library

Best Initiative
• Casey Pfluger, UQ Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR)
• Highly Commended: Kellie Kayser, Student Services

Green Labs Awards

Best New Area
• IMB Level 2 North Labs, Mikiko Miyagi and Jacky Hung

Most Motivated Rep/Team
• Casey Pfluger, UQCCR Neuroimmunology Lab

Best Initiative
• Sally Stockwell, CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences Lab

Contact: Clair Keleher, P & F, ph 07 3365 2076, c.keleher@pf.uq.edu.au