RMIT Vietnam NewsGreening hearts and minds

Greening hearts and minds

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 17:15
Operations and Planning Executive Director Matthew Sukumaran giving the welcome presentation
Attendees participating in the Eco-charette

On Wednesday 16 October the Saigon South campus welcomed academics and researchers from RMIT Melbourne to meet with staff and student representatives to discuss sustainability actions and targets for RMIT Vietnam.

With the objectives of developing a Sustainability Action Plan for the Saigon South campus and promoting RMIT Vietnam's Campus as a sustainability learning laboratory, top minds from across the two campuses converged in a day-long Eco-charette in an attempt to enhance RMIT Vietnam's physical as well as academic environment.

The forum was a stepping stone for RMIT University Vietnam to achieve its vision of being urban in orientation and creativity, shaping sustainable cities and drawing inspiration from the challenges and opportunities they provide.

The themes discussed during the Eco-charette by attendees included Integrated Facilities Management, Sustainable Infrastructure, Culture and Community, Education and Research, and Sustainable Procurement and Waste Management.

Mr Karl Bennett, Director of Property Services, thought the forum was a good start to promoting alignment and sharing of information in sustainability initiatives between RMIT Vietnam and RMIT Melbourne.

"The Eco-charette was productive and inspiring," Bennett said. "It was a great kick-off to enhance and develop sustainability at RMIT Vietnam, which is an integral part of our Strategic Plan."
Professor of Construction Management, School of Property Construction and Project Management at RMIT Melbourne Kerry London believed that the commitment and intelligence of the attendees from the two campuses sparked up brilliant ideas that would soon be transformed into actions and priorities.

"It is very modern and exemplary," she said of the Saigon South campus. "Of course there is more to do, but they are on their way to achieving sustainability objectives. The most pressing thing now for RMIT Vietnam is that staff and students take the lead in sustainability development, which is why the Eco-charette is great."

Representing the student body in the forum were the Student Council's Activity Officer Nguyen Thi Minh Tam and Green Heritage's project leader Le Lu Bao Ngoc.

"We really appreciated this event as it has brought up so many great ideas and directions for actions on critical issues, especially ones regarding the students," Tam said.

"The choices we make now will very much affect our future. I cannot stress enough the importance of consuming and living in a sustainable manner."

In form of an informed focus group, the Eco-charette was held as part of the Sustainable Urban Development Forum from 14 to 18 October at RMIT Vietnam's SGS Campus under the facilitation of sustainability consultant Melissa Merryweather, the Southern Representative of the Vietnam Green Building Council.

RMIT Sustainability Policy is applicable to all RMIT campuses and to all stakeholders when engaged in university activities. It also expresses RMIT's commitment to demonstrate sustainability and responds to national and international expectations.