UWS joins Earth Hour

Date: 27/03/2009

The University of Western Sydney has committed to participating in Earth Hour again this year. The international event acknowledges the importance of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy and responding to environmental challenges.

The global campaign encourages individuals and organisations to switch off non-essential electrical devices and lighting for one hour on Saturday 28 March.

Together with thousands of organisations, businesses and governments around the world, UWS will turn off non-essential lighting across its campuses and actively remind staff and students to switch off appliances at the power point at the end of the day.

This year, the UWS School of Natural Sciences is the only university sponsor of the Earth Hour Education Program. This Herald Education program is bringing information on climate change to over 1 million full-time school students via classroom materials and teacher guides.

UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid says the University is a strong supporter of initiatives which encourage people to consider the environmental consequences of their actions.

"As a large organisation in Greater Western Sydney with a focus on teaching, learning and research, UWS must take a prominent role in promoting positive actions people can take to protect the planet," says Professor Reid.

"While switching off for just one hour does save some energy, the conscious act of participating in Earth Hour helps to raise everyone's ongoing awareness of the environmental impact of our everyday activities."

To address the long term challenges, the University has introduced the 'Greening UWS Taskforce' to incorporate sustainable practices into the daily operations of the University.

UWS is committed to reducing its own ecological footprint in practical day-to-day ways via energy efficient lighting; selecting energy and water efficient appliances; and recycling materials including paper, ink and toner cartridges and mobile phones.

On average the University diverts over 150 tonnes of paper and 130 tonnes of cardboard to recycling. Rainwater and stormwater is being collected for use on campuses. Additionally, recycled water systems have been introduced on some campuses.

Using the world-class expertise of UWS researchers, the University also has a variety of projects tackling environmental challenges such as climate change, carbon sequestration, managing sustainable water supplies and protecting biodiversity.

Through its own green initiatives, research, and community programs, UWS is focused on finding sustainable solutions for rapidly expanding urban communities like Greater Western Sydney.

For more information on Earth Hour and how you can make a difference, go to http://www.earthhour.org



Senior Media Officer

Paul Grocott
02 9678 7083, 0406 429 304