Sustainability

Sustainability

SUMMARY

The Sustainability Policy and Procedure establishes how the University will embed sustainability into its business practices whilst also complying with relevant legislation.

POLICY

PurposeTo outline how the University will embed sustainability into its business practices whilst also complying with relevant legislation.

Overview

Macquarie University is committed to incorporating sustainability into its actions and practices as part of its responsibility to the community and the environment, as well as promoting a healthy workplace and campus for staff and students. This means promoting connections to the global community and environment through knowledge gained from research, utilising creative approaches to learning and teaching and modeling sustainability in its campus operations. The University takes the approach that sustainability is an ongoing effort to improve the quality of people’s lives and surroundings. This approach is targeted towards ensuring prosperity, whilst maintaining the life supporting systems that current and future generations depend on.

Sustainability aims for a balance between the principles of:
  • Environmental protection
  • Social justice
  • Economic well-being, and
  • Diversity.
ScopeThe policy applies to the activities of the University, its controlled entities and people associated with it such as staff, students, visitors and contractors.

Policy

The University will promote and embed sustainability practices across the institution through:

  • Demonstrating best practice:The University will integrate sustainability into all its aspects and functions. It will be embedded into all operational policies and procedures; considered in all strategic and operational planning; and enabled through sustainable practices. Research into sustainability best practice in the higher education sector and other sectors of the economy will also be undertaken to ensure the University maintains best practice where possible.
  • Shared responsibility:All members of the University community are responsible for our sustainability performance and as such will be made aware of their role through induction, professional development, the provision of necessary educational and material resources and ongoing training and awareness. Sustainability will form an important part of key performance indicators as a matter of process over time.
  • Global social and community awareness: The University recognises connections to the local and global community and acknowledges that its actions and decisions have the ability to affect others beyond the immediate community. To this end sustainability will be incorporated into research as well as learning and teaching, and our reach to the local and global community will be extended through active partnerships and participation.
  • Participation: Staff, student and community participation in decision-making about the University’s activities is valued and will be sought whenever possible in the development and implementation of the University’s sustainability agenda. A range of mechanisms will be established for this purpose inclusive of joint working parties and local sustainability committees.
  • Leadership: Educational, research and resource management activities will be utilised to profile sustainable practices amongst staff, students and the communities served by Macquarie University.
  • Openness and transparency:Actions and processes will be transparent, and progress against identified indicators and targets will be discussed with staff, students and the wider community on a regular basis. These reports will be made publicly available.  
  • Precautionary principle: Caution and prudence will guide decisions and the absence of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing measures in the context of uncertain environmental or social effects.
  • Innovation and creativity:Creative and innovative approaches will be employed to find solutions to and eliminate unsustainable practices.
  • Self-sufficiency: Where possible, the University will utilise resources generated on campus, with residual needs met using a sustainable procurement policy.
  • Whole systems approach: A whole-systems approach will be implemented to create successful change towards sustainability.

The Sustainability Strategy is a foundation document and key to the development of this Policy. Both the Strategy and the Policy are working documents and therefore require regular review and evaluation.

COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this policy applies breaches this policy (or any of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact OfficerDirector of Sustainability
Date Approved18 March 2013
Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date of Commencement18 March 2013
Amendment History29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Date for Next ReviewMarch 2015
Related Documents

All Macquarie University policies will be read in conjunction with this Policy
Sustainability Strategy / Procedure

Legislation

Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (NSW)
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW)
Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (NSW)
Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW)
Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)
Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NSW)
Pesticides Act 1999 (NSW)
Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006 (Cth)
Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)
National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth)

Regulations:
Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 (NSW)
Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 (NSW)
Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2005 (NSW)
Energy Efficiency Opportunities Regulations 2006 (Cth)
National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Regulations 2008 (Cth)
National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008 (Cth)
Policies / Rules Superseded by this PolicySustainability Policy approved 29 January 2009
KeywordsPolicy, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Sustainable performance

PROCEDURE

PurposeTo outline how sustainability will be embedded into all aspects and functions of the University.

Procedure

This procedure comprises the following main steps:
  • Embed principles
  • Promote
  • Engage
  • Support and Acknowledge
  • Report
  • Research
This procedure requires actions by the following:

Vice-Chancellor

EMBED PRINCIPLES
Actively champion sustainability within the various aspects of Macquarie University as a strategic direction.  Consult with the Director of Sustainability where necessary to ensure the goals of Macquarie Sustainability are not compromised. 
SUPPORT AND ACKNOWLEDGE
Provide adequate support and resources to senior staff.
PROMOTE
Provide written reports regarding progress on sustainability actions to University Council, other relevant committees and bodies, and the greater community at least twice yearly.

Chief Operating Officer

EMBED PRINCIPLES
Work with and support Macquarie Sustainability, Macquarie University Property and any other units within the direct reports of this position to embed sustainability into University policies, procedures and day-to-day operations. This includes (though is not limited to) sustainability in:
  • Resource Efficiency: Strive for optimal resource efficiency in use of water and energy and minimise the use of finite resources. Minimise the production of waste, pollution and carbon emissions and embrace opportunities to reduce resource use through implementation of resource management plans. Investigate and incorporate possibilities for generation of resources on campus.
  • Biodiversity: Protect, minimize damage to and enhance biodiversity across the campus through utilization of knowledge and expertise found amongst students and staff and the implementation of good management practices.
  • Transport: Facilitate, promote and encourage the use of transport that reduces reliance on private motor vehicles through the implementation of a sustainable transport strategy. Encourage a reduction in air travel by students and staff through providing alternatives such as video conferencing. Ensure travel related carbon emissions are offset.
  • Planning and Development: Ensure new buildings and refurbishments across campus meet the highest possible sustainability standards in building materials; the impact on the landscape is minimised; and resource efficiency is maximised in their operation. This will be done through appropriate procurement and tendering procedures.  Ensure that staff using these buildings are aware of how to maximise sustainability benefits in day to day operations.
SUPPORT AND ACKNOWLEDGE
Implement appropriate structures that support staff and students involved in sustainability initiatives and actions, including the support of and recognition by senior management within their Faculty /Office.
REPORT
On provision of a reporting template from Macquarie Sustainability, assist in providing any necessary data to be included in the Annual Sustainability Report by the 31st March each year.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Provost)

EMBED PRINCIPLES
Work with appropriate committees and working parties to embed the principles of sustainability within the values, principles and priorities that underpin graduate capabilities and coursework at Macquarie University.
SUPPORT AND ACKNOWLEDGE
Implement appropriate structures that support staff and students involved in sustainability initiatives and actions, including the support of and recognition by Executive Deans / Heads of Offices.
PROMOTE
Provide information on how sustainability is being addressed within learning and teaching to appropriate bodies such as University Council and Academic Senate, on an annual basis.
REPORT
On provision of a reporting template from Macquarie Sustainability, assist in providing any necessary data to be included in the Annual Sustainability Report by the 31st March each year.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

RESEARCH
Support and encourage research that helps to guide the University, government, business, industry and civil society to live more sustainably from an environmental, social and economic wellbeing perspective.
SUPPORT AND ACKNOWLEDGE
Implement appropriate structures that support staff and students involved in sustainability initiatives and actions, including the support of and recognition by Executive Deans and Heads of Departments and Schools.
REPORT
Provide a written report on progress in research into sustainability by the 31st March each year to the Vice Chancellor using the Sustainability Indicator Framework for guidance.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Registrar)

ENGAGE
Improve the overall connectedness with students through service excellence by providing students with outstanding face-to-face administration and support services.
Focus on the health and wellbeing of the University community through:
  • improved consultation and communication with all students
  • creation of an engaged and supportive community.
REPORT
On provision of a reporting template from Macquarie Sustainability, assist in providing any necessary data to be included in the Annual Sustainability Report by the 31st March each year.

Director, Human Resources

EMBED PRINCIPLES
Promote and embed sustainability into recruitment, promotion and retention policies and contribute to developing a supportive community on campus through the Staff Engagement Working Group.
Include online sustainability modules (once developed) as part of the induction process.
SUPPORT AND ACKNOWLEDGE
Implement appropriate structures that support staff involved in sustainability initiatives and actions, including the support of and recognition by senior management within their Faculty / Office.
REPORT
On provision of a reporting template from Macquarie Sustainability, assist in providing any necessary data to be included in the Annual Sustainability Report by the 31st March each year.

Director, Sustainability

ENGAGE
Engage the University and local community regarding actions for sustainability through (but not limited to):
  • Communication: Regularly consult with staff, students and the community to share knowledge and expertise of local and global sustainability issues through avenues including the sustainability website; University publications; forums and meetings; and MQ Announcements.
  • Education and awareness: Actively encourage an awareness and understanding of sustainability through the education of students, staff and the community, as well as the initiatives, actions, policies and practices to make changes toward sustainability.
  • Partnerships: Develop and maintain partnerships to create a network of learning and sharing for sustainability by approaching businesses, community organisations and non-government organisations which may provide mutual benefit.
Develop and manage campus sustainability programs.
Work with Executives, Executive Deans, Directors and Heads of Offices where necessary to assist in delivering against stated responsibilities within this procedure.
PROMOTE
Communicate  sustainability actions and progress towards sustainability  regularly through printed and online media.
REPORT
Provide and receive the templates to collate necessary data for mandatory and other reporting requirements.
Produce an Annual Sustainability Report by the end of April each year.
Contribute a section relating to progress towards sustainability to the Macquarie University Annual Report.

Chief Financial Officer

EMBED PRINCIPLES
Assess all contracts for goods and services providers, including materials, food and equipment purchases, on their whole of life value for money, in line with requirements set out in the Purchasing Guideline
Encourage a process of rethink/avoid; reduce; reuse; recycle; recover in purchasing decisions wherever possible. 
Implement the Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
REPORT
On provision of a reporting template from Macquarie Sustainability, assist in providing any necessary data to be included in the Annual Sustainability Report by the 31st March each year, in particular through:
  • designing, implementing and documenting appropriate data collection systems in conjunction with the sustainability reporting requirements
  • ensuring relevant staff are aware of the data needing to be collected and the format in which it is to be collected.

Director, Property

EMBED PRINCIPLES
Embed sustainability principles into the practices and processes associated with minor and major projects, refurbishments and new builds, including (but not limited to) attention to resource efficiency, biodiversity and transport planning.
REPORT
Provide the Director of Sustainability with necessary data for mandatory and other reporting through:
  • designing, implementing and documenting appropriate data collection systems in conjunction with the sustainability reporting requirements
  • adjusting staff job descriptions, where necessary, to incorporate the need to collect data for sustainability reporting requirements
  • ensuring relevant staff are aware of the data needing to be collected and the format in which it is to be collected
  • submitting the necessary data to the Director of Sustainability at the requested time/s.

Executive Dean/ Head of Office

PROMOTE
Provide staff and students with the necessary leadership and moral support to assist in achieving the stated sustainability goals, objectives and targets.
Discuss sustainability objectives and targets (and how the Faculty / Office can deliver on these) in relevant strategic meetings, seeking support from Macquarie Sustainability where necessary.
Discuss progress on sustainability goals or actions towards sustainability in Faculty / Office meetings where possible.
SUPPORT AND ACKNOWLEDGE
Publically acknowledge and support those staff members who volunteer to be a part of the Sustainability Representative Network (SRN), allowing them time to attend quarterly meetings, whilst supporting any actions undertaken by these members.  Meet with SRN members at least annually to assist in identifying the actions and objectives for the faculty/department.  Actions and objectives do not necessarily have to require a budget but can relate to education, awareness, change processes and resource savings actions to name a few.
Recognise and reward staff and students whose contributions to achieving sustainability goals, objectives and targets are commendable through issuing public acknowledgement of achievements.
Support staff who wish to attend and complete training and education about and for sustainability.

Staff and contractors

ENGAGE
Assist in striving to achieve set goals, objectives and targets related to the sustainability program.
Actively seek advice from Macquarie Sustainability where uncertainty is prominent in any activity associated with the sustainability program.
Participate in sustainability-related activities where possible, whilst pursuing opportunities to further understandings of sustainability.

Students

ENGAGE
Assist in striving to achieve set goals, objectives and targets related to the sustainability program.
Actively seek advice from lecturers or Macquarie Sustainability where uncertainty is prominent in any understanding or activity associated with the sustainability program.
Participate in sustainability related activities where possible, whilst pursuing opportunities to further understandings of sustainability.

Procedure Information

Contact OfficerDirector, Sustainability
Date Approved18 March 2013
Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date of Commencement18 March 2013
Amendment History29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
February 2014 – Procurement Handbook replaced Purchasing Policy / Guideline
Date for Next ReviewMarch 2015
Related Documents

Procurement Handbook
Purchasing Procedure
Sustainability Policy
Sustainability Strategy
Sustainability Representative Network

Legislation

Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (NSW)
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW)
Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (NSW)
Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW)
Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)
Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NSW)
Pesticides Act1999 (NSW)
Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006 (Cth)
Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)
National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth)

Regulations:
Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 (NSW)
Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 (NSW)
Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2005 (NSW)
Energy Efficiency Opportunities Regulations 2006 (Cth)
National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Regulations 2008 (Cth)
National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008 (Cth)
KeywordsSustainability, sustainable, sustainable development, sustainability office searching.
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