Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.36
Liaison Laura Minchella
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Sydney
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Zoe Morrison
Strategy Advisor
Strategy Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Pillar 1: Enriching lives through research and education

Strategies
1. Put research excellence into practice through living labs on our campuses
2. Prioritise the development of high-quality sustainability research at the University
3. Develop global and local partnerships and practice
4. Increase our capacity for sustainability education across the University
5. Enhance the student experience of sustainability
6. Support understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ ways of living in harmony with the environment and each other

Full KPIS are published on intranet site (screenshots attached)


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Strategy 15 of the University Sustainability Strategy:

* Within the Office of Sustainability framework, develop methods to engage the University’s academic expertise through a community of practice that advises on how best to pursue the targets and commitments in this strategy, and to provide opportunities for the broader University community to participate in grassroots action that contribute towards the goals of this strategy.

Published in the University Sustainability Strategy 2020 (attached)


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Pillar 2: Enabling resilient places and a responsible footprint
Strategies
Goals:
7. Demonstrate leadership in waste reduction and management
8. Reduce our energy emissions
9. Sustainably develop and manage the built and natural environment on our campuses to support people, plants, animals and the planet
10. Require responsible procurement practices to enable ethically and sustainably sourced products at all stages of our supply chains
11. Reduce our water use
12. Provide affordable, healthy and culturally acceptable food and beverages that are accessible to all and aligned with recognised sustainable procurement practices
13. Reduce impacts associated with unsustainable travel to, from and around our campuses
14. Improve environmentally, socially and financially responsible investment practices

Targets:
Demonstrate leadership in waste reduction and management
* Send zero waste to landfill by 2030.
* Achieve a 20% reduction in waste generated per person by 2030.
* Recover 80% of organics waste on campus by 2025.
* Achieve 60% recycling by 2025.
* Enable ‘single use plastics free’ campuses by 2025.
* Compost 80% of food waste by 2025.
* Ensure 100% of food/beverage packaging offered on campus is compostable or recyclable by 2025.

Reduce our energy emissions
* Achieve Net Zero Emissions from Scope 1 and 2 sources by 2030.
* Source 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
* Generate 3 megawatts on-site renewable electricity by 2025.

Sustainably develop and manage the built and natural environment on our campuses to support people, plants, animals and the planet
* Ensure a minimum 5 Star Green Star rating for all new buildings and 4 Star Green Star for major refurbishment projects in current buildings by 2025.
* Assess 100% of eligible buildings and core infrastructure for climate * resilience by 2025, including climate resilience and sustainability standards in the University’s asset management planning across all campuses.
* Establish a Biodiversity Management Plan and baselines to set biodiversity targets and approved indicators for all campuses and farms by 2025.
* Enable 30% canopy cover by 2030.

Require responsible procurement practices to enable ethically and sustainably sourced products at all stages of our supply chains

Reduce our water use
* Reduce our reliance on potable water (per person) by 30% by 2030 (aligned to FTE/EFTSL).
* Provide affordable, healthy and culturally acceptable food and beverages that are accessible to all and aligned with recognised sustainable procurement practices.
* Have 100% of food and beverage items sold in University owned or leased outlets to be ethically and sustainably sourced by 2025, including promoting purchasing relationships with, and support for, local food producers, and expanding the availability of vegan and vegetarian options.
* Reassign 100% of safe, unsold food from non-composting and landfill sources by 2025.

Reduce impacts associated with unsustainable travel to, from and around our campuses
* Have no more than 10% of staff and 5% of students travel to work by private motor vehicle transport by 2025.
* Reduce the number of kilometres flown on University business by 20% by 2025.

Improve environmentally, socially and financially responsible investment practices
* Review the University’s existing investment portfolio principles and strategy, drawing on expertise from our academic community as well as external investment best practice, and present a recommendation to the University’s Senate by 2021 on whether to supplement the existing approach with fossil fuel exclusions and/or increased impact investment.

Published on our Sustainability Strategy intranet site and in the University's publicly available Sustainability Strategy (attached)


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Be transparent about our progress
* Report annually to the University community and broader public during the life of this strategy, transparently reflecting on progress towards our sustainability targets and commitments, showcasing achievements and presenting an action plan for the following year.
* Sign up to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), used by more than 1000 tertiary institutions globally, and achieve a ‘gold’ rating by 2025.


Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The University of Sydney will build and inspire communities to create a culture of sustainability both locally and globally.

In our responsibility to care for Country on which our campuses lie, we will enact change. Putting our research and education into practice, we will enrich and transform lives now and for future generations.

From the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor:
We are pleased to present the University’s Sustainability Strategy 2020: a commitment to a revitalised institutional focus on sustainability that delivers solutions to the interconnected problems facing our shared future. Recent seismic events such as the Australian bushfires of 2019–20 and the COVID-19 pandemic underpin the need for comprehensive research universities to drive progress towards more sustainable outcomes.
At Sydney, we are building on strong foundations. Our multidisciplinary approach to research and education enables our staff and students to collaborate productively and successfully to develop solutions to complex issues facing Australia and the world. Our efforts have already attracted attention – we have been placed second in the university sector globally in the 2020 Times Higher
Education Impact ranking based on our success in delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – but we recognise our duty to do more. We are grateful to the hundreds of staff and students who contributed to the development of this strategy, sharing their views on how the University can be a model for sustainability best practice.
As we look to the coming decade, our aspiration is to embed sustainability not only on our own campuses, but in how our research, teaching and engagement contributes to the development of a positive, vibrant and sustainable future for urban, rural and regional Australia.


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

Due to the complex nature of our research, education practices, The University doesn't have a definition for sustainability. This enables us to be inclusive and to encourage all facets of sustainability. The University uses the themes and framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to establish boundaries to the different forms of sustainability. This definition is honoured in our Sustainability Strategy and in our reporting framework, STARS.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact Yes
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

The University is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and will biannually communicate an update of its Compact related activities to date.
The University is also a committed member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) - the UNSDSN mobilises scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. It engages scientists, engineers, business and civil society leaders, and development practitioners and promotes solutions initiatives that demonstrate the potential of technical and business innovation to support sustainable development.
SDSN Australia, New Zealand & Pacific (formerly SDSN Australia/Pacific) fosters global SDSN activities within the region by developing and promoting solutions, policies and public education.
UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) - Working through Six Principles, PRME engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while drawing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact.
Commitments required as part of the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 - This Act requires entities based, or operating, in Australia, which have an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million, to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and actions to address those risks.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Whne the University of Sydney's 2016-2020 Institutional Strategy, sustainability was not a consideration. The University's current institutional-level strategy is now out of date. The Sustainability Strategy 2020 was launched after the 2016-2020 strategy had expired. The Sustainability Strategy is therefore considered a seinor-level document. It was approved by the University Executive and Senate (the most senior governance body in the University) and has authorisation to function as an institutional-wide strategy with remit to amend operational areas of the University (research, education and operations). The next iteration of the University's Strategy will take account of an align with the Sustainability Strategy.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.