Roles & opportunities for zero waste in the future of University education, research and sustainable campus management
By Jonathon Hannon & Atiq Zaman
The zero waste movement around the world demonstrates a positive track-record in commercial, municipal and community spheres, of cost effectively addressing waste issues and supporting the innovation required to transition towards a circular economy and sustainable development. Scientific literature and numerous case studies demonstrate that zero waste approaches are framed in a continuum of learning and evolution and can be successful, scientific, measurable, a good economic investment, socially and culturally beneficial and democratically popular. However, it is also recognised that these positive indicators, are just the precursor of the level of transformational leadership and innovation, which is required in future across spheres such as: policy, programme, technology, education, research and product design, in order to realise the full future opportunity zero waste. A small cluster of universities/organisations inhabitant by keen ‘zero-wasters’ are seeking to catalyse a nexus for international zero waste academic collaboration (NIZAC) to support zero waste education and research and the translation of this into practice. A key strand in the discussion and experience informing the development of the NZIAC, is the opportunity of ‘living labs’ research theory and practice to support the co-creation of innovation in a ‘university and host city—community’ context. The presenters of this session will provide an overview of: relevant research theory, the experience of NIZAC partners, an illustration of some project outcomes [i.e. the C3 (Curtin Cuts the Cups) and the Palmy - Plastic Pollution Challenge (PPC)] and then seek to engage with attendees around future strategy and next steps.