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Sustainability Policy

Abstract

This Policy provides a framework for sustainable practice at UTS across four key areas: teaching and learning, research, campus operations and community engagement. Through this Policy, the University aims to demonstrate leadership in sustainable development in the university sector, and to foster Sustainability values and principles for students, employees and the wider community.

The Sustainability Policy is also available as a PDF document.

Dates
  • Policy approved 26/11/2014
  • Policy takes effect 01/01/2015
  • Policy is due for review (up to five years) 11/2019
Approved by Council
Meeting 14/6, 26 November 2014
Resolution COU/14-6/136
Implementation Officer Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services)
Relevant to All staff, students, visitors and contractors
Related documents
Legislation
File number UR08/697
Superseded documents Environmental Sustainability Policy (2008)

Contents

1. Purpose

UTS recognises its role in educating future leaders and in moulding values, attitudes and behaviours. One of the six values that guide the University's performance, as outlined in UTS Strategic Plan 2009–2018, is to 'sustain our local and global environment, organisational health and our ability to create a positive, viable future'.

This Policy outlines the University's commitment to integrate Sustainability principles into its key functional areas. Through its teaching and learning, research, operations and community engagement, UTS aims to:

  • minimise the environmental impact of its operations and move towards restoring environmental integrity
  • promote social justice, equity and diversity
  • contribute to human health and wellbeing
  • maintain its financial viability.

Through implementation of this Policy, UTS aims to enable students and employees to acquire the skills and knowledge to contribute to a sustainable future, to ensure that its commitments under environmental, health and safety, equity and diversity and financial legislation are met and that the University continues to improve its Sustainability performance.

2. Scope

This Policy applies to all UTS staff, visitors, students and contractors. It addresses the environmental, social and economic aspects of Sustainability and provides a framework for sustainable practices and activities at UTS, across four key areas: teaching and learning, research, operations and community engagement. For the purpose of this policy, UTS means the University of Technology, Sydney, and all its campuses and properties.

3. Definitions

Sustainability
also known as sustainable development, was defined in the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future (1987) as: 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. It is universally recognised that Sustainability has environmental, economic and social dimensions and that attaining Sustainability entails operating and behaving in a manner which achieves a balance between economic prosperity, cultural diversity, social equity and environmental quality.

4. Policy principles

This Policy affirms the principles in the Talloires Declaration (1998), the Australian Technology Network's Declaration of Commitment to Local, National, and Global Sustainability (2008) (PDF) to which UTS is a signatory, and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

Consistent with its vision, goals and organisational values, UTS is committed to the promotion of the following principles:

  • Local-global perspective — the University is cognisant that its activities have an influence beyond the boundaries of the organisation due to inherent connections to the local and global communities.
  • Precautionary principle — where there are risks of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific understanding shall not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation or social harm.
  • Whole systems approach — long-term economic, social and environmental considerations are integrated into the University's strategic decision-making processes to improve Sustainability outcomes.
  • Shared responsibility — all members of the University community share responsibility for its Sustainability performance.
  • Participation and communication — the University engages students, staff and the community in decision-making processes related to the Sustainability outcomes of its activities and openly communicates and reports actions and progress.
  • Continual improvement — the University strives for continual improvement in Sustainability performance in terms of environmental integrity, financial viability and social equity and diversity.

5. Policy statement

The UTS Sustainability Strategy outlines strategic Sustainability initiatives in teaching and learning, research, operations and community engagement, and is the key strategic document through which this Policy will be implemented. The Sustainability Strategy also provides details on governance, implementation, integration and resources relating to Sustainability at UTS. Plans are being developed to apply the principles outlined in this Policy and to assist with the implementation of the initiatives proposed in the UTS Sustainability Strategy.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Accountable Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources) is responsible for managing policy compliance and initiating the policy review process.

Implementation Officers:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources) is responsible for embedding Sustainability principles into campus operations and financial planning.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is responsible for embedding Sustainability principles into teaching and learning.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) is responsible for embedding Sustainability principles into research.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) is responsible for embedding Sustainability principles into governance, human resources and marketing and communication.

Committees:

The Sustainability Steering Committee oversees the UTS Sustainability Strategy and associated Plans, which are reviewed and updated at regular intervals and guide the implementation of this Policy.

Other positions:

Manager, Sustainability is responsible for embedding Sustainability principles into University operations and facilitating their integration into teaching and learning, research and engagement.

Director, Facilities Management Operations and Director, Program Management Office is responsible for ensuring integration of Sustainability initiatives into the planning, design, construction and operation of new and existing buildings and campus infrastructure.

Director, Marketing and Communication Unit is responsible for community engagement on Sustainability issues.

Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures is responsible for contributing to the implementation of this Policy and the UTS Sustainability Strategy and associated Plans.

Chief Financial Officer is responsible for organisational financial viability and the procurement of goods and services.

Director, Equity and Diversity is responsible for the promotion of social equity and inclusion, diversity and access.

7. Acknowledgments

Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, Talloires Declaration (1998)

Australian Technology Network Declaration of Commitment to Local, National, and Global Sustainability (2008) (PDF)

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future (1987)

8. Version control and change history

Effective date Version Approved by, resolution no. (date) Amendment
01/01/2015 1 Council, COU/14-6/136 (26/11/2014) New Policy.