SUSTAINABILIT Y PL AN2017 – 2020
CONTENTS1.0Message from the Vice-Chancellor042.0Sustainability @ Melbourne05How we developed the Sustainability Plan06The Sustainability Charter07Our contribution to Global Goals forSustainable Development073.0Targets at a glance094.0Our operations and their impact220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.84.9Energy and emissions11Water12Waste and recycling13Travel and transport14Biodiversity16Sustainable buildings and communities17Climate adaptation and resilience18Goods and services19Campus engagement205.0Research226.0Teaching and ents3410.0Our reporting and networking commitments38
04 UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE1.0MESSAGE FROM THEVICE-CHANCELLORTHE UNITED NATIONS AGREEMENT REACHED IN PARIS INLATE 2015 MARKS AN IMPORTANT MOMENT IN THE GLOBALRESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE. AFTER PARIS, THE MESSAGEOF CHANGE – AND HOPE – RINGS TRUE NOT JUST FORGLOBAL GOVERNMENTS, BUT LIKEWISE FOR INSTITUTIONSTHROUGHOUT SOCIETIES.Important among these institutionsare higher education providers. AsNobel Laureate and University ofMelbourne scientist Professor PeterDoherty has rightly said: “Universitiescan contribute massively to buildinga more sustainable world.”The Sustainability Plan for the Universityof Melbourne details this institution’scommitment to this important task. Itsets out an ambitious path towards newmodes of governance and operationsin a warming world.The Plan is based on the principles andcommitments of the Sustainability Charter,and identifies targets and priority actionsfor the University in the period 2017to 2020. It provides the sustainabilitypractitioners of the University – studentsand staff alike – with benchmarks andan overview of where we are headed.Our progress on the targets in the Planwill be tracked in the annual SustainabilityReport, providing an opportunity to refineand redirect our efforts most effectively.As this Plan shows, we are taking actionacross all areas of institutional activityin order to tackle the impacts of climatechange. From solar panels and geothermalsystems on campus, to long term renewableenergy supply contracts, we are mappingout pathways to minimise emissions. Ourresearch expertise is being brought to bearin partnerships with industry, governmentand communities to create the socialtransition required for a sustainable future.Meanwhile our campuses increasinglyprovide a blueprint for ‘living laboratories’of sustainability, to inspire others and helpre-imagine community approaches toenergy use. An Education for Sustainabilityproject will be established, to aid studentsin developing knowledge and skills to beleaders for sustainability.This Plan is not only a public statementof our commitment to sustainability. Italso reflects the consolidated efforts andcollective will of the University community,responding to public expectations of therole we should play as a university in helpingmeet a grand challenge of our age.Accordingly on behalf of the institution,I am proud to present the University ofMelbourne Sustainability Plan.
SUSTAINABILITY PLAN 2017–2020 052.0SUSTAINABILITY@ MELBOURNEAS A DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH AND TEACHING INSTITUTION,THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE HAS A SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITYTO LEAD STRONGLY AND ACT DECISIVELY IN ADDRESSING THEMOST PRESSING OF GLOBAL SOCIETAL CHALLENGES.Our vision is to be one of the finest universitiesin the world, contributing to society in ways thatenrich and transform lives.We are privileged to be home to some of thegreat environmental and social thinkers. Ourstudents are active and engaged with socialand environmental issues. We are positionedto shape public thought and practices toachieve a sustainable future. Sustainabilityhas developed in the University over recentyears to sit at the heart of all our activities.Sustainability now exists as a guidingprinciple of the University’s strategic plan,Growing Esteem.In March 2016, the University adopteda Sustainability Charter which sets outour values, principles, and commitments.The Sustainability Plan 2017-2020(“the Plan”) flows from the Charter1and addresses environmental and socialsustainability across all these activities– together with the enabling functions ofOperations and Governance. It articulatesthe priority actions and targets requiredto achieve the Charter commitments.The Plan has been designed withinvolvement from the University community– staff, students, alumni, and externalstakeholders. There is an emphasis onreducing the impacts of our operations anddeveloping our campuses as sustainableand resilient communities.Growing Esteem pays particularattention to the many differentdimensions of sustainability.Our aspirations for society andenvironment inform the valuesof the University and are reflectedin turn in our work. There areopportunities to embed sustainabilityobjectives in infrastructure planningand service delivery, in developingand supporting the capabilitiesof staff, and in our commitmentto building a robust and financiallyviable organisation.1For more information about the Sustainability Charter and Plan development,see: n
06 UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNEHOW WE DEVELOPED THESUSTAINABILITY PLANWe recognise that our staff and students caredeeply about sustainability. Since mid-2015, wehave consulted extensively to develop both theSustainability Charter and the SustainabilityPlan. We wanted all the University communityto contribute to the discussion about how theUniversity can shape its sustainability approachand future. We are proud to say that the Universitycommunity as a whole was keen to be involved insetting our agenda to 2020 and beyond. Thereis scope to extend our consultation as we workthrough the more detailed development andimplementation of this Plan over coming years.The public consultation phase for theSustainability Plan ran from April to August 2016.We acknowledge and thank the hundreds ofpeople who have contributed to the developmentof realistic and meaningful priority actions andtargets to 2020. Consultation included students,staff, alumni, and other stakeholders with 475attendees over two forum events, 72 feedbacke-mails and 30 Hackathon workshop participantsengaging the University community in designingthis Plan.This process has enabled us to establish theissues of greatest importance to our community,to understand more clearly and address theUniversity’s material impacts and to considerthe commitments required to make the greatestcontribution to addressing sustainability issues.All feedback received has been synthesised intoa feedback report. This community feedback,together with key existing University strategieshas informed the development of this report.This Plan was endorsed by the Sustainability Executive and University Executivein October 2016 and approved by the University Council in November 2016.At The University of Melbourne, the principles of our Sustainability Charterare applied across our five integrated activity areas:Research, Teaching & Learning, Engagement, Operations,and Governance.ResearchLeadershipTeaching GovernanceIndigenouscontributionOperations
SUSTAINABILITY PLAN 2017–2020 07THE SUSTAINABILITY CHARTEROur sustainability commitments areenshrined in the Sustainability Charter.An enduring statement of the University’ssustainability values and principles, theCharter applies to all our activities.The Sustainability Charter identifies principlesto be applied consistently across all ouractivities – Research, Teaching & Learning,Engagement, Operations, and Governance.It includes specific commitments for eachactivity area, which we must deliver if we areto truly model ourselves as a sustainablecommunity and a leader in societal transitionto a sustainable future.The following chapters address eachactivity area and identify the targets andpriority actions to 2020 required to deliveron the commitments of the Charter. Variousframeworks and standards are required tosupport these commitments. Performanceagainst the commitments of the Charterand Plan will be reported through theUniversity’s annual Sustainability Report,currently using the Global ReportingInitiative framework.OUR CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL GOALSFOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTThe University is an active member of theUnited Nations Global Compact (UNGC)and is committed to both local and globalaction on sustainability. We support theUnited Nations Sustainable DevelopmentGoals (SDGs) as a global pathway toequitable development. The SDGs werelaunched and unanimously adoptedby 193 countries in late 2015.In September 2016, we signed the‘University commitment to the SustainableDevelopment Goals’. This commitmentcalls upon universities to use their uniqueposition in society to drive adoptionof the Sustainable Development Goals.THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS REPRESENT THE ASPIRATIONS OFTHE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD – THEY CLEARLY DEFINE THE WORLD WE WANT.22Australian SDGs Summit, Sydney, September 2016
08 UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNETHE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNESUSTAINABILITY CHARTERTHE EARTH IS A FINITE ENVIRONMENT, WITH ITS PHYSICAL SYSTEMS TIGHTLY INTERCONNECTED WITH ALLLIFE ON THE PLANET. HUMANITY IS NOW IN THE HISTORIC POSITION OF CHANGING THE GLOBAL BALANCEOF BOTH THE PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENTS, WITH UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.Achieving a sustainable Earth requiresglobal values and actions that are ecologicallysound, socially just and economically viable.As a distinguished research and teachinginstitution, The University of Melbourne hasa social responsibility to lead and engage inpublic debate and action. Through knowledge,imagination and action the University willhelp shape a sustainable planet and will bean international exemplar of an ecologicallysustainable community.The University’s obligations in relationto sustainability are to:» demonstrate leadership, globally, nationallyand locally;» generate interdisciplinary knowledgeto underpin community action;» enable active global citizenship for allstudents and staff;» recognise the past and future contributionof Australian Indigenous peoples tocustodianship of the environment;» promote equity in the use of globalresources; and» ensure transparency and accountabilityin all institutional activitiesAs committed to in Growing Esteem, this Charterframes the values and principles to be embeddedthroughout the University’s operations, andidentifies the commitments required to achievea sustainable future.COMMITMENTSResearch underpins the University’s contribution to creating a sustainable world. The University will:» conduct research that contributessignificantly to knowledge andaction across the interdisciplinarydimensions of sustainability;» support researchers acrossdifferent fields to work collectivelyon environmental problems; and» use sustainability principlesto guide decisions aboutresearch funding, conductand communicationThe teaching and learning programs of the University inspire and supportstudents to be leaders for a sustainable future. The University will:» offer an education that enablesgraduates from all disciplinesto contribute to change forsustainability;» develop people who have the skillsto create, define and succeed inthe future careers and industriesof sustainable societies» provide specialist interdisciplinaryeducation in the environmentand sustainability; andThe University’s staff and students actively engage with all sectorsto drive progress towards sustainability. The University will:» be a leading voice in raisingpublic awareness and advancingand influencing policy discussionand debate;» engage in ongoing dialogue andcollaboration with the communityon the University’s environmentalimpact and performance» work strategically with partnersto create innovative solutions tosustainability challenges; andSustainable practices are embedded in all of the University’s operations, modellinginnovative ways to maximise social and environmental value. The University will:» develop and maintain itscampuses as living laboratoriesof sustainable communities;» lead technological, financial andsocial innovation through appliedsustainability projects;» instil sustainability principles inprocurement decisions, acrossproduct life cycles and supplychains; and» implement investment strategiesconsistent with the University’scommitment to sustainability and itsfinancial and legal responsibilitiesThe University integrates sustainability principles into its decision-makingand the management of the organisation. The University will:» build and maintain the planning, decision-making and governanceframework required to enact the commitments of this Charter; and» involve the University community in decision-making and ensuretransparent reporting on progress towards delivering these commitmentsIN ACHIEVING THE COMMITMENTS OF THIS CHARTER WE WILL FULFILL THE ASPIRATION OF THE UNIVERSITY’SMOTTO: POSTERA CRESCAM LAUDE – WE SHALL GROW IN THE ESTEEM OF FUTURE GENERATIONS.
SUSTAINABILITY PLAN 2017–2020 093.0TARGETS AT A GLANCERESEARCH»» Equip ourselves to be a prominentactor in annual global sustainabilitypolicy development»» Develop industry partnershipsthat emphasise our resources forsustainability research including thecampus as a living laboratory»» Increase the number of Universityof Melbourne graduates who candemonstrate a specialisation in»» Ensure the University’s conveningpower is used to bring togetherpolicy leaders, industry and academicexperts to advance issues ofsustainability»» Deeply embed sustainabilityconsiderations within the sixUniversity-wide KeystoneEngagement Programs of theEngagement Strategy»» Reduce fuel emissions from fleetvehicles by 25% from the 2015baseline by 2020»» Achieve Green Star Communitiesaccreditation for the ParkvilleCampus by mid-2017»» By 2021 the University’s investmentportfolio will:»» Offset 100% of remaining fleetemissions annuallyClimate Adaptation and Resilienceenvironment and sustainability asdefined by the National Learningand Teaching Academic StandardsStatement for Environment andSustainability, thereby contributingto their employability»» Evidence of increased studentengagement with organisationspositively contributing tosustainability through workintegrated and classroom activitiesOPERATIONSEnergy & Emissions»» Achieve carbon neutralitybefore 2030»» Achieve zero net emissionsfrom electricity by 2021»» Reduce emissions by 20,000 tonnesof carbon per year by 2020 throughon-campus energy projectsWater»» Reduce mains water usage byfloor area by 12% from 2015baseline by 2020Waste and Recycling»» Reduce waste to landfill to 20kgper person by 2020Travel and Transport»» Complete a Sustainable TransportStrategy for all University campusesby end-2017»» Offset staff air travel emissions –50% by 2018, 100% by 2020»» Reduce air travel emissions per staffmember by 5 to10% for international,10% for domestic by 2020INVESTMENTS»» Reduce the University’s car fleet by20% from 2015 baseline by 2020»» Replace 10% of University carparking spaces with bicycle parkingby 2018Biodiversity»» Publish a university-wide BiodiversityManagement Plan by March 2017»» Establish biodiversity baselinedata for Parkville and Southbankcampuses by mid-2017»» Establish biodiversity baselinedata for the remaining campusesby end-2018»» Complete campus-specific plansand commence implementationby end-2020Sustainable Buildings andCommunities»» Develop and implement ClimateAdaptation Plans for each Universitycampus by 2020Goods and Services»» Develop and implement a SupplierCode of Conduct by March 2017»» Achieve commitments under theUniversity’s Fair Trade certificationCampus Engagement»» Awareness: increase staff/student‘level of awareness in Universitysustainability issues’ to over 15%with high level of awareness and 70%with moderate awareness or higher»» Participation: Increase staff/student‘level of participation in Sustainabilityinitiatives’»» Action: Increase staff/student‘personal undertaking of sustainabilityactivities’»» Maintain minimum five-star GreenStar ‘Design and As Built’ rating(or equivalent) for all new buildings,achieving a minimum six-star orequivalent by 2020»» Perception: Increase staff/student‘satisfaction with University efforts’in each of the surveyed fields»» Report annually and publicly on theUniversity’s sustainability impactsand performance using global bestpractice standards»» Uphold the principle of stakeholderinclusiveness in our reporting anddecision making processesGOVERNANCE»» Ensure that sustainability remainsenshrined at the highest level ofUniversity strategies»» Communicate Universitysustainability research knowledgeto the broader communityENGAGEMENTTEACHING & LEARNING»» By 2020, all undergraduate degreeprograms can demonstrate (at thecourse and/or major level) that coreand compulsory curriculum enablestudents to understand and applysustainability knowledge and valuesto practice in their field, consistentwith the Melbourne graduateattributes»» Ensure strong research links tocampus sustainability operationsand planning-- Have divested from, or be in theprocess of divesting from withina reasonable period, any materialholdings that do not satisfy therequirements of the University’ssustainable investment frameworkfor managing material climatechange risk-- Incorporate a meaningfulallocation of impact investmentsin the strategic asset allocation,potentially in partnership withpeer organisations»» Establish a separate specificinvestment fund where a donorwishes to stipulate (subject to certainconditions) investment parametersfor their endowment that are notaccommodated through the existingportfolio»» Become a direct signatory tothe United Nations Principlesfor Responsible Investment
10 UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE4.0OUR OPERATIONSAND THEIR IMPACTCHARTER COMMITMENTSSUSTAINABLE PRACTICES ARE EMBEDDED IN ALLOF THE UNIVERSITY’S OPERATIONS, MODELLINGINNOVATIVE WAYS TO MAXIMISE SOCIAL ANDENVIRONMENTAL VALUE. THE UNIVERSITY WILL:DEVELOP AND MAINTAINITS CAMPUSES ASLIVING LABORATORIESOF SUSTAINABLECOMMUNITIESLEAD TECHNOLOGICAL,FINANCIAL AND SOCIALINNOVATION THROUGHAPPLIED SUSTAINABILITYPROJECTSAs Australia’s leading university with a communityof more than 53,000 students and staff3 acrossseven campuses, the University is focussedon leading by example in its own operations.Developing our campuses as sustainable andresilient communities, and protecting and enhancingbiodiversity, are aspects highly valued for theirpositive impact and contribution to the Universityof Melbourne experience.Embedding sustainability practices into everythingwe do has enabled significant reductions inresource consumption, carbon emissions andwaste over many years. The commitments of theSustainability Charter signal the strengthening ofour resolve to conduct our operations in the most3Annual Report 2015: 45,411 student EFTSL & 8,063 staff FTEINSTIL SUSTAINABILITYPRINCIPLES INPROCUREMENT DECISIONS,ACROSS PRODUCT LIFECYCLES AND SUPPLY CHAINSenvironmentally and socially responsible manner.We are prepared to set bold targets and ambitiouspriority actions to model sustainability and resiliencethrough our operations.In this Plan we commit to achieving zero netemissions from electricity by 2021 and to bringforward our 2030 carbon neutral target. We areundertaking an unprecedented scale of energyreduction and generation and water capture andreuse projects on campus. We are positioningourselves to accurately measure and addressthe emissions from business air travel and tounderstand more clearly our supply chain impacts.
SUSTAINABILITY PLAN 2017–2020 114.1ENERGY &EMISSIONSWE HAVE SET AMBITIOUS ENERGYTARGETS TO FOCUS OUR EFFORTS OVERCOMING YEARS AND DEMONSTRATE THELEADERSHIP ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES INTHE SOCIETAL TRANSITION AWAY FROMRELIANCE ON FOSSIL FUELS.The University is strengthening its commitment tominimise fossil fuel use and exploit opportunitie
1.0 Message from the Vice-Chancellor 04 2.0 Sustainability @ Melbourne 05 How we developed the Sustainability Plan 06 The Sustainability Charter 07 Our contribution to Global Goals for Sustainable Development 07 3.0 Targets at a glance 09 4.0 Our operations and their impact 10 4.1 Energy and emissions 11 4.2 Water 12 4.3 Waste and recycling 13