'Target Sustainability' is an approach to understanding and measuring holistic sustainability within your department to help improve social and environmental performance. Target Sustainability is broken down into four key priority areas in which your department can take action: Leadership and Governance; Partnership and Engagement; Learning, Teaching and Research; and Facilities and Operations. These priority areas align with the Learning in Future Environments (LiFE) Index for driving change for sustainability in higher education institutions, and reflects the approach utilised for the Macquarie University Sustainability Strategy.
Designed to help educational institutions manage, measure and improve their social and environmental responsibility performance, the LiFE Index was developed by sector colleagues from the UK, Australia and New Zealand to guide and support higher education institutions to map their own route to a more sustainable future.
The four key priority areas have been developed with a holistic approach in mind, to accurately reflect the core business of educational institutions and demonstrate the key areas of focus for those already working towards sustainability - see Figure 1.
Figure 1: LiFE Index Priority Areas. Click for a large version.
The LiFE Index framework is the approach that we are using to guide our Sustainability Strategy to 2019. Figure 2 demonstrates how the framework links with the Strategic Priorities identified in Our University: A Framing of Futures.
The Macquarie University Sustainability Strategy 2014-2019 is still in consultation, but will be finalised prior to the end of 2014. To see the draft and feed into the process, please contact Leanne.Denby@mq.edu.au
No prior sustainability understanding or action is necessary to get involved with Target Sustainability. The tool will enable your department to review what sustainable activities are already occurring, and develop an action plan for future activities that align with the University's strategic direction. Set up as a module within iLearn, Target Sustainability will form the basis of our first ever department sustainability accreditation scheme, similar in nature to Harvard University's "Leaf" Green Office Program. Completing a baseline Target Sustainability review will earn Stars in the 2014 Department Sustainability Challenge (DSC) and will have an ongoing life beyond the DSC.
Why get involved?
- Take the lead as part of Macquarie University's first department sustainability accreditation scheme
- Stock take and celebrate the sustainable activities that are already occurring in your department
- Gain insight into your departments gaps and be guided to strategically move forward with sustainability actions
- Earn stars for the 2014 Department Sustainability Challenge
- Assist the University strive towards sustainability across the whole institution
- Gain experience into holistic sustainability management and measurement in an office context
By completing any of the actions below your department can gain Stars in the 2014 Department Sustainability Challenge (DSC)! Please provide the required evidence via your department's 2014 DSC iLearn module. The DSC is now on, so ensure your department has registered!
1. Gain endorsement
Gain Head of Department or Managers support to undertake Target Sustainability.
Evidence required: Upload evidence or describe how support was gained in the text box via the 2014 DSC iLearn module.
2. Involve your colleagues
Build a sense of ownership of office sustainability and foster positive behaviour by involving your colleagues. Some ideas for involving your colleagues:
- Form a team: don't try and do it all yourself, talk to your colleagues and set up a working group. Consider including staff who are involved with procurement, building management and WH&S.
- Let your colleagues know what you are doing and how it benefits the environment, the office and the organisation.
- Pitch at a department or team meeting, gain buy-in, and clarify any information needed for Target Sustainability.
Evidence required: Upload agenda or minutes from team meeting / submit working group team names / other via the 2014 DSC iLearn module.
3. Complete Target Sustainability review
Please note that this is a baseline review or a 'stock take' of where your department is at currently. Achievement levels in the review will not affect the number of stars earned in this challenge.
Evidence required: iLearn module completion - submit name of team member who completed the module on your departments' behalf via the 2014 DSC iLearn module.
4. Get assessed
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an independent assessment. A trained Sustainability Liaison will arrange a time with you to go through your department's Target Sustainability review. This step assists in the certification process and supports you where you may have experienced difficulty.
Evidence required: Booked session time - submit the assessment date via the 2014 DSC iLearn module.
5. Review and take action
At your next team meeting, present findings of your review, celebrate wins, identify areas for improvement and invite suggestions.
Identify all outstanding gaps and actions, and prioritise areas and specific actions to move forward with. You can decide to do all of the LiFE Index or just one of the priority areas, it is up to you.
Create a list of actions and decide which actions you will undertake first.
Evidence required: Upload the list of actions and priorities via the 2014 DSC iLearn module.
6. Bonus Stars - Leadership and Governance
Gain bonus stars in the 2014 DSC for initiatives that help reach the following Leadership & Governance sustainability objective:
Objective: Build sustainability into established and developing processes and management systems to ensure long term benefit for students, staff and the broader community.
The bonus initiative will be judged out of 12 stars by the sustainability team after the conclusion of the Challenge.
7. Bonus Stars - Partnership and Engagement
Gain bonus stars in the 2014 DSC for initiatives that help reach the following Partnership & Engagement sustainability objective:
Objective: Build on existing and develop new partnership and engagement opportunities for sharing ideas and approaches for balanced and positive social, environmental and economical outcomes.
8. Bonus Stars - Learning, Teaching and Research
Gain bonus stars in the 2014 DSC for initiatives that help reach the following Learning, Teaching & Research sustainability objective:
Objective: Ensure students are exposed to learning experiences that maximise their opportunities to graduate as sustainability-literate citizens, whilst ensuring research is conducted in line with best practice to lessen negative and increase positive impacts.
9. Bonus Stars - Facilities and Operations
Gain bonus stars in the 2014 DSC for initiatives that help reach the following Facilities & Operations sustainability objective:
Objective: Manage and enhance our physical infrastructure and campus grounds in ways that maximise efficiency and effectiveness while minimising social, environmental and other risks.