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Sustainability Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To outline how the University will embed sustainability into its business practices whilst also complying with relevant legislation.


(2) 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.

(3) Sustainability aims for a balance between the principles of:

  1. environmental protection;
  2. social justice;
  3. economic well-being; and
  4. diversity.


(4) This Policy applies to the activities of the University, its controlled entities and people associated with it such as staff, students, visitors and contractors.

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Section 2 - Policy

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

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. leadership: educational, research and resource management activities will be utilised to profile sustainable practices amongst staff, students and the communities served by Macquarie University;
  6. 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;
  7. 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;
  8. innovation and creativity: creative and innovative approaches will be employed to find solutions to and eliminate unsustainable practices;
  9. self-sufficiency: where possible, the University will utilise resources generated on campus, with residual needs met using a sustainable procurement policy; and
  10. whole systems approach: a whole systems approach will be implemented to create successful change towards sustainability.

(6) 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

(7) 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

(8) Refer to the Sustainability Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(9) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

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