Global Role Award Winner: Otago Polytechnic for its Education for Sustainability Programme

Posted on August 27, 2008


It’s blowing our own trumpet time again. We just won a major award: the ITPNZ Global Role Award marking excellence for a practice that materially prepares New Zealanders to live and work in the wider world.

Here’s the ITPNZ press release: (link and below). Much of this text is taken from the nomination (pdf).

Otago Polytechnic has set itself a goal of “every graduate may think and act as a sustainable practitioner by 2009”. This goal is aimed at contributing to a better community, producing graduates across the institution with relevant skills and values, and about working closely with industry to both identify and achieve sustainable practice in each discipline.

The initiative is based on the goal of preparing every graduate of the institution with education for sustainability (EfS) across all disciplines and programmes.

Otago has integrated sustainability across its operations including programme design, staff development and even student entry surveys, to provide a baseline for measurement of change. Otago has also been working on waste and carbon audits, recycling, polybikes, fleet management, and supplier agreements.

Among numerous other projects a Living Campus initiative is underway incorporating the development of a community garden, an interactive open air experience, and enhancing the sustainability of the campus.

Otago is also hosting, organising, and participating in, the Sustainable Habitat Challenge – a national collaborative project for teams around New Zealand to design, develop, and build sustainable housing in their local community.

Otago is committed to the idea that sustainability should be integrated in all activities of daily life, and therefore should also be part of tertiary and vocational training.