Waste Warriors comprising students Jo Scullin, Najwa Hass, Rohit Joshi and Aditya Sridhar took top honours in the 2021 SDG Challenge WA, which is open to students from all four Western Australian public universities.
The Students Doing Good Challenge, or SDG Challenge for short, is an annual event that advances the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a global framework for countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. This year’s event, hosted by Edith Cowan University, took place during September and October.
“Waste Warriors’ win is very exciting and unexpected! The quality and diversity of submissions was so impressive. We are honoured to be selected as winners,” says Jo who worked with her fellow Edith Cowan University students Najwa and Rohit as well as The University of Western Australia student Aditya on their winning Community Cow Program.
“As our team members are spread across Australia and India, we had to work to understand how each of our societies managed production and waste. The limitations that may be in one location may not be in another. On top of that we had to keep our pitch to five minutes! That was definitely one of the most challenging parts of the competition.”
Pictured: Waste Warriors team members Najwa Hass and Jo Scullin (third and fourth from left, respectively) with Cleanaway’s Candice Myers (far right), Curtin University’s Robyn Ouschan (second from left) and Murdoch University’s Leah Knapp (far left). The winning team and their mentors were invited to receive the award from The United Nations Association of Australia Western Australia division (UNAAWA) at the United Nations WA Gala Event on 22 October 2021.
The focus of the Waste Warriors’ pitch was on SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production. For this reason, the team was assigned Cleanaway’s Candice Myers as their industry mentor while Curtin University Senior Lecturer Robyn Ouschan served as academic mentor.
“I had the pleasure of mentoring Waste Warriors with Candice, who has shown considerable commitment to work with me to develop the SDG 12 problem statement. I sincerely thank Candice for her commitment to the SDG Challenge and have no doubt that her involvement had a major impact on the team’s success,” says Robyn, who helped streamline Waste Warriors’ idea for creating sustainable circular economies by shortening food and supply chains in local dairy industries. The team’s pitch also incorporated a glass bottle return and exchange program through their proposed Milk To Door (M2D) app.
“The Community Cow Program demonstrated a systematic approach to tackling both plastic and food waste at a hyper local level. The team presented a well-thought-out concept and addressed the four areas of assessment which are innovation, inclusion, integration, and interrogation,” says Candice, who is on the Cleanaway team servicing Curtin University as its waste service provider.
Cleanaway has adopted SDG 12 as one of its seven priority SDGs:
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production
- SDG 13: Climate Action
- SDG 15: Life on Land
Since 2016, we have published sustainability reports annually. Our FY21 Sustainability Report elaborates how Our Cleanaway Way helps us create outcomes for our stakeholders and how these outcomes align to our chosen SDGs.
Contact us to learn more about how we’re making a sustainable future possible for communities and businesses across Australia.