August 31, 2023
Yours and Owls Festival to turbocharge UOW’s renewable energy transition
Sustainability the focus of two-day festival held on campus
Sustainability will be front and centre when the University of Wollongong (UOW) hosts the two-day Yours and Owls Festival this year (14-15 October).
The annual festival, which will be held at UOW for the first time, will align with the University’s commitment to a more sustainable future and be powered by renewable energy sources where possible, including UOW’s existing on-site solar power.
UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Patricia M. Davidson said the Festival will have a lasting sustainable legacy through contributing towards new PV solar panels worth $90,000 over the next three years, which will sit atop the Library.
The new solar upgrades will supply solar energy to the Library and UniBar year-round, with this contribution producing approximately 82,500kWh per year with the long-term aim to have the majority of the event powered purely by renewable energy sources.
“This partnership will help turbocharge UOW’s renewable energy transition and deliver a significant and lasting sustainability legacy to the University,” Professor Davidson said.
UOW has formally pledged to achieving carbon neutrality no later than 2030. The progress of the University’s commitment is being overseen by the Sustainable Futures Committee under the leadership of Professor Tim McCarthy.
Professor McCarthy said the partnership between Yours and Owls Festival and the University reflected the joint commitment to providing a lasting environmental benefit from the event.
“UOW has been working to reduce its emissions for many years and are thrilled to work with a partner that has the same goals and commitment as we do,” Professor McCarthy said.
“The partnership between UOW and Yours and Owls is a collaboration to reduce the festival’s impact on the campus environment. In planning this festival, sustainability is a focus rather than an afterthought. We are delighted by this proactive approach and are looking forward to ways that we can continue to work together in the years to come.
“The donation of the PV panels is beneficial for UOW. After the strains of the last encore has faded, the sun will still be powering our University for years to come. But while we are making progress on carbon neutrality, there is still a way to go.”
UOW’s journey to carbon neutrality includes addressing direct and indirect emissions, which can be categorised into Scope 1, Scope 2 or Scope 3.
Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, for example gases or fuels consumed onsite. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of greenhouse gasses offsite, such as purchased electricity. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in an organisation’s value chain.
Across all its Australian campuses and facilities UOW has reduced Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent since 2019. The University has increased onsite solar generation on its campuses by 29 per cent since 2019, generating 5,387GJ of solar energy in 2022. Currently, UOW has 1.6MW of solar energy PV installed on its campuses.
UOW has also introduced other ongoing sustainability measures across its campuses, including recycling initiatives, water refill stations, electronic waste collection and mobile phone recycling, biodiversity initiatives, reducing plastic waste, and encouraging staff and students to carpool or ride to campus. UOW Shoalhaven’s campus runs on 100 per cent renewable energy.
For more information about UOW’s Environment Team visit https://www.uow.edu.au/about/services/environment/
Main caption: Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M Davidson with the team from Yours and Owls pictured at the Oval at UOW. Photo: Mark Newsham