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 Governing 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 supporting the creation of a sustainable future and to embedding sustainability principles and practices throughout learning and teaching, research, community engagement and operational activities.”

It has been developed around three key areas including; environmental management, economic sustainability and social wellbeing.

The policy recognises the University’s commitment to continual improvement in campus planning and development, sub-tropical architecture and conservation of natural resources. Additionally, the policy recognises the University and its graduates exist within a global community and will aspire to become a leader in sustainable practices which encompass the management and administration of the University, its funding allocations, its teaching syllabus and its research priorities.

The University will, therefore, provide leadership in the pursuit of sustainability through its core activities of research, teaching and engagement. The following principles underpin the University’s sustainability policy:

  • Incorporating sustainability principles into University activities and decision-making at all levels
  • Creating and promoting a sustainable and responsible culture across the University’s community
  • Utilising the University’s education, knowledge and research in sustainability to guide and support the regional community to respond to sustainability challenges
  • Producing graduates who are able to contribute to a knowledge economy and sustainable futures

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.