Sunday 19 July 2015

AWARD: Vice Chancellor’s Sustainable Development Committee Award Winner 2014

It was an honour to recently be awarded the 2014 UWA Vice Chancellor’s Sustainable Development Committee Award in the Postgraduate category.

To be considered for the award I submitted a 10,000 word report outlining part of my research that addressed a "proactive contribution to solving complex problems associated with creating sustainable organisations and a more sustainable world".  In particular, the 2014 guidelines suggested consideration of sustainability and equity, from a social or environmental point of view.  My report focussed on perceptions of equity surrounding domestic solar energy rebates.  While rebates are recognised as an important motivator for promoting the installation of systems, they are also sourced from all electricity consumers, including those on a low income.  Therefore, it is worth considering whether domestic consumers consider their economic contribution to increasing renewable energy as valuable or unfair.  Consumers were largely supportive of renewable energy subsidies, and paying for subsidies, however consumers were concerned about the potential for governments to 'waste' their contribution by supporting substandard installations and installers.

I would also like to congratulation the Undergraduate Award winner, Jimmy, for his work on the awareness and willingness of air travellers to pay for voluntary carbon offsets and their co-benefits.

You can find a blog/media announcement regarding the associated research on the School of Earth and Environment web page here, and an abstract for my report at the Award website, here.