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Push for greater sustainability at Massey

By Taryn Dryfhout

A recent meeting of the Sustainability Advisory Group at the Albany campus provided a place for staff and students to discuss how Massey University can work towards improved sustainability across all campuses.

The group, chaired by Massey’s Director of Sustainability, Doctor Alannah Ryan, met last week to discuss several sustainable initiatives which could be established on campus, including ‘Bikes @ Massey’ which will push for the use of more sustainable transport methods.

Later in the week, an open meeting ‘Greening the Campus’ was hosted by Ryan, which focused on expressing some of Massey’s views on ‘sustainability’ and generating ideas specific to the Albany Campus.

The meeting was open to staff and students, with Albany Students’ Association Social Vice President Joseph Taylor being the only student who attended.

Those in attendance took turns discussing possible turning points for sustainability, which could be embedded into a strategic plan that will be presented to the university.

Massey University is currently a member of Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) and is a Strategic Partner Member of the Sustainability Business Council (SBC).

The university works with these organisations to help develop more sustainable practices and has already put several initiatives in place across all campuses, including the Energy Utility Management Plan which looks at how each campus can reduce its energy use.

The Manawatu campus is also currently developing a programme that diverts their food waste away from landfills and into composting systems.

The Sustainability Advisory Group hopes that more initiatives can get underway at the Albany campus.

According to Ryan, it is important for every campus, and every student to engage in sustainability issues:

“We are facing one of the most serious and urgent challenges in recent times around climate change,” she says.

“The seriousness of it is something that people don’t really understand. We are already seeing the impact of climate change and we need to do something about it.

“Every student, as a citizen of the world will be facing a future where there will be increased droughts, increased floods and the increasing likelihood of international disruption that will have an impact. At a global level, it’s an issue which will touch on everybody. There’s a responsibility as someone who is getting a university education to understand how the world is changing, and the impact that climate change is having.”

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