The University has a clear obligation to plan and implement actions for a more sustainable future. To meet this commitment in a comprehensive organised manner we have an Environmental Management System (EMS) (opens in a new window) and an Environment and Risk business unit in the Capital Works and Facilities Directorate. Each campus has their own unique site and built environment characteristics. New developments, Green Star Builds and refurbishments and upgrades are to be in character and complement the existing built environment while also in keeping with each campuses master plan.
Our Environmental Performance 2010 - 2016
- 9% decrease in energy consumption per person (GJ/EFTSL)
- 13% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions per person (TCO2E/EFTSL)
- 22% decrease in potable water used per person (KL/EFTSL)
- 90% decrease in waste to landfill per person (KG/EFSTL)
- 84% recycling rates (% of total waste)
Read our full Western Sydney annual sustainability reports:
- 2015 - Driving Sustainability (PDF, 1906.63 KB) (opens in a new window)
- 2016 - Thoughtfully Acting Differently (PDF, 1541.63 KB) (opens in a new window)
Environmental Management Plan
The Environmental Management System (EMS) (opens in a new window) outlines a number of key environmental management programs as summarised below. The Environmental Procedures address issues of: waste and pesticide management, emergency preparedness and spill responses, urban wildlife and contractor management.
- The Energy Conservation and Management Program incorporates reporting requirements associated with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS); TEFMA benchmarking for energy consumption, and demonstrating energy efficiency in building and renovation, building performance and occupant behaviour.
- The Water Conservation and Management Program addresses integrated management of water resources, including risk management and utilisation of water recycling and stormwater reuse, the implementation of water sensitive urban design and the management of riparian corridors, and water conservation through the implementation of water efficient devices consistent with Water Savings Action Plans.
- The Waste Avoidance, Recycling and Hazardous Substances Program focuses on strategies to reduce waste to landfill and increase recycling rates, address other waste streams, and complement WHS initiatives in relation to environmentally hazardous chemicals.
- The Biodiversity Management Program encompasses statutory requirements for assessing environmental or species impacts of activities, managing remnant bushland on our campuses consistent with the Cumberland Plain Recovery Plan through best practice for bush regeneration, biosecurity (weed and feral pest management), and bushfire hazard reduction. This includes the operation of the Hawkesbury Bush Fire Unit developed in collaboration with the Rural Fire Service.
- The Environmental Awareness and Training Program addresses the need for contractors, staff and students (as building occupants and users of broader campus assets) to behave in an environmental responsible manner grounded upon an understanding of environmental risks, and building environmental assets as platforms for teaching, research and community engagement.
The university is taking steps to provide a healthier environment for staff, students and visitors to our campuses. The Environmental Tobacco Smoke Policy (opens in a new window) came into effect on 1 January 2013. Smoking is now prohibited on all campuses. This decision has been made after consultation with staff and students, and a review of other Australian universities' smoking policies, and will provide a healthier, clean air environment as well as reduce the environmental impact of smoking litter. In line with this decision, tobacco products are no longer available via outlets on campus.
Campus Living Labs foster applied research and education by using the location to embed and test real-time sustainability solutions, offering opportunities to all university stakeholders to turn theory into practice. According to the International Alliance of Research Universities (2014), this process has also demonstrated greater student engagement and a more well-rounded educational experience.
In recent years, many Universities are recognising the campus site and habitus of the campus as a rich resource for sustainability education and research, a concept that has been labelled “using the campus as a Living Laboratory” (Hansen 2017, p.224). Living Labs are a collaborative test of an innovative approach to a problem occurring in a “living” social environment where end-users are involved.
Share your sustainability story with our team.