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Sustainability Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) Connections - the QUT Strategy 2023 to 2027 highlights sustainability and the environment as a priority. This Policy supports the University’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and contributing to meeting the challenges that will lead to a more sustainable world. The objective of the Policy is to provide a framework to express sustainability principles and practices to attain positive sustainability outcomes.

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Section 2 - Application

(2) This Policy applies to all staff and students of QUT, as well as other members of the University community.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Director, Facilities Management/Pro Vice-Chancellor(Sustainability and Research Integrity)
Implements and reviews QUT’s sustainability strategy in liaison with stakeholders.
Director, Facilities Management
Implements and reviews the sustainability targets and priority actions for carbon, energy, transport and travel, water, waste, biodiversity, built environment, climate adaptation and resilience, engagement, and behavioural change.
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability and Research Integrity)
Provides academic leadership to the University regarding sustainability and environmental matters, including strategic direction, institutional policy, and research and education programs.
Reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for research.
Director, Curriculum Quality and Academic Integrity
Reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for education.
Director, Health Safety and Environment
Reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for environmental compliance.
Associate Director, Finance Services
Reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for procurement.
QUT community
Adhere to sustainable systems and processes in the University.
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Section 4 - Sustainability Strategy and Operating Practices

(3) The University’s sustainability strategy provides direction for the University to continually improve its sustainability practices.

(4) QUT will measure and seek to reduce the environmental impact of its operations by improving sustainability practices and involving staff and students in on-going improvement of our environmental performance. Adequate funding and resources will be allocated to implement the strategy.

(5) QUT’s environmental sustainability commitment considers the following principles as fundamental:

  1. minimising energy and water consumption;
  2. enhancing campus biodiversity;
  3. minimising pollution and environmental impacts;
  4. maximising the utilisation of space;
  5. reducing QUT’s carbon footprint;
  6. implementing sustainable transport strategies;
  7. minimising waste to landfill;
  8. minimising plastic use;
  9. implementing sustainable procurement strategies; and
  10. including climate change adaptation in design and development.

Education for Sustainability

(6) QUT is committed to embedding sustainability into its practices and curricula. The University recognises the important role the higher education sector plays in ensuring the generation set to meet the challenge of the climate emergency receives the skills it needs. To achieve this, QUT’s Real World Learning Vision (QUT staff access only) outlines aspirations for graduates who will:

  1. contribute to, and impact on, the world in an ethical and sustainable way;
  2. reflect upon their own practices and make decisions consistent with the principles of sustainable development;
  3. deal with sustainability issues in all fields of work; amd
  4. contribute to a sustainable future with the confidence to act and with the knowledge that their actions will effect positive change.

Research for Sustainability

(7) QUT’s research on sustainability is diverse and seeks to meet global, national, and local challenges. Collectively the University’s research centres and groups address the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

(8) The University is committed to enhancing research aimed at mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change.

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Section 5 - Sustainability Program

(9) QUT promotes best sustainability practice in the workplace through an annual Communications and Behaviour Change Program to raise sustainability awareness. The objectives of the program include minimising waste and increasing recycling, energy efficiencies and water conservation, increasing the use of environmentally friendly preferred items, encouraging sustainable transport practices and engaging QUT staff and students in the University’s sustainability commitment.

(10) The Sustainability webpages (QUT staff access only) on the Digital Workplace provide further information.

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Section 6 - Monitoring and Reporting

(11) QUT complies with statutory requirements and is transparent in its sustainability journey with regular monitoring and reporting on performance and improvement initiatives. The following annual reports are provided:

  1. greenhouse gas emissions to the Australian Government in accordance with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) regulations;
  2. reporting on operational performance - benchmarking with the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association; and
  3. carbon emissions in QUT’s Annual Report.
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Section 7 - Definitions

Term Definition
Sustainability Encompasses environmental, social and economic dimensions and focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and some artificial chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons, which often in this context are just referred to as ‘carbon’ or carbon equivalent’.
Carbon Footprint Is the amount of 'carbon' emitted or attributed to an organisation.