Published: 22 January 2013
US academics learn from Australia’s green pioneers
Academics from three US universities met with Australia's leading sustainability companies this month as part of a program developed by The University of Queensland (UQ).
Eight professors from UQ Universitas 21 Partner, the University of Connecticut and colleagues from Simmons College, Massachusetts and St Catherine University, Minneapolis, took part in the Green Business in Australia program from 7-19 of January.
The program was delivered by UQ Business School and UQ's Institute of Continuing & TESOL* Education (ICTE-UQ) with UQ International Global Engagement.
Managing Director of the University of Connecticut Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) Kelly Aceto says a key aim of the program was to see leading-edge Australian green businesses and sustainable projects.
“In the US sustainability is definitely a buzz word among businesses, but it's not yet a reality for the majority,” Ms Aceto said.
“It is important for American business faculty to come to Australia to meet people and learn from the multitude of examples of successful initiatives in this country.”
The academics spent 10 days undertaking industry visits and seminars in Sydney and South East Queensland including the Great Barrier Reef.
They met businesses in sectors including real estate, urban development, ecotourism, aviation, health, construction supply and renewable energy.
The final week of the program included a series of UQ Business School workshops and meetings with sustainability experts at UQ.
The visitors learnt about sustainability initiatives on campus and projects such as the CarbonGame, which was designed by UQ academics to teach businesses about emissions trading.
They also toured Australia's largest rooftop photovoltaic solar system.
In its first year of operation, the UQ Solar Array generated more than 1.7 million kilowatts of energy, saving in excess of $220,000 and 1700 tonnes of CO2.
Ms Aceto said the University of Connecticut recognised UQ as an obvious choice as an Australian University partner.
“UQ's expertise in the area of sustainability, especially within the Business School under the leadership of Professor Andrew Griffiths is unparalleled,” Ms Aceto said.
Professor Andrew Griffiths, Dean of UQ Business School said climate change and corporate sustainability were among the biggest challenges facing business within the next decade.
“UQ Business School is at the forefront in developing strategies to help businesses adapt and change,” Professor Griffiths said.
“This program recognises the expertise available within the school and also the achievements of Australian companies, which have become shining examples of sustainable business.”
The Green Business in Australia program was made possible with developmental support and assistance from the US Department of Education's CIBER.
Additional program delivery support was provided by other UQ divisions and institutes including: Property and Facilities, Global Change Institute, Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), and School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management.
*TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Media Contacts: UQ Business School: Tanya Hagedorn, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
ICTE-UQ: Frances Wickerson, Communications Officer, +61 7 334 66709, email@example.com
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