Looking back at 10 years of Sustainability in the ACT

ACT Sustainable Cities logo

EDITORIAL
Monday 14 April 2014
Contact Alice Morgan
Phone 02 8626 9396
Email alice@kab.org.au

Back in 2006 the Australian National University stood on a stage in Canberra and accepted the Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Award for their solar SLIVER Cells project.

Today – ANU has sealed its, and Australia’s role as a key player in global solar energy innovation with the unveiling on their new high-efficiency solar cell. Two years of research have culminated the delivery of 24.4% efficiency.

“This is the highest efficiency independently confirmed for a conventional IBC solar cell to date,” said Professor Andrew Blakers, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the ANU Research School of Engineering.

National Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean said that its “great to see this type of innovation and how it has grown from the grass roots level to changing the day to day lives of people across the world.”

ANU’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems are delighted to collaborate with leading scientists on this exciting new development in their cell technologies.

This world-class efficiency demonstrates ANU’s commitment to leading innovation in technology, where they remain committed to engaging in effective partnerships with the best research centres, which are fundamental to delivering breakthroughs like this.

On the other scale, far away from technology like solar cells, is the 2009 ACT Sustainable Cities winner: what was then Oz Harvest Canberra, now The Yellow Van Food Rescue. Part of Communities@Work, this group are committed to getting perfectly edible food to people in need.

The Yellow Van remains the only food rescue service in Canberra. Each month, they rescue and deliver over 20 tonnes of good food, providing over 60,000 meals in the community – an equivalent of 2,000 meals a day. In doing so, it ensures that 16 million litres of water used to produce this food is not wasted and that good food is saved from landfill.

According to CSIRO data:

  • dumping a kilogram of beef wastes the 50,000 litres of water it took to produce that meat.
  • Throwing out a kilogram of white rice wastes 2,385 litres of water.
  • Wasting a kilogram of potatoes costs 500 litres.

“Probably the most unusual item I have received from The Yellow Van was a bag of fertilizer. The volunteers thought I might like it because they knew that I have ten garden beds in the back yard, where we grow some of our own vegetables for the clients,” said Sue Jordan, Director St. John’s Care Reid.

2014 will mark 10 years that Keep Australia Beautiful ACT have held the Sustainable Cities awards in the territory – which is  all about recognising the efforts made by residents, community based organisations, businesses and local government agencies in achieving sustainability in the Australian Capital.

Canberra has just been announced as Australia’s most liveable city due to its rating as a clean, well-maintained, unpolluted city that ranked first on its approach to environmental sustainability.* These awards give the capital the chance to further lead the way.

Submissions are open until Friday 9 May 2014.  Entries can be made online at: www.kab.org.au/act

The Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Awards are an initiative of Keep Australia Beautiful National, sponsored by the Do The Right Thing program of the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum.

ENDS

EDITOR’S NOTES:

* Auspoll for the Property Council of Australia

The ACT Sustainable Cities Categories

  • Community Action, Partnerships and Culture
  • Resource Recovery and Litter Prevention
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Environmental Advocacy and Innovation
  • Water Conservation
  • Sustainable Buildings (Residential)
  • Sustainable Buildings (Commercial)
  • Young Legends
  • Wildcard

About Keep Australia Beautiful

Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With over four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with the organisation Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, Eco-Schools, The LITTLE Committee, Australia’s Litter Action Plan and Keep Australia Beautiful Week.

The KAB National website is kab.org.au where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.

The ACT Sustainable Cities Awards are sponsored by:

The Packaging Stewardship Forum of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, works with partners across the nation to deliver industry recycling, litter reduction and education programs on behalf of its members, Australia’s major beverage companies and their packaging suppliers. The Forum’s highly successful Do the Right Thing anti-litter campaign is recognised by more than 80% of people.

Category sponsorEnvironment & Sustainable Development Department of the ACTThe ACT Government has established the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate to consolidate and build on its capacity to respond to climate change. The Australian Capital Territory is Australia’s Bush Capital and its natural environment is rich in content, from the landscape to the native vegetation and animals.

Event sponsorANUgreen is the Australian National University’s award-winning environmental management program, managed by the ANU Facilities and Services Division. Established in 1999 under the ANU environment policy, ANUgreen is responsible for implementing the University’s Environmental Management Plan by working directly with the University community, educating and empowering staff and students to playing an active role in reducing the collective environmental impact.

Patron of the ACT Sustainable Cities Awards Katy Gallagher MLA

“It gives me great pleasure to once again accept the role of patron of the Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Awards. Now in its 10th year, the awards provide an excellent opportunity for the efforts of our local community groups, businesses, industry and government to be recognised in their work towards achieving a sustainable future for Canberra.”

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