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.

Deakin’s Sustainability Commitments

Sustainability is embedded within Deakin as one of our values; we care about our shared future and integrating economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability in all that we do.

The University has established sustainability commitments with measurable targets. These commitments are aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and their achievement will result in sustainability benefits on campus, within our communities and at a global level.

By 2025

  • Procurement and supply chain
    All strategic suppliers meet Deakin's sustainable procurement principles.
  • Travel and transport
    Implement all high-priority transport strategy actions to enhance public transport, rideshare and active transport options.
  • Energy and emissions
    Achieve carbon neutral and 100% renewable electricity.
  • Waste and recycling
    Further reduce waste to landfill per person to 10kg (equivalent to 77 percent waste diversion).
  • Water
    Water management strategies developed and all high-priority actions complete.
  • Built environment
    All high-priority climate change adaptation actions completed.
  • Natural environment
    Enhance the biodiversity of the campuses' natural landscapes and waterways.

By 2030

  • 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 negative by abating more carbon than Deakin emits.
  • Waste and recycling
    Achieve zero waste (equivalent to 90 per cent or greater waste diversion).
  • Water
    Deakin’s impact on the water cycle has been holistically managed using Integrated Water Management principles.
  • 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.

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

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.

Professor Iain Martin

Vice-Chancellor

Climate Ready Campus

Climate change is already greatly affecting our urban and natural ecosystems and poses one of the biggest sustainability challenges of our time. Deakin’s Climate Ready Campus is our vision for the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus. Through an integrated systems approach we will demonstrate a range of complementary and impactful actions that mitigate Deakin’s impacts on climate change, adapt to the impacts of climate change, apply integrated water management solutions and significantly enhance the biodiversity values of the campus.

The implementation of these integrated actions will:

  • provide unique opportunities to demonstrate sustainable development
  • enable mutually beneficial partnerships to tackle the global challenges of climate change
  • use the campus as a living laboratory, enabling research to test and develop climate-ready initiatives
  • establish strategies that can be replicated at other campuses and within the broader community.

Play the Climate Ready Campus video (2:11)

Deakin Sustainability reports

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

2020 Sustainability Report

Celebrating the achievement of the University’s 2020 Sustainability Commitments, this video provides an overview of key initiatives and the strategies Deakin is implementing to advance sustainable operations of our campuses and achieve our future Sustainability Commitments.

2019 Sustainability Progress Report

2019 was a year of action across all areas of sustainability at Deakin. This video showcases these actions as we work towards achieving our Sustainability Commitments and contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Sustainability in action

Sustainability – Making it matter at Deakin

We’ve implemented a range of initiatives to ensure the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the University, and are making a tangible contribution to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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. We undertook a food waste processing trial at Waurn Ponds Estate that reduced the amount of food waste going to landfill.

Get to Deakin

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

Green Impact at Deakin Highlights

In 2019, Deakin had 72 teams and over 450 staff and students part of Green Impact (the most Green Impact teams in Australasia) with over 1600 actions completed across all four campus and other areas of Deakin.

Sustainability at Deakin

Our Sustainability at Deakin video shows how Deakin is committed to be a leader in sustainability.

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