University acts on a sustainable future

University acts on a sustainable future

The University of Western Australia (UWA) today launched its Sustainable Development Plan 2011-2014, an integrated approach to build the University’s leadership in sustainability on campus and off by building capacity and integrating sustainability in research, teaching and all parts of its operations.

The plan covers all aspects of UWA life incorporating the University’s over-arching commitment to the quality of the student learning experience, the productivity of research and research training, the University’s position and reputation, its strategic relationships with the community and to its people and resources in general.

Goals include a target of 20 per cent reductions in greenhouse emissions and water consumption by 2020, compared with 2008 levels, and intent to recycle 100 per cent of the University’s waste by 2020.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the University was acutely aware of its responsibility to act as a community role model in environmental sustainability.

“Our University is also in a unique position to influence current and future thinking on climate change and to respond to it through our curriculum and research,” Professor Robson said.

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA) welcomed the launch of the plan, and the commitment and leadership from UWA.

‘Action to build a more sustainable 21st century is needed from government, business, individuals, and the community broadly, and educational institutions of all levels have a fundamental role to enable change,’ says Professor Ray Wills, SEA CEO and Adjunct Professor with the University of Western Australia.

‘Educational institutions can and should be agents of sustainable change – creating opportunities to learn, challenging traditional practice, expanding the way we think, driving innovation, developing new capacity, and so being instrumental in building a better, more sustainable future.’

‘Professor Robson is to be congratulated for his action to establish his Sustainable Development Committee, guiding the work of the Committee to consider all aspects of the University’s influence on sustainability, and to oversee the delivery of a plan that will grow all aspects of the University’s contribution to sustainability on and off campus,’ says Prof Wills.

The University of Western Australia is a corporate member of SEA; Professor Wills is a member of the Vice Chancellors Sustainable Development Committee.

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