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Sustainability Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 18 April 2024.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy provides a framework for giving expression to the University's commitment to integrating environmental, financial and social sustainability in University practices and decision making.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all staff, students, Council members and associates and at all University locations.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) The University recognises its responsibility for the stewardship of Deakin environments and grounds and enhancing the quality of life for present and future generations. The University will incorporate sustainability into its practices and actions to promote a healthy workplace and campus and increase the resilience of the organisation.


The following ten principles will guide the University's practices toward sustainability and helping to create a positive and viable future:

(5) Plan strategically for sustainability

  1. Integrate sustainability principles into all of Deakin's operations and activities that in time will form part of the Deakin experience.
  2. As a signatory to the Talloires Declaration (2012) commit to continuous improvement to sustainability and ensure it is an organisational priority.
  3. Monitor performance towards sustainability using accurate data for planning and reporting purposes.
  4. Ensure that sustainability reporting is regular, accessible and transparent.

(6) Sustainability knowledge

  1. Engage students, staff and associates in sustainability initiatives to increase awareness.
  2. Encourage students and staff to work and live in more sustainable ways.

(7) Campus environment

  1. Efficient use and management of University space and continual improvement of buildings to maximise space and efficiency consistent with the Space Management and Infrastructure policy and the Campus Infrastructure and Property Investment Plan.
  2. Minimise disruption to the natural ecosystem of each campus.
  3. Conserve and enhance biodiversity through protecting and enhancing the native fauna and flora habitats on each campus and managing the pests and weeds that may threaten them.
  4. Design, construct and operate our built environment to the best practical environmental standards.

(8) Sustainable resource management

  1. Become more efficient in the consumption of natural resources and enhance the contribution of energy efficient, low carbon measures and renewables wherever practicable.
  2. Adopt water efficient practices and technologies.
  3. Embed effective waste management practices that encourage the Deakin community to avoid, reduce, re-use and recycle.

(9) Sound finances

  1. Operate in a financially sustainable manner, balancing revenue and expenditure so that surpluses provide sufficient cash flow for investment in necessary capital, allocations to the Future Fund, and the servicing of debt. (Refer to the Treasury policy.)

(10) Community and partnerships

  1. Contribute to the development and quality of life in host communities in Australia and internationally consistent with the Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic) and External Relationships and Partnerships policy.
  2. Engage with communities to enhance knowledge of sustainable living and provide opportunities to challenge and expand thinking in order to benefit the University and the communities it serves.

(11) Health, wellbeing and safety

  1. Provide a learning and working environment that promotes the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, students and associates, consistent with the Health, Wellbeing and Safety policy.

(12) Culture

  1. Promote social justice, equity and diversity consistent with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy and object 5 (g) of the Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic).
  2. Foster engagement, participation and a culture of sustainability within the University community.

(13) Teaching, learning and research

  1. Incorporate sustainability in relevant curriculum and the University's research, knowledge exchange, teaching and learning activities.

(14) Operations

  1. Pursue a sustainable procurement strategy that carefully considers full life cycle costs, value for money, and other related social and environment impacts as prescribed in the Procurement Policy and Procedure.
  2. Promote and encourage the use of sustainable forms of travel and transport to, from and within the University including the reduction of car dependency and flexible work arrangements to minimise business travel.


(15) The Vice-Chancellor provides leadership to integrate sustainability throughout the University.

(16) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Partnerships is the owner of this policy and is responsible for its implementation. The following senior managers have specific responsibilities as shown below:

  1. Director, Sustainability: centrally coordinating sustainability actions at the University, including engagement, targeted actions, reporting and promotion
  2. Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts: sustainable design, construction and use of Deakin's built infrastructure.
  3. Executive Director, Customer Experience: sustainable travel.
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Section 5 - Procedure

(17) There is no attendant Procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(18) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Sustainability: encompasses interdependent dimensions of society, economy, human health and the natural environment. It comprises development that meets the needs of the present without impacting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.