Awards recognise UOW Pulse for sustainability initiatives

UOW Pulse honoured at Green Gown Awards after overhauling UniBar operations

UOW Pulse was named the winner of the Campus Health, Food & Drink category at 2018 Green Gown Awards Australasia on Friday (2 November 2018).

Over the past 18 months, UOW Pulse, who manages campus services at the University of Wollongong (UOW), has reduced UniBar’s waste to landfill by 84 per cent and is establishing sustainable initiatives across other campus outlets.

The Green Gown Awards are the first and only award scheme dedicated to recognising excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia.

Now in their ninth year, the awards are the most prestigious recognition of sustainability best practice within the tertiary education sector.

The Campus Health, Food & Drink category recognises achievements beyond good practice in the delivery of campus food, drink and hospitality.

The category celebrates innovation, creativity and consideration for procurement, delivery and communication which has resulted in behaviour changes across staff, students and community.

UOW Pulse began making changes to its operations after an audit of its bins revealed that approximately 55 per cent of waste generated from UniBar was going directly to landfill.

UniBar overhauled its operations and food and beverage offerings, with the aim of reducing its environmental footprint.

The result was an 84 per cent reduction in waste sent to landfill.

Alf Maccioni, CEO of UOW Pulse, said the team was thrilled to be recognised for their work in promoting the importance of sustainability and ensuring services across UOW have minimal impact on the environment.

“We are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously,” Mr Maccioni said.

“We are continually looking for solutions across all our businesses. It is an honour to be recognised at a national level and we are proud to be establishing new levels of best practice in the industry.”

UOW Pulse has installed a ‘Pulpmaster’ waste-to-energy system at UniBar to pulp food waste and compostable food packaging.

This system is diverting approximately 2700kg of organic waste from landfill each week.

Replacing single use cups with reusable cups and removing plastic straws from UniBar has eliminated the use of approximately 50,000 cups and 10,000 straws per year.

Other key initiatives include replacing plastic food packaging with certifiable alternatives and removing plastic bags from the registers at all UOW Pulse-owned outlets and introducing an extensive vegan food options across outlets.