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Towards environmentally sustainable universities

Australia’s universities are high energy users and producers of waste, but are also important environmental researchers and key leaders in developing solutions to reduce greenhouse emissions.

As the nation’s engine rooms for knowledge and innovation, universities should pay key leadership roles in finding solutions for climate change, fostering environmental sustainability and using policy and procedures to model best practice in environmentally sustainable operations.

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In 1990, a group of university leaders produced the Talloires Declaration. Administered by the University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, the Talloires Declaration is a ten-point action plan where signatories commit to incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities. It has been signed by over 350 university presidents and chancellors in over 40 countries.

NTEU believes that all Australian universities should be signatories to the Talloires Declaration. To date, only eleven Australian universities have signed:

  • Australian National University
  • Charles Sturt University
  • RMIT University
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of Canberra
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New England
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Technology, Sydney
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • University of Western Sydney