Internal networks and initiatives

Find out about and connect with staff and students working together to take action in our faculties and service divisions.

Accommodation Services

Ngā Wharenoho – Accommodation has a long history of supporting sustainability in our residential halls. Initiatives include:

  • The 'Green Your Room' challenge, in which students opt into actions to reduce their personal environmental footprint and promote sustainability awareness amongst reisidents. The annual challenge, which spans over three months, was piloted at O'Rorke in 2014, and now involves all halls, with over 2000 students participating in 2019 
  • First year hall Green Teams, who encourage the diversion of hall waste to landfill, via clothes swaps and donations to charities 
  • Carlaw Park Student Village's vegetable garden, funded by the Resident Grant Scheme
  • Collection and diversion of food scraps in O'Rorke, Whitaker, University and Huia Halls
  • A Tiaki Taiao | Sustainability category in the annual resident awards, which recognises residents who champion communication in this area, collaborate with organisations and others for change and promote exemplary sustainable practices.

Faculty of Science Sustainability Network

This network was established in 2015 and comprises staff from across the faculty who are working on projects to progress our commitment to both environmental sustainability and positive, equitable human relationships. It has a non-hierarchical structure with projects generated by members. It crosses disciplinary boundaries, brings professional and academic staff together, and provides opportunities for staff at all levels to lead innovative practice.

The network currently has 86 members, and a core working group with representatives from across the faculty. It is coordinated by Gillian Lewis who succeeds Niki Harré as Associate Dean Sustainability in 2019.

The network aims to inspire a sustainability culture that will be evident throughout faculty practices and to our stakeholders.

Current projects include:

  • Sustainable laboratories: The members of this group are lab managers who are focusing on sustainable practice, including recycling and reducing water and energy use
  • Sustainable purchasing: This group has investigated the most sustainable options offered by preferred suppliers as well as plastic reduction and recycling
  • Compost bins: Based on a Psychology model, this group has introduced composting to all the staff tearooms in the Science Centre, Biology Building and to the science staff tearooms at the Tamaki campus
  • Teaching case-study: This group has developed an interdisciplinary teaching case-study on the global clothing industry that is being taught by Psychology, Chemistry and Sociology staff
  • Sustainability Module and General Education course. In collaboration with the Faculty of Arts we are offering a General Education course to all students, SUSTAIN 100G and a Sustainability Module to Science and Arts students. Contact Niki Harre for more details.

Contact the Science Sustainability Network. 

Operational Advisory Groups

In some areas where staff responsibilities align closely with sustainability commitments, advisory groups have been established to bring together, support and enhance the contributions they make to operations.

Examples are the Energy Advisory Group, with members from Property Services, ITS and Procurement. Another is the Waste and Cleaning Advisory Group, based around facilities staff and including others.

The groups meet monthly to discuss operational and management challenges, and identify and action opportunities for improvement.


Russell Baillie
Energy Manager
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87877

Phil Kirkham
Campus Operations Manager
Property Services
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 89624

Faculty of Arts Sustainability Group

This group aims to increase contribution within the Faculty of Arts towards attaining the sustainability objectives in the University's Strategic Plan.

The group collaborates on sustainability initiatives, and engages and informs Faculty of Arts members about sustainability best practices.  

Current projects include:

  • An online sustainability toolkit with tips on saving energy, reducing waste, and repurposing obsolete items
  • Composting in staff and postgraduate common rooms and kitchens, with volunteers emptying the bins
  • Incorporating tips for sustainable practice at work on the faculty digital display screens
  • Re-equipping staff offices with recycling facilities after building relocations
  • Battery recycling in each semester
  • Book recycling station in the Human Sciences Building student hub
  • Community gardening

Contact Arts Sustainability Group.

Help Green our Uni

Help Green our Uni is for students interested in reducing the University’s environmental footprint. Members get involved in hands-on projects that contribute towards reducing energy, water and waste generated on campus. The volunteer network is coordinated by the sustainability and environment team.

Current projects include:

  • Delivering the university’s recycling programme to faculties
  • Overseeing waste management at small and large events
  • Labelling outdoor bins around the City Campus
  • Organising winter tree planting trips to help offset carbon emissions
  • Running interactive activities during Orientation, Eco Fest and Courses and Careers Day

More information

Help Green our Uni on Facebook
Contact Help Green our Uni via email.

Gardening Group

Business School staff members have a gardening initiative on land located alongside the Owen G Glenn Building and behind the Fale Pasifika Complex. The project provides an opportunity for staff with or without gardening experience to produce vegetables, fruit and flowers with like-minded folks, for both physical and social benefit.

 The garden aims to:

  • develop and maintain a place of peace and recreation
  • build a community of like-minded people
  • contribute to the health and well-being of individuals involved

We have plenty of space for people to develop their own plots and welcome all staff university-wide who want to be involved. To date, we have had staff interested from Arts, Science and Human Resources. For more details, contact Dinah Towle.