Manual of Policies and Procedures

H/1.7 Sustainability

Policy Owner

Director, Facilities Management

Approval Date


Approval Authority

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

Date of Next Review


1.7.1 Purpose
1.7.2 Application
1.7.3 Roles and responsibilities
1.7.4 Sustainability strategy and operating practices
1.7.5 Sustainability program
1.7.6 Monitoring and reporting
1.7.7 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

1.7.1 Purpose

The QUT Blueprint highlights sustainability and the environment as a priority. This policy supports the University’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and contributing to meeting the challenges that will lead to a more sustainable world. The objective of the policy is to provide a framework to express sustainability principles and practices to attain positive sustainability outcomes.


1.7.2 Application

This policy applies to all staff and students of QUT, as well as other members of the University community.


1.7.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position Responsibility

Director, Facilities Management / Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability and Research Integrity)

  • implements and reviews QUT’s sustainability strategy in liaison with stakeholders

Director, Facilities Management

  • implements and reviews the sustainability targets and priority actions for carbon, energy, transport and travel, water, waste, biodiversity, built environment, climate adaptation and resilience, engagement, and behavioural change
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability and Research Integrity)
  • provides academic leadership to the University regarding sustainability and environmental matters, including strategic direction, institutional policy, and research and education programs
  • reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for research
Director, Curriculum Quality and Standards
  • reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for education
Director, Health, Safety and Environment
  • reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for environmental compliance
Associate Director, Strategic Procurement
  • reviews and recommends the sustainability targets and priority actions for procurement
QUT community
  • adhere to sustainable systems and processes in the University


1.7.4 Sustainability strategy and operating practices

The University’s sustainability strategy provides direction for the University to continually improve its sustainability practices.

QUT will measure and seek to reduce the environmental impact of its operations by improving sustainability practices and involving staff and students in on-going improvement of our environmental performance. Adequate funding and resources will be allocated to implement the strategy.

QUT’s environmental sustainability commitment considers the following principles as fundamental:

  • minimising energy and water consumption
  • enhancing campus biodiversity
  • minimising pollution and environmental impacts
  • maximising the utilisation of space
  • reducing QUT’s carbon footprint
  • implementing sustainable transport strategies
  • minimising waste to landfill
  • minimising plastic use
  • implementing sustainable procurement strategies
  • including climate change adaptation in design and development.

Education for sustainability

QUT is committed to embedding sustainability into its practices and curricula.┬áThe University recognises the important role the higher education sector plays in ensuring the generation set to meet the challenge of the climate emergency receives the skills it needs. To achieve this, QUT’s Real World Learning Vision (QUT staff access only) outlines aspirations for graduates who will:

  • contribute to, and impact on, the world in an ethical and sustainable way
  • reflect upon their own practices and make decisions consistent with the principles of sustainable development
  • deal with sustainability issues in all fields of work
  • contribute to a sustainable future with the confidence to act and with the knowledge that their actions will effect positive change.

Research for sustainability

QUT’s research on sustainability is diverse and seeks to meet global, national, and local challenges. Collectively the University’s research centres and groups address the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

The University is committed to enhancing research aimed at mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change.


1.7.5 Sustainability program

QUT promotes best sustainability practice in the workplace through an annual Communications and Behaviour Change Program to raise sustainability awareness. The objectives of the program include minimising waste and increasing recycling, energy efficiencies and water conservation, increasing the use of environmentally friendly preferred items, encouraging sustainable transport practices and engaging QUT staff and students in the University’s sustainability commitment.

The Sustainability webpages (QUT staff access only) on the Digital Workplace provide further information.


1.7.6 Monitoring and reporting

QUT complies with statutory requirements and is transparent in its sustainability journey with regular monitoring and reporting on performance and improvement initiatives. The following annual reports are provided:

  • greenhouse gas emissions to the Australian Government in accordance with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) regulations
  • reporting on operational performance - benchmarking with the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association
  • carbon emissions in QUT’s Annual Report.


1.7.7 Definitions

Sustainability encompasses environmental, social and economic dimensions and focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Greenhouse gases (GHG) include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and some artificial chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons, which often in this context are just referred to as ‘carbon’ or carbon equivalent’.

Carbon footprint is the amount of 'carbon' emitted or attributed to an organisation.


Related documents

MOPP A/9.1 Health, safety and environment

MOPP H/1.1 Physical estate planning

MOPP H/1.3 Capital development

MOPP H/1.8 Maintenance, cleaning and waste

MOPP H/2.4 Transport and mobility management

QUT Blueprint

QUT Estate Master Plan


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details



Vice-Chancellor and President
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
Revised to update position title from Executive Director, Facilities Management to Director, Facilities Management and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) to Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability and Research Integrity)
06.12.21 All Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar Policy revised - Chapter H restructure (previously H/1.3 Sustainability)
20.01.21 All (H/1.3) Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar New policy