AUT University is championing the way forward in efficiency by managing usage of its teaching spaces effectively. So far, it has achieved the lowest floor area per student benchmark of any NZ university – 25% lower than the NZ average. With sustainability in mind, it has minimised the need for additional buildings and their associated construction cost, operating costs and carbon footprint.
In a bid to reduce waste and improve efficiency, AUT has implemented a raft of initiatives in its operations. These include being plastic bag and straw free, incentives to use reusable cups, composting, education around behaviour changes, and a new fleet of electric vehicles, to name a few. Annual energy has been reduced by more than 1.3 million kWh through behaviour change and technical measures. Over 160 tonnes of carbon has been saved.
AUT has 29,000 students who see resource minimising initiatives on campus and through communications. This raises awareness and promotes positive behaviour change which will be taken into the workplace by these future leaders.
AUT has been implementing resource reduction initiatives since the late 2000s. In 2012, the Vice Chancellor’s Sustainability Taskforce was formed to provide leadership and formalise initial sustainability initiatives across the University.