WorldSkills Australia is facilitating the integration of sustainability into vocational education and training by demonstrating to the next generation of business leaders the skills for sustainability that will drive our future economy.
About the Green Team
WorldSkills Australia hosts some of the nation’s largest and most logistically-complex events, catering for up to 60 different skill categories at the biennial WorldSkills Australia National Competitions. Running these skill categories uses significant quantities of water, energy and materials, and generates multiple waste streams.
Faced with these challenges, Dusseldorp Skills Forum (DSF) and WSA worked together on an innovative project — the Green Team. The project was inaugurated at the 2008 WorldSkills Australia National Competition and due to its success in 2008 the project was adopted again in 2010 and 2012.
The 2008 Green Team comprised of TAFE NSW Event Management students and university Environment Management students trained to conduct an Environmental Review. An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) guided the review, allowing the Green Team’s work to conform to internationally recognised standards. The 2008 EMP provided WSA with an event sustainability blueprint for continuous improvement.
The Green Team used the Victorian EPA’s Event Footprint Calculator to calculate the impact of the event in 2008, 2010 and again in 2012. In order to reduce the environmental impact of the competitions, WSA focused its attention on reducing the level of energy, materials, water consumed and waste generated by each category, thus demonstrating to the wider community, in particular the vocational education system and Australian workplaces, what can be achieved through effective control measures and smart sustainable planning.
The Green Team’s primary role, under the guidance of the lead auditor, ARUP, is to audit each competition area, considering the sustainability of project designs, the efficient use of materials, water and energy, and waste management at the competition.
2012 Green Team
In 2012 the Green Team trialled a more robust approach to assessing the comparative sustainability of each participating category through the monitoring of a categories social and economic effects as well as its broader impact on the environment. The Green Team project was executed by 33 event and environmental management students from TAFE NSW colleges, Northern Sydney Institute and Western Sydney Institute.
According to assessors, the overall level of performance amongst the competition categories was high, which was reflected in the marking; 25 of the 37 categories audited received a sustainability score of 65% or higher.
2012 ARUP Skills for Sustainability Award
For the first time in Green Team history, joint winners were announced at the 2012 WSA National Competition Presentation Ceremony. Both the Cookery and Hairdressing categories were awarded the Skills for Sustainability Award
The Cookery category was awarded the honour for:
- Partnering with the other Hospitality categories to streamline their operation
- Significantly reducing category space and energy consumption
- Organising a supply chain amongst the Hospitality categories; products such as bread and meat were utilised in the Cookery category, significantly reducing food waste
The Hairdressing category was awarded for:
- Integrating a range of practices to reduce energy and water usage, for example, the fitting of flow restrictors to minimise water usage
- Significantly decreasing category wastage through the use of biodegradable products such as towels provided by the Big Towel Company
- Reducing the categories’ eco footprint through the utilisation of products such as Refoil’s recycled foils and O&M’s low chemical solution dye made from native products
- Effectively communicating their commitment to sustainability to competitors and visitors through the use of video and signage
The Green Team is a project partnership between WorldSkills Australia (WSA) and Dusseldorp Skills Forum (DSF). Together, they are committed to the delivery of cutting edge innovations in the VET, education and skills sector.