> Impact and benefits
The following evidence supports the impact of Jes’ work (described above). External evidence is hyperlinked.
ACTS conference: Successful delivery of the conference, student volunteers gained ideas from other institutions, and our University raised the profile of sustainability both internally and externally.
Green Your Scene
2021 – 57 teams (12 colleges + 11 kitchens + 29 workplace + 5 food outlets)
2020 – 64 teams (13 colleges + 11 kitchens + 32 workplace + 8 food outlets). Despite the COVID-19 disuption, the teams earned 40 Green Your Scene awards, including 11 at the highest “Kowhai” level.
Because of the COVID-19 disruption, Jes changed the marking criteria to support teams to keep working together. Several teams were identified as above and beyond even Kowhai. Jes had a hand in initiating and supporting all these. The outstanding awards went to projects such as a step count challenge that had staff walk virtually across Europe in non-work time, establishing and nurturing a shared community garden, gathering recipes and publishing ‘The College Vegetarian Cookbook’, a café’s commitment to being disposable cup free and enabling sustainbale changes,, a college students’ possum trapping project which was recognised by New Zealand’s Minister for Conservation, and Recreation Services staff for the ‘Sustainable You’ framework which integrated Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview) and sustainability principles into a wellbeing programme.
Jes created the unique opportunity for six Tētēkura/Student Leads to be employed as part of the Sustainability Office team, to support and improve our University’s culture of sustainability. This offers our students work experience and the chance to invest their passion for sustainability into designing and creating positive changes on campus from the ground up. Jes provides leadership to help Student Leads to focus their impact on the Sustainability Development Goals and our Sustainability Strategic Framework, all while challenging the norm, thinking outside the box, and working collaboratively with our Sustainability Office team. The Tētēkura have produced a “Sustainability Sussed” podcast, regular Waste Diversion Days, Street Clean ups as part of the Sophia Charter, Movie Nights, ‘Unpacked’ events, Social Media takeovers, a regular central campus stall, and a drop in “good chats”. The Tētēkura’s impact has been transformational in terms of our reach through student-to-student communications. This would not have been possible without Jes’ initiative beyond the tasks she was employed to do.
Toitū Te Whenua, Sustainability Week
In 2020, Jes focussed the week on resetting after lockdown, encouraging our staff and students to “Reboot”. The 19 events over five days includied a skip diversion day, Sustainability Market, bike grab, sustainability pub quiz, recycling centre garage sale, Lorax movie night, social media takeovers, submission writing and connections to funding for good ideas. For the week, we collaborated with 22 groups, organisations and businesses, engaged with more than 500 students and reached 200 staff, while social media promotions reached about 7,200 people. Diversion Day diverted six tonnes of glass, two skips of cardboard and eight loads of cans as students sorted their waste.
In 2021, Jes encouraged our community to ‘Be a Legend’, while deliberately pushing boundaries to create a more inclusive notion of ‘legend’. She created an offering of 16 events over seven days to capture SDGs in a different light. Over this week, she collaborated with 38 groups, organisations and businesses, engaged with more than 500 staff and students and sold out our Planet D Drag Show in five days, attracting 140 to learn how SDG’s 3, 5 & 10 connect to sustainability. The week’s other key activities included a meat-free campus day, sustainable living workshops and well-being events.
The week enabled staff and student involvement at the highest levels we had seen, especially with our social media promotion reaching about 7,950 people. Profits from Planet D were donated to Dunedin Pride (NZ$1,488) for Alphabet Soup, Rainbow Leaders and supporting our LGBTQIA+ youth. This has had a University-wide impact on understanding that sustainability goes beyond the ‘green stuff’ and triggered many of the challenging conversations about inclusiveness and equity that need to happen to see the transformation we want.
Bike Grabs for koha
This collaboration shows sustainbaility’s full-circle scope. Jes collaborated with Malcam Trust and our Carrington College to establish the incredibly popular Bike Grab. Bikes reclaimed from landfill or abandoned on campus are repaired by Carrington residents with coaching from Malcam Trust staff. Then the bikes are sold to our University community for a small koha (donation) which goes back to the amazing team at Malcam Trust. This enables affordable access to sustainable transport.
Over three Bike Grabs, 43 bikes have sold and $396 has been donated. Jes has another four Bike Grabs locked in for 2021, and more than 50 bikes ready to repair. With 80 per cent of students living within two km of campus, this higher profile for low emissions transport and easier access to it contributes significantly to the shift to more sustainable travel.
Media and Comms
A key element of engagement is the story telling. Usingtilising social media and a strong brand has ensured successful engagement over the plast three3 years but became especially crucial over lockdown when during the COVID-19 nationwdie lockdownhit. Jes has grown our social media audience – Facebook and Instagram -– audience w hich currently totals about 2,790,. with an emphasis on Instagram is for engagement and Facebook, for events. Jes also developed a Sustainabilty Office iy brand guide for sustainability which means so we have a very recognisable look and feel. This includes branding for specific events. This level of media development and brand awareness is far beyond the expectations of her original role, and is . This well demonstrated in the video she led the producedtion of to show the link between our work and the SDGs.
Integration of Te Ao Māori
Through our engagement outputs, Jes has advocated and allied with our Māori community. We ensure all roles, projects, campaigns and new resources have a Te Reo (Māori language) translation and where appropriate ewe use the Te Reo Māori as the primary name (see Jes’ job title). This small but notable step is our starting point in bridging sustainability and indigenous knowledge together at the ground level as the Sustainability Office work collaboratively with the Office of Māori Development at a strategic level. We also ensure projects and messaging is intertwined with tikanga, manakitanga, kaitiakitanga and mahi tahi at the very least, with our key message being “looking after papatūānuku (mother earth) and her tāngata (people)”.
Disposable Cup Free Campus
Jes spent 4 months of convincing, supporting and establishing an engagement strategy that provided comfort for the University Union to go disposable cup-free in July 2019. The three busiest cafés made the change, which had already prevented more than 25,000 cups from going to landfill as of December 2019. The change had been so well supported that the beginning of 2020 saw all campus outlets make the move and now some non-university cafes on the edge of campus are doing the same.