Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.80
Liaison Corey Peterson
Submission Date June 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Tasmania
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sustainability Team
Infrastructure Services and Development
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

- Students for Sustainability (Sustainability Committee Working Group) - student-led group that ensures there is an equitable and transparent pathway for students to share their voice in sustainability governance at the University of Tasmania. This formal working group of the Sustainability Committee meets regularly, with the aim of supporting diverse student participation in sustainability governance. Students receive training and support from the University's Sustainability Team.
- Students for a Sustainable UTAS – an active social media student group that is committed to making the University more environmentally and socially sustainable. Using Facebook and Instagram platforms, the group supports student led events, news and projects. This group is supported by the University's Sustainability Team.
- UTAS Gardening Society - established in 2020 and developed by the students and staff of the University of Tasmania, this group aims to introduce students and staff to the world of sustainability and gardening. The group's activities have included growing microgreens, art in the garden, visiting local community gardens, seedling raising, growing herbal plants and pruning workshops.
- Australian Youth Climate Coalition Tasmania (Tasmanian University Student Association) - the Tasmanian chapter of a generation-wide movement to solve the climate crisis by educating, empowering, inspiring and mobilising young people across the country.
- Climate Action UTAS – a student group committed to raising awareness about the climate emergency and taking action to reduce fossil fuel use.
- UTAS Landcare Society - a diverse group of people who are united by a passion for our environment and doing good for our community, the group hosts Landcare on campus sessions on Wednesday lunchtimes to undertake weeding on the Sandy Bay campus. They are very active across Tasmania, with students travelling around the state to join local Landcare groups for activities on both private and public land.
- UTAS Environment Society - an inclusive society for students, staff and community members who are interested and passionate about the environment. They welcome discourse and action across all climate, natural environment, and sustainable living issues.
- University of Tasmania Beekeeping Society (Tasmanian University Student Association) - a postgrad society interested in beekeeping, producing local honey and focusing on the protection of bees.
- Community Engagement Tasmania Society (COMET) (Tasmanian University Student Association) - a social justice initiative aiming to empower disadvantaged youth by teaching key criminal law concepts.
- IMPACT Society (Tasmanian University Student Association) - dedicated to promoting awareness of issues affecting the health of developing communities both locally and internationally.
- International Society for Student Unity & Empowerment (Tasmanian University Student Association) - a student led global health society to raise money for sustainable medical and community projects in Uganda.
- Student Environment and Animal Law Society (SEALS) (Tasmanian University Student Association) - helping law students become engaged in environmental law, develop legal skills and build professional connections.
- Women’s Society (Tasmanian University Student Association) - provides a safe and supportive environment for female students on campus.
- Zero Waste Society - aims to encourage members and the University community to avoid waste to landfill and live a zero-waste lifestyle.
- UTAS Biological Sciences Club – an inclusive community of nature-lovers who collectively are working towards greater appreciation of, and protection for, the natural world.
- Pride Society (Tasmanian University Student Association) - advocates for diversity and equal opportunities for all people at the University and to provide social and study spaces for LGBTQIA+ students.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Food garden beds of various sizes are available for students and staff to grow food at our major Tasmanian campuses, and at some student accommodation sites across the state. Details about the location, size and how to get involved in the food gardens are available on our website: www.utas.edu.au/infrastructure-services-development/sustainability/food/Sustainable-food-on-campus.

Source is a not-for-profit sustainability cooperative. Established in 2005 by a group of students in the Sandy Bay campus of the University of Tasmania, Source is a community-driven events, community permaculture garden, bustling café and community meeting space.
Source has succeeded in providing staff and students with access to food that is ethical, local, organic, wholesome, vegetarian, good for the body and affordable. Source is a real place for students (and staff) to explore what sustainability means, get a taste of what a sustainable food system is, as well as building strong community networks.
Source has become an integral part of student involvement with sustainability at UTAS. Students volunteer at Source, learn about sustainable food practices, and/or are introduced to Source through key subjects or activities. For example, the ‘Global Food Security’ unit runs field trips to Source and dedicates a two hour lecture to the organisation, and the Green Gown Award-winning Sustainability Integration Program for Students regularly has interns working on Source projects.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Source is a not-for-profit sustainability cooperative. Established in 2005 by a group of students in the Sandy Bay campus of the University of Tasmania, Source is a community-driven organic wholefoods cooperative, permaculture design garden, bustling café, catering provider and community meeting space.
Source has succeeded in providing staff and students with access to food that is ethical, local, organic, wholesome, vegetarian, good for the body and affordable. Source is a real place for students (and staff) to explore what sustainability means, get a taste of what a sustainable food system is, as well as building strong community networks.
Source is mainly managed by students, although some community members are involved in the board.

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

'- Sustainability Careers Showcases- the Sustainability Team hosted Sustainability Careers Showcases in 2020 and 2021. The showcases are held biannually (twice a year) before students head into exams to provide students with opportunities to hear from professionals practicing sustainability in a diverse range of careers. Each Showcase includes between 5 to 10 organisations, each presenting on the work they are doing, with time scheduled for a Q&A session with students. All organisations are based in Tasmania. Each organisation or speaker introduces the UN Sustainable Development Goals their organisation is working towards and how they are doing this, providing links to relevant strategies and opportunities for students.
Due to COVID restrictions in 2020 and 2021, all the events have been run online, providing an opportunity for students to join from all locations.
Showcases are advertised through the Students for Sustainability Facebook page, with registration details available for students through Career Connect. The event encourages students to access the employment resources and support services available to them through Career Connect: https://www.facebook.com/events/362261955138125.

-Wellbeing Week (annually) to support the 5 Ways of Wellbeing: Connect | Be Active | Take Notice | Keep Learning| Give

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

In 2020, composting and art workshops were hosted by the Healthy Landscapes Research Group, Sustainability Team and Student Living at the Sandy Bay student accommodation and Hobart city student accommodation sites. The workshops were designed to bring creativity to students living on campus during a busy time of year, students attended a worm farm and composting workshop, played worm farm celebrity heads, discussed a worm farm meditation and poetry, made pottery for the garden and participated in a worm farm reflection, students built worm farms and constructed hot compost bays. The workshops were co-designed to bring different knowledges together by a practicing artist and two compost educators.

In 2020, Global Climate Change Week included 'Poetry for Planet A', the event enabled collaboration between the University and the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, introducing Global Climate Change Week to a new audience. Some poems were written in response to reading climate science, for example one poem was in response to a research paper on the migration patterns of cod.

The University has been celebrating diversity through physical installations on campus, at the Newnham campus a rainbow bench and road crossing welcome students to the main mall on campus. At the Sandy Bay campus, new rainbow steps were painted in the main mall as a physical welcome for LGBTQIA+ community.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The UTAS Biological Sciences Club (https://www.facebook.com/UTASBSC/?ref=page_internal) are an inclusive community of nature lovers and biologists, committed to 1) provide opportunities for members of the Society to explore the various aspects of the Biological Sciences and contribute to citizen science through ethical and educational field surveys; 2) create educational opportunities for the community regarding biological values, threatening processes and action-based solutions; and 3) connect students and staff of different disciplines within or outside of Biological Sciences.
As stated in their constitution, all Society activities comply with the 7 Leave No Trace Principles to minimise their impact in the natural world. In all activities undertaken (e.g., tree guard installation and removal, training sessions, field trips) club members ensure that activity participants follow the Leave No Trace Principles: plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what they find as they find it, minimise campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Global Climate Change Week (GCCW; https://www.globalclimatechangeweek.net/) is a sustainability-focused themed initiative that aims to encourage academic communities – including students, academics, and non-academic staff at universities – in all disciplines and countries to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate change action and solutions. Held annually in October, GCCW at UTAS often goes beyond the one week and provides an open-ended framework for voluntary activities aimed at raising awareness, inspiring behaviour change, and driving political transformation in relation to climate policy.
UTAS has been an active participant of GCCW since 2018, and host since 2020. The GCCW Engagement Committee includes students and staff and meets throughout the year to prepare the GCCW program for October. Students have been involved in designing and hosting events, promotion of the initiative and reviewing the impact of the program. In 2020, students designed a week of action around the message 'learn, think, do' to encourage students to get involved in the various events happening across GCCW. In 2021, a student led roundtable, Student Leadership for Climate Action explored what it means to be a student leader for climate action at the University, and the different forms of leadership undertaken by students. The event explored how student activism in the past led to the University becoming certified carbon neutral and divesting from fossil fuels.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Green Impact Students is a program for students which encourages accessible sustainability actions. There are 22 actions across the year, each one is mapped to a UN Sustainable Development Goal. The actions are designed to be accessible for students whether they are studying online or on campus. Through the program students learn everyday skills for living sustainably including for example how to calculate their carbon footprint, how to reduce energy and keep warm during winter, how to find local community gardens and bulk food shop, they can join workshops to learn how to ride a bicycle and learn how to catch the Metro bus in Tasmania. The Green Impact Students program runs a weekly newsletter, each newsletter features an action of the week such as one of those described above.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) is an award winning program linking operational sustainability outcomes with student education and experience with two key aims:
1. To provide meaningful opportunities for students to apply their learning to real world sustainability challenges (and to be paid or gain course credit while doing so)
2. To assist the University of Tasmania to have a positive environmental impact on the world and to be a leader in sustainable campus management
There are many different ways for students to get involved, including SIPS Internships and Fellowships where students are employed as casual staff to develop and implement sustainability-focused projects. Other ways to get involved include: teacher directed in-class activities; student directed in-class assignments; research projects; placements (for curricular credit).

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

In adapting to the working from home and COVID lockdowns, Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) fellow, Ellen-Rose Sorensen embarked on creating a podcast series (Sustainability@UTAS). The series is publicly available for students, staff and the broader community. In each episode Ellen interviews staff or students who have been directly involved in making sustainable change happen at the University, the episodes are designed to share experiences and strategies for people to learn how change happens, the challenges we are facing and how people are working to address them.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.