Living our values
At Exciton Science our work focuses on the development of zero emissions, energy-generating technologies. We do this through the development of more efficient and cheaper solar panels, materials that harness light to emit energy, and by working to understand how to effectively control excitons for high-energy outputs in these materials.
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science is committed to achieving high-efficiency renewable energy generation, so that Australia can better utilise its abundance of natural resources, like sun and wind. Australia has unparalleled potential to become a world leader in the push towards decarbonised economies and our Centre’s fundamental and enabling science has the necessary skills and expertise to help drive that emergence.
As a Centre of Excellence that has the capability to collaborate and deliver impact through science, we also acknowledge there is more to mitigating the effects of climate change than developing new technologies in our labs. We understand that through our actions we can lead by example in the area of sustainability.
We can encourage others to change the way we consume energy and reduce our emissions to safeguard the environment, and we know we can ensure our carbon footprint will be disproportionately small relative to our resources and positive output.
To do that we have identified a set of initiatives through which we can set a positive example and ensure that as a Centre, we reduce energy use and minimise waste in our operations. We hope to encourage positive change among others regarding their consumption of energy and products, and the disposal of waste.
We want our actions and efforts to be ethical and sincere, and to have a positive effect on our environment. We recognise it is not the responsibility of individuals to solve the world’s climate problems alone. But contributing to a change of behaviour and understanding of threats and solutions will help to encourage action from government and business.
In January 2020, Centre Director Professor Paul Mulvaney was among the signatories to an open letter from ARC Laureate Fellows highlighting the urgent need for deep cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate the negative impacts of global heating.
Sustainability at our Partner Universities
Each of our partner universities is working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, through travel, transport, building efficiency and advocacy.
You can read the comprehensive reports and action plans for a sustainable future at each of our partner universities below:
- Monash University: https://www.monash.edu/environmental-sustainability
- RMIT University: https://www.rmit.edu.au/about/our-values/sustainability
- The University of Melbourne: https://sustainablecampus.unimelb.edu.au/
- The University of Sydney: https://sydney.edu.au/about-us/vision-and-values/sustainability.html
- UNSW Sydney: https://www.sustainability.unsw.edu.au/
Leading the change
Our Sustainable Environment Commitment
In addition to the commitments of our partner universities, we can make further contributions to reducing our environmental footprint by:
- Actively promoting sustainability through our outreach activities to schools and the public.
- Acting as a voice for change and supporting our researchers to use their own platform to lead this change.
- Adopting and enacting policies for all Exciton events that reduce waste, reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices. (See our sustainable events policy below).
Taking positive action
Exciton Science Sustainable Events Policy
To demonstrate our commitment to minimising our carbon footprint, in planning and staging all events we will:
- Ask attendees to bring their own re-usable bottles or cups for use across events.
- Provide vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian options and, if this is not possible, choose chicken instead of beef to minimise carbon emissions.
- Instruct caterers to avoid single-use waste products or products with excessive packaging (for example, swapping single-serve sauce packets for a condiment station), and to choose recyclable or biodegradable products whenever possible.
- Prioritise catering that uses Fairtrade, local, seasonal, carbon neutral and any other ethical, certifiably sustainable food options.
- Where possible, engage a social enterprise to supply catering.