Further embedding sustainability into the University's core

The sustainability framework which engages a charter, plan and annual report articulates the University's commitment in implementing new ways of governing and operating in a warming world.

The commitments that have been formalised in writing are deliberately ambitious and represent a strengthened commitment to lead and act on sustainability challenges. The University acknowledges the seriousness and urgency of the threats posed by a changing climate and fully support a lower emissions future. Focussing on the integration of sustainability in research, teaching and engagement, governance and operations, the University aspires to developing its campuses as models of resilient communities.

To develop the Sustainability Plan the University consulted widely with students, staff, and the wider community where the passion for achieving a sustainabe campuses was strongly evident.

Sustainability is not only critical within the University community but also in the external relationships which impact our processes, procurement and operations.


Through extensive consultation with our community, the University has developed a:


The University of Melbourne seeks to achieve the following targets in the areas of:

Teaching and Learning

By 2020, all undergraduate degree programs can demonstrate (at the course and or major level) that core and compulsory curriculum enable students to understand and apply sustainability knowledge and values to practice in their field, consistent with the Melbourne graduate attributes.


Achieve carbon neutrality before 2030 and zero net emissions from electricity by 2021.


Ensure the University’s convening power is used to bring together policy leaders, industry and academic experts to advance issues of sustainability.


Develop industry partnerships that emphasise our resources for sustainability research including the campus as a living laboratory


By 2021 the University’s investment portfolio should be divested from, or be in the process of divesting from within a reasonable period, any material holdings that do not satisfy the requirements of the University’s sustainable investment framework for managing material climate change risk. To incorporate a meaningful allocation of impact investments in the strategic asset allocation, potentially in partnership with peer organisations.


Report annually and publicly on the University’s sustainability impact and performance using global best practice standards.

Change Catalysts

The University is implementing the following projects, processes and reviews:

Sustainability Plans and Reports


  • Investments Forum: in March 2016, a forum with university representatives was held to debate the most effective approach a university can take to support the limiting of global warming to 2 degrees.
  • Sustainable Investment Framework - Process for Development: the University’s approach to developing a Sustainable Investment Framework in line with the priority actions detailed in the Sustainability Plan (2017 – 2020).

Environmental Impact Management

  • Biodiversity Management Plan: the University’s approach to valuing and maintaining on-campus biodiversity by integrating its management into the three major aspects of operations, research and learning and teaching.
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory: summarising total greenhouse gas emissions for 2017 with a breakdown by contributing activity.
  • Green Star Communities: the first and only University to achieve a 6-Star Green Communities rating.

In Development

  • Sustainable Transport Plan (approval pending).
  • Supplier Code of Conduct (deferred pending incorporation of Australian Modern Slavery Act legislation).

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