Whether it’s sustaining the diversity of life on Earth, the viability of our work, or enjoyment of our environment, sustainability is central to maintaining our quality of life without compromising the needs of future generations.
Deakin Vice-Chancellor and President
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Deakin University is proud to be a signatory to the university commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Universities play a vital role in achieving a sustainable future by recognising:
- the enormous social, economic and environmental challenges facing the world
- that future development must take place in a way that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable
- that the SDGs establish an agenda for the achievement of sustainable development by 2030.
Amongst a variety of initiatives, Deakin supports the targets and objectives of the UNSDGs by:
- supporting and promoting the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals
- undertaking research that provides solutions to sustainable development challenges
- providing educational opportunity for students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development
- ensuring our campuses and major programs are environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.
Reporting on sustainability
We’re proud of our sustainability record and the changes we’ve made across our campuses to become more sustainable.
As one of the first universities in the world to have produced a report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines in 2013, we’ve taken the lead in the sector and are committed to improving our sustainability practices year-on-year.
Sustainability vision statement
Deakin is committed to being a sector leader in sustainability. By embedding our principles in everything we do, we will minimise our environmental impact, maintain our financial viability and promote the social aspects of sustainability whilst nurturing and enabling our future leaders.
Smart Microgrid Energy System at Deakin
Deakin University will host a new $30 million smart microgrid energy system at the Waurn Ponds campus. The Waurn Ponds Smart Energy Partnership between Deakin and AusNet Services will establish a 7.25 megawatt smart energy microgrid that includes a solar generation farm, one megawatt of battery storage capacity and an integrated new research and visualisation centre.
It will provide 54% of the campus electricity requirements and reduce the University's carbon emissions by 12,000 tonnes per annum. This equates to 513,742 Geelong to Burwood car trips in a petrol car. It's a major and exciting step within Deakin's Carbon Management Strategy, and will work toward achieving Deakin's aspiration to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The project will also have real time links with a new research, teaching and visualisation centre which will be instrumental in training the next generation of energy professionals. The program will support critical research and development to inform the rollout of sustainable microgrid systems in the community and their effective integration with existing energy networks.
Whilst the system is significant on its own, the project's clear vision is to work with governments, industry and the community to expand on this solid foundation by diversifying and expanding research on renewable generation options.
Read more about the microgrid project
Carbon, energy and smart sustainable buildings
We track our carbon emissions and energy use to develop sustainable practices and buildings on our campuses.
Water, waste and recycling
We encourage staff and students to avoid, reduce, re-use and recycle wherever we can. We also use water economically and harvest rainwater to use across our operations.
We aim to minimise disruption to the natural ecosystems of each of our campuses by setting biodiversity principles across our building standards and campus experiences.
We recognise that the goods and services we purchase, as well as how we procure them, has an impact on sustainability.
That's why we:
- support suppliers who are socially responsible and who adopt ethical practices
- consider the environmental impact of our suppliers and contractors, as well as the life cycle of the goods they supply
- use Fairtrade (or equivalent), and ethically sourced/produced goods and services
- encourage local suppliers to bid for our business
- comply with all Australian sustainability-related regulations and legislation, and ensure our suppliers do the same
- train appropriate staff on valuing sustainability within our procurement process.
Deakin’s fighting the #WarOnWaste and working hard to improve our Sustainability. This is one of the ways to take action- use a reusable cup and get a discount on your coffee at the same time.
Closing the Loop - A solution to organic waste at Deakin
Deakin was a finalist in the Green Gown Awards Australasia in 2017, a truly great example of closing the loop.
We undertook a food waste processing trial at Waurn Ponds Estate that not only reduced the amount of food waste going to landfill but returned the goodness back to the earth by using it as fertilizer in the beautiful kitchen garden.
With 19 food venues across our four campuses, Deakin is committed to finding ways to reduce the impact of food waste on campus and has plans to roll out the Closed Loop system further.