The University of Sydney is committed to environmental best practice, and to the continual improvement of its environmental performance, recognising its obligations both locally and globally, to present and future generations.
Sustainability at the University of Sydney is managed using the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD). This is 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' Applied to the University, this means an integrated approach to ensure minimised resource consumption and impacts caused by the daily operations and capital works development of the University.
Campus Infrastructure Services (CIS) coordinates plans and actions to reduce water and energy use, avoid waste, and conduct life cycle analysis of our purchases so that the goods and services we buy have the least impact on the environment and bring the most benefit. The recently launched Sustainable Workplace initiative will underpin these efforts by supporting volunteer staff across the university to lead efforts to conserve natural resources in the working environments of our faculties and professional service units.
CIS shares the leadership of this effort with the university’s newly established Institute for Sustainable Solutions (USISS), which has as its key mission the advancement of research into solutions to environmental problems. With recently observed increases in the impacts of climate change, an important part of ESD for any institution is addressing the associated production of green house gas (GHG). To address the GHG emissions created by the University, a partnership between USISS and CIS drives the development of a carbon management plan through the Emissions Reduction Working Group. Established by the University Senate in 2009 this group brings together expertise in energy management, accounting, climate change law, architecture and university administration, to establish principles, strategies and actions for reducing the university’s carbon emissions. In a similar way CIS has consulted with the ERWG to develop a framework to integrate environmental sustainability in the university’s ambitious capital works program.
The strength of the University’s environmental planning and activities comes from its strategic commitment to excellence in research and innovation, and in its continuous improvement in environmental performance and sustainability. The Sustainable Campus Program supports the administration of a range of key initiatives that will contribute to reducing the environmental impacts of the University.
The Sustainable Campus Team, based in Campus Infrastructure & Services, works with staff and students across the campuses to achieve the University's sustainability performance goals. The University of Sydney's Environmental Policy guides our actions on a day to day basis and we are committed to benchmarking our performance against social, economic and environmental indicators in our Annual Triple Bottom Line Report
The SUstainable Campus Team are the point of contact for any member of the University community with an interest in on-campus environmental initiatives and practice. Explore the Sustainable Campus pages to find out about current programs and activities and ways you can participate.