The Department of Biology 'Carbonites' lending gloved hands during Clean up Australia Day.
The Department of Biology 'Carbonites' lending gloved hands during Clean up Australia Day.

A sustainable state of play

Late last year staff were invited to take part in a Sustainability Culture Survey to provide a baseline for the University’s sustainability status quo. The results are now in.

“This is the first time Macquarie has undertaken a baseline survey to get a better understanding of staff attitudes toward sustainability, and what factors are both helping and hindering the University to achieve its sustainability outcomes,” said Director of Sustainability, Leanne Denby.

Leanne says overall the survey revealed staff feel the University has a clearly defined commitment to sustainability, and that commitment is well communicated.

“There is a strong sense of the importance of sustainability amongst staff and a high level of responsibility towards it. 73% of staff believe campus sustainability has improved in recent years which is a fantastic outcome for us,” she said.

However, while staff feel there is support from leadership and management for sustainability, Leanne says this is not always demonstrated in management adopting sustainable behaviours themselves.

“Staff also perceive a lack of support from immediate managers to adopt more sustainable behaviours and feel they lack a clear understanding on how they can actually make a difference at work,” she said.

The survey results have provided the Sustainability team with valuable insights and information to move forward.

“We now need to spend time with Executive and managers to see how we can support them in demonstrating ‘walking the talk’. This will be a priority for us, as will clarifying how staff can make a substantial difference at work. We’ve already started this process with the Vice-Chancellor who championed our Litterati campaign earlier this year. Programs like M-Power provide an easy and fun way for staff to undertake actions and make a difference, so we need to work out how we inspire everyone to get involved,” said Leanne.

On completion of the survey, staff were given the change to enter into a prize draw. Congratulations to Linda Maher from the Faculty of Human Sciences who won a $100 Coles Myer gift card.