RMIT University has been selected as a finalist in three categories in a prestigious tertiary sector sustainability awards program.
The 2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia, now in its fifth year, is managed by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) and recognises sustainability best practice within the tertiary education sector.
RMIT has been shortlisted in three of 11 categories - the ACTS Award for Excellence, Continuous Improvement and Skills for Sustainability.
Senior Advisor Sustainability at RMIT's Property Services, Linda Stevenson, said the shortlisting acknowledged the University's initiation to drive substantial and systematic changes to embed sustainability across the organisation.
"RMIT University is pleased to be shortlisted in the 2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia across a number of categories," she said
"The shortlisting recognises the five years' of work undertaken by the RMIT Sustainability Committee, which made a commitment to incorporating sustainability principles and practices into learning and teaching, research and operational activities."
In April this year, RMIT launched the $98 million Sustainable Urban Precincts Program (SUPP), which aims to cut the University's energy and water use and greenhouse gas emissions.
A Landscape Architecture student examines a biodiversity plot in one of the living laboratories on City campus, part of a project shortlisted for the Green Gown awards.
SUPP will reduce electricity use over eight years by about 239 million kilowatts, leading to a 30,000-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, while water use will be cut by approximately 68 million litres.
As part of the program - the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere - RMIT worked with Siemens and Honeywell over two years to identify opportunities for energy and water savings in 90 buildings in the City, Bundoora and Brunswick campuses.
SUPP will also provide $4.8 million in funding to support teaching and research in sustainability at RMIT, including 10 PhD scholarships.
A range of other sustainable initiatives have been embedded across RMIT since 2008, from an emissions reduction target to a "community of practice" of dedicated sustainability staff in the Learning and Teaching Unit.
A project involving landscape architecture students, The Matter of Landscape: Sustainable Design Strategies for RMIT City campus, was shortlisted in the Skills for Sustainability category.
The project - led by Karolina Bartkowicz, Judy Rogers and Professor SueAnne Ware - involves designing, developing and evaluating green roofs and planting master plans for the City campus as a way of demonstrating best practice sustainable design for the City of Melbourne.
Winners of the Green Gown Awards will be announced on Thursday, 6 November.