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Resource Management Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines Macquarie University’s approach to effective and efficient resource management relating to energy, water and waste. 

Background

(2) As institutions of higher learning, universities are in a unique position to advance the societal transformation needed to improve the wellbeing of our communities and our planet. As places of high resource consumption, universities also have an obligation to limit any negative impacts their activities may have on eco and social systems. As such, Macquarie University will strive for continued improvements in resource efficiency including minimising the use of materials, water and energy, and the production of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The efficient use of resources is the responsibility of all staff and students and is an important part of key performance indicators across all disciplines.

Scope

(3) All staff, students, contractors and visitors to the North Ryde campus.

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Section 2 - Policy

(4) Macquarie University is committed to achieving maximum possible resource efficiency. This will include utilising the most efficient technology and management practices in the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the University’s campus environment and services in order to conserve resources and preserve ecosystems. It is essential that consideration is given to the associated effects of inevitable resource use to minimise impact in all activities.

(5) Resource efficiency refers to:

  1. minimised use of water, energy and materials (including but not limited to) paper, containers, packaging, electronics, building materials and chemicals;
  2. minimised production of waste; and
  3. minimised production of and contribution to greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions.

(6) This means that in the event where using resources is unavoidable the University will (in order of priority should conflict occur):

  1. abide by all relevant government legislative requirements (e.g. enforced water restrictions), and Macquarie University policy;
  2. make consistent and equitable decisions about the efficient use of resources and best practice environmental management;
  3. take the precautionary approach using caution and prudence to guide decisions made in the context of uncertain environmental or social effects or where there is any risk of serious or irreversible harm to public health or the environment;
  4. approach the use of resources using the hierarchy: rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle;
  5. incorporate pricing which considers the full social, environmental and economic costs of use. Impacts on human health and the environment will be considered with financial costs;
  6. recognise the biophysical limits on natural resource use;
  7. protect biological diversity and ecological integrity;
  8. ensure faculties, institutes, schools, centres, offices, sections and individuals are aware of their responsibility with regard to resource efficiency and conservation;
  9. involve the University community through consultation, participation and shared responsibility for decisions relating to resource management; and
  10. strive to meet our obligations as a member of the global community including legislative requirements and minimising environmental impact.

(7) Macquarie University will set demanding and achievable conservation and reduction goals and objectives pertaining to energy, water and waste. These will be regularly reviewed in the light of emerging technologies and global best practice. Regular monitoring and reporting will be undertaken.

Compliance and Breaches

(8) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(9) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(10) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(11) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.