Sustainability

Sustainability matters to Deakin staff and students for a very simple reason – we care about our shared future. Because of this, we're committed to sustainable initiatives and practices, and focus on our environmental, social and economic sustainability performance.

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.

Jane den Hollander

Deakin Vice-Chancellor and President

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.

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.

Among a variety of initiatives, Deakin supports the targets and objectives of the SDGs 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.
  • Learn more about the SDGs

Sustainability aspirations

Deakin University, among other universities, is playing a part in addressing the global challenges to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 Challenge is the framework for the sustainable development of the University.

Download the 2030 Challenge brochure

By 2020

  • Policy and decision making
    Sustainability is embedded into Deakin's policy framework and values and a sustainability funding model is established and implemented.
  • Communication and engagement
    Increase staff and student awareness, action and participation in sustainability at Deakin.
  • Procurement and supply chain
    Increase Deakin's local (G21 region) procurement spend by 7 per cent and increase jobs from target communities by 20 per cent.
  • Travel and transport
    Complete a transport strategy for each campus and increase the use of sustainable transport to and between campuses.
  • Energy and emissions
    Reduce total carbon emissions to the 2013 baseline despite growth and increase the percentage of on-campus renewable energy generation.
  • Waste and recycling
    Reduce the volume of waste to landfill to 20kgs per person (equivalent to 26 per cent waster diversion).
  • Water
    Reduce mains water consumption to five kilolitres or less per person.
  • Built environment
    Embed the Deakin Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Principles and complete a climate adaptation review.
  • Natural environment
    Complete a biodiversity management plan and embed biodiversity considerations into campus planning.

By 2025

  • Policy and decision making
    Sustainability is embedded into Deakin's decision making and formal governance processes.
  • Communication and engagement
    Have sustainability ambassadors in every Faculty, Institution or Other area.
  • Procurement and supply chainAll strategic suppliers meet Deakin's sustainable procurement principles.
  • Travel and transport
    Electric vehicle charging stations implemented on campus, and Deakin's fleet is 100 per cent hybrid or electric.
  • Energy and emissions
    Reduce total carbon emissions by 40,000 tonnes from the 2013 baseline.
  • Waste and recycling
    Further reduce waste to landfill per person to 10kg (equivalent to 77 percent waste diversion).
  • Water
    25 per cent of the University grounds irrigated using reclaimed/ captured water.
  • Built environment
    All high priority climate change adaptation actions completed.
  • Natural environment
    Enhance the biodiversity of the campuses' natural landscapes and waterways.

By 2030

  • Policy and decision making
    Deakin's operations positively contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Communication and engagement
    The Deakin community is collectively mindful about sustainability impacts, actions and opportunities.
  • Procurement and supply chain
    Deakin's supply chain has measurable positive impacts on multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Travel and transport
    The majority of staff and students with sustainable transport options, use these to travel to and between campus.
  • Energy and emissions
    Achieve carbon neutrality
  • Waste and recycling
    Achieve zero waste (equivalent to 90 per cent or greater waste diversion).
  • Water
    Maintain or improve on 2025 mains water consumption despite University growth.
  • Built environment
    Every new Deakin building will offset its own sustainability impacts.
  • Natural environment
    Biodiversity corridors have been established in priority locations, allowing wildlife to thrive on campus.

Reporting on sustainability

We’re proud of our sustainability record and the changes we’ve made across our campuses to become more sustainable.

Learn more about our sustainability policy

Our 2017 Sustainability Report and Outlook focuses on our work to embed and apply the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals within our operations, teaching and research. It also launches Deakin’s Sustainability Aspirations, which outline our commitment to the sustainable development of our campuses over the next 12 years.

Download the 2017 Sustainability Report and Outlook (PDF, 6.8MB).

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.

Learn more about carbon, energy and smart sustainable buildings

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. 

Learn more about water, waste and recycling

Transport

We provide accessible, sustainable transport options to, from and between campuses – helping to reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.

Learn more about transport

Biodiversity

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.

Learn more about biodiversity

Sustainable procurement

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.

Get involved

Find a sustainability course to study, register for one of our events and find out more about our life sciences and environment research.

Get involved with sustainability at deakin

Deakin's #WarOnWaste

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.

Get to Deakin

Learn about all the sustainable, different and easy ways you can get to any of our campuses.