Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.36
Liaison Laura Minchella
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Sydney
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.80 / 4.00 Zoe Morrison
Strategy Advisor
Strategy Office
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

Students in Engineering degrees are required to complete an internship as part of their degree - usually in the last year before completion. One group of 6 student worked with the Sustainability Team to design a Green Impact toolkit and action list for students to feed into its institution-wide launch of Green Impact for staff and students in April 2021. The students produced a platform and action list - the action list has been carried into our Green Impact action list for the institution overall (2020).


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

Urban Gardening on our Camperdown/Darlington Campus - Students in AFNR5510 and SOIL3010 undertook a research project looking at how the University campuses could be used to reduce food insecurity by utilising urban farming (and community gardens) at our Camperdown/Darling Campus. Useful outcomes included special mapping of the campus and recommendations on how we can continue to develop our current community garden to make fresh food available to our students and staff. This information will also be fed into the creation of a community garden at our Camden campus. (2020)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

Nowley Farm Regenerative Agriculture Management Plan - Students in AFNR5510 and SOIL3010 undertook a research project with our Farms and Property Development team in University Infrastructure to look at how we can regenerate parts of our crop and cattle Nowley Farm in the Liverpool Plains. The project was designed to to ensure that Nowley Farm remains environmentally and financially sustainable over the long-term by restoring soil condition and developing the property into a multifunctional landscape that supports agricultural production and conserves rich biodiversity.(2020)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:
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IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

Under Love Food Sydney we had 3 teams that consisted of 16 students in total that had chosen this topic for their ENGD1000 (Building a Sustainable World) Project.

The teams initially were provided with training around food waste by the waste consultant and were matched up with University of Sydney Union (USU) food businesses on campus. The program had to be modified due to COVID restrictions at the time and the food businesses stopped operating during the period of engagement due to impacts of COVID.
• The students had initial interviews via zoom or phone with their allocated business. Information was shared on typical food waste that would be created from the business.
• The students had to work out ways to reduce the food waste firstly and then ways to recycle or introduce a circular economy part.
• They calculated out the impact on the environment of the food waste and had to put a business model together for any solutions.
• The students at the end of their projects provided engaged with the food business to get their thoughts on if their solutions could be implemented in reality.
• Final reports were provided back to USU to look at if ideas could be implemented after COVID.

The project, if not for COVID, should have included an initial on-site waste audit of each business and then implementation of ideas and a final waste audit and record if the ideas made a difference and if it did how much impact. Instead, businesses were asked to conduct these audits themselves using the LFHW toolkit.

Love Food, Hate Waste - The students came up with some interesting ideas that were feasible to implement. It will be interesting how many will be implemented in 2021 now that the businesses are starting to open back up and slowing returning to a more normal operation. It also assisted City of Sydney to see that there was an alternative way to deliver the program and it has resulted in a change in the delivery of the program to it now being all online training for the food businesses. (2020)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Governance Structure - Sustainability Strategy. During the development of the University's Sustainability Strategy 2020, a student from the Master of Sustainability worked with the Sustainability Team to develop a proposal for a governance framework of the strategy as part of their capstone unit project. The Sustainability team acted as co-supervisor and provided mentoring and scenario testing of the governance model proposed. Elements of it were incorporated into the Sustainability Strategy Pillar 3 mandate. (2020)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:

Reducing corruption, bribery and the criminal and human rights causes and effects of money-laundering.During Innovation Week, an interdisciplinary team of students developed a new Deep-Learning AI fraud detected system utilizing a Champion/Challenger Methodology called Anti-article as part of our student Innovation Challenge. Anti-artifice is designed to enable financial services companies to identify money laundering by examining and learning patterns in banking transactions. The aim is to save billions of dollars of criminal transactions in the global banking industry but also reduce attrition rates of criminal activity linked to bribery, corruption and money-laundering and as such, deter and increase accountability if such activity continues to occur in the future. The students we mentored by researchers in Engineering and the Business School and now have a firm understanding Sustainable accounting and sustainable business practices. The initiative won the People's Choice Award and was awarded seed funding to develop the software further for commercialisation. - https://www.sydney.edu.au/engage/events-sponsorships/connect-for-festival/student-challenge.html


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

Working towards saving the sight of diabetes sufferers - As part of the student University Innovation Challenge, Masters of Health Technology students worked with researchers to develop a solution that contributed towards health intervention and improved health outcomes. They developed an app called iCARE which improves the clinical efficiency of diabetic retinopathy referral procedures. The app has the ability to take advantage of mobile health and retinal cameras. The predicted outcome is to facilitate care coordination and prevent diabetes-associated visual loss. iCARE won the overall Innovation Prize. Students took this project into further development during the capstone project of their Masters. (2020)


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.