Monash researcher honoured as leader in sustainability

Environmental business magazine WME has announced its Leaders List for 2014, with the Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI), Professor Dave Griggs, taking out the X-Factor category.

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The annual WME Leaders List awards, running since 2008, honour individuals who have provided extraordinary environment leadership in business, the environmental services sector, government and non-government organisations.

This year’s program attracted more than 1500 votes by readers to determine ‘leaders’ in the categories of Corporate Sustainability, Energy and Carbon, Resources and Waste, Urban and Industrial Water, and the X-Factor.

Managing Editor at WME, Richard Collins, said the awards were about recognising leadership qualities and the industry electing those that stand out above the rest.

“Now is a critical time in environmental leadership in Australia,” Mr Collins said.

“It’s important to identify those outstanding individuals who are working towards a truly sustainable future.”

Professor Griggs, who has spent decades warning the world about the threat of climate change, is a former leading figure in the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Part of Professor Griggs’ mission when he came to Australia from the UK in 2007 to head up MSI was to create an international community of ‘smart’ people, working together on the community’s most intractable sustainability issues.

“My focus has been on sustainable development in the broadest sense: environmental, social and economic. When I came here I wanted to make MSI a real interdisciplinary effort,” Professor Griggs said.

Professor Griggs has been heading Monash University’s widely lauded Sustainable Development program alongside Sir Bob Watson (named a UN Champion of the Earth last month), and Professor John Thwaites, chair of MSI and a previous winner of the X-Factor award.

“It is obviously a great honour to receive this award, but I would like to acknowledge Monash University, who had the vision to create a sustainability institute, and my MSI colleagues, who have made it such an exciting and rewarding place to work,” Professor Griggs said.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish, said the award was recognition that Professor Griggs has had wide-ranging impact across academia, government, industry and the community sectors.

“Monash has been enriched by his leadership and I am delighted that this award celebrates the unique contribution he has made to Australia,” Professor Cornish said.

Professor Griggs is stepping aside as Director of MSI to take on a more research-based role with the Institute. He will be replaced by Professor Rebekah Brown in February next year.

About the Monash Sustainability Institute

Climate change and sustainability, and their intrinsic multiple crises, are some of the most challenging issues facing society today. Many of these issues however often end up in the “too hard” basket. Monash, through the Monash Sustainability Institute, is tackling these great challenges head on with a unique and distinctive interdisciplinary approach.

The institute brings together the best minds from multiple fields of endeavour in world-leading cross-disciplinary programs and centres of excellence. Monash has pulled together scientists, lawyers, economists, psychologists, biologists, engineers, health professionals, training experts and more to nut out the ‘wicked’ problems.


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