Our sustainability report card: how we’re greening Deakin
Sustainability informs everything we do at Deakin. Because we care about our shared future, we’re committed to embedding sustainable initiatives and practices in our education, research and campus operations.
But we can’t just talk the talk – we’ve got to back up this vision with tangible and measurable environmental, social and economic action.
In 2021, we made great progress towards our energy and emissions, water and biodiversity commitments, as well as our vision to establish a Climate-Ready Campus at Waurn Ponds. Check out our progress video to see how we’re having a real impact and read on to get more detail about specific initiatives:
Energy and emissions
CN2025, our commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2025, came to life through several pilot projects. In 2021, we:
- installed LED carpark lighting at Burwood, reducing energy use by 31 percent
- replaced gas hot water systems with efficient all-electric versions
- installed new energy meters and building controls.
These works give us important data that sets the scene for the next phase of the ambitious CN2025 program. In 2022, we’re implementing additional projects to avoid and reduce energy consumption, replace existing energy sources with renewables and offset leftover emissions.
Biodiversity and water
To guide our progress in water and biodiversity management, in 2021 we:
- began to implement the Integrated Water Management Plan at Waurn Ponds – phase one includes transforming the existing ponds into wetlands (and encouraging lots of diverse species to call Deakin home!)
- decreased our water usage by 20 percent on 2020 levels
- started to develop a biodiversity strategy, which sets out actions to:
- monitor and increase biodiversity on campus
- control pest species
- partner with the community to build our understanding of our natural environment
- embed biodiversity in all planning, design and operational decision-making processes.
While our total waste-to-landfill volumes increased in 2021 compared to 2020, this is largely because waste levels were impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns and changing populations on campus. The significant reduction in campus activity during 2020 meant less waste was generated. When activity levels increased during 2021 so, too, did waste-to-landfill volumes.
The good news is that we’re still sitting at a relatively low level of 11.7kg of waste per person. This means we’re well positioned to meet our waste commitments of 10kg of waste per person by 2025 and zero waste by 2030.
Did you know that any contamination in our recycling and organics streams means that the whole bin goes to landfill? Help us achieve our waste goals by choosing the right bin – check out our handy A–Z Waste Guide if you’re unsure.
We’d love you to get involved!
Keen to know how you can help Deakin become more sustainable? Discover how simple actions will contribute towards our sustainability goals.