Sustainability governance - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Sustainability governance

USC values and supports sustainability across social, economic, cultural and environmental domains and continues to align core responsibilities with the University’s strategic position on sustainability.

Strategic Guidance on Sustainability

The USC Strategic Plan 2021-2024 is the overarching plan that determines all sustainability efforts at USC. The University’s Sustainability Operational Policy provides a framework for sustainable and responsible practices, activities and operations at USC. The sustainability policy sets out the University’s commitment to sustainability as below:

“University’s commitment to enabling the creation of a sustainable future and to embedding sustainability principles and practices throughout learning and teaching, research, engagement and operational activities.

It introduces key sustainability principles, including the circular economy, environmentally sustainable design and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The policy recognises the University’s responsibility to: create leaders, entrepreneurs and a sustainable workforce; build sustainability into research design and outcomes; ensure operational activities are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable; share its knowledge with broad audiences and organisations and individuals that can influence action; and, embed innovation into its sustainability actions. The University will, therefore, provide leadership in the pursuit of sustainability through its operations and core activities of research, teaching and engagement.

Linked to the sustainability policy are the Sustainability Procedures that guide sustainable workplace practices and a framework for measuring success against targets which is reportable by cost centre managers across USC. Those workplace practices are highlighted in the Sustainability Onboarding session for new USC employees, as well as in the Sustainable Employee Checklist.

Furthermore, USC is also a signatory to the Talloires Declaration which sets out ten actions agreed by Vice Chancellors worldwide to reduce the natural resource consumption and emissions produced as a result of the University’s activities.

Sustainability and Engagement Forums

USC encourages staff and students to engage with sustainability through courses and University-wide initiatives. Sustainability and Engagement Forums are held 3-4 times each year and are open to all USC staff and students. These Forums cover a range of sustainability issues, from University-driven initiatives to opportunities across the region.