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RMIT University .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
Information
  • Submitted by: Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI)
  • Topic: Education
  • Keywords: education
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Date of completion: 2013
  • Click for more information
Deliverables & Resources
Action network
  • This voluntary initiative came from Higher Education Sustainability Initiative
Dean
Signatory/Dean
Colin Fudge – Professor, Pro Vice Chancellor and V
RMIT University

Partner(s)

RMIT University

Description/achievement of initiative

RMIT University has committed to develop sustainable practices. RMIT has established a Sustainability Committee in order to promote and coordinate the development and implementation of sustainability initiatives across all areas of the University including RMIT Vietnam. The objective of the RMIT Sustainability Committee is to provide leadership, coordination and guidance to the University for integration of sustainability principles and practices throughout the University's core teaching and learning, research and operational activities. It reports to the Vice Chancellor's Executive on the status of the University's sustainability performance, including its observance of external commitments and obligations.

REPORTS ON PROGRESS

RMIT reports on its progress in improving its environmental resource efficiency. Under Victorian Government law, RMIT is required to comply with the Environmental Resource Efficiency Plans (EREP), which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This program requires commercial companies that use over 100 terajoules (TJ) of energy or 120 megalitres (ML) of water per year to develop a plan to reduce resource use and minimise waste.

- A combined assessment of water and energy use and waste generation at all sites.

- The development and approval of an Environment and Resource Efficiency Plan that lists what actions are being taken within a three-year pay back period.

- The implementation of the EREP; and

- Report on EREP progress.

When a company has reduced its energy or water use under the trigger threshold within the payback period, the EREP is no longer required. The company has seven years to achieve this goal.

RMIT has registered with this State program and has taken steps to develop a University-wide Water Management Plan. RMIT submits a WaterMAPS (Management Action Plan) Annual Report, which contains a report on RMIT’s water consumption and details of actions taken to conserve water and future plans for further reductions in water usage, to City West Water and Yarra Valley Water.

RMIT is in discussion with the State Government regarding the adoption of Sustainable Campus Group reporting guidelines for the Technical and Further Education division.

RMIT also reports greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and production in accordance with the Federal Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts’ National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007.

INITIATIVES IN CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY, RECYCLING AND WATER

RMIT is investing $500 million into its capital works program, which will be rolled out over the next five years. The new and refurbished buildings will be distinguished by leading-edge sustainable design. RMIT University is consolidating its reputation as a world leader in environmentally sustainable building design.

RMIT University’s energy consumption is measured in megajoules (MJ) per year per full-time student, also known as Equivalent Full Time Student Unit (EFTSU). Between 2006 and 2007, RMIT’s energy consumption was reduced from 10.2 megajoules (MJ) to 10.1 MJ. The saving of 0.1 megajoules – 100,000 joules –coincided with a five per cent increase in full-time student enrolments.

RMIT is committed to recycling as many materials as possible and has a number of programs in place.

RMIT is currently one of the lowest consumers of water out of any of the major Australian universities who are reporting their water usage in the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) benchmarking. Since 2000, RMIT has reduced water consumption by 25 per cent. The University’s water usage is measured in kilolitres (kL) per year per full-time student, also known as Equivalent Full Time Student Unit (EFTSU). The average water consumption in Australia universities is 15kL/EFTSU. In 2006, RMIT’s water consumption was recorded at 6kL/EFTSU and was further reduced to 5.7kL/EFTSU in 2007. RMIT is aiming to reduce its water consumption to 5.5lL/EFTSU by 2010.

INITIATIVES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING AND RESEARCH

RMIT is a signatory to a number of agreements which support sustainability learning and teaching and has committed to incorporate sustainability principles and practices into teaching and learning in both higher education and vocational education and training. RMIT University is working to embed sustainability as a core concept and practice fundamental to student and staff thinking as well as the curriculum.

Sustainability and climate change are widely recognised as among the most critical issues facing society. RMIT academics across many different disciplines are tackling climate change on a range of fronts, through their research such as:

- developing technology to analyse the effects of greenhouse gases on water and food sources

- mapping and modelling the potential impacts of climate change on different species

- developing and evaluating effective policy and community responses to the effects of climate change.

Implementation methodologies

Compliance with the Environmental Resource Efficiency Plans (EREP), which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Submit a WaterMAPS (Management Action Plan) Annual Report, which contains a report on RMIT's water consumption and details of actions taken to conserve water and future plans for further reductions in water usage, to City West Water and Yarra Valley Water
Invest $500 million into its capital works program
Research in:
- developing technology to analyse the effects of greenhouse gases on water and food sources
- mapping and modelling the potential impacts of climate change on different species
- developing and evaluating effective policy and community responses to the effects of climate change.

Deliverables
Deliverable Date
Annual Reports on Progress 2013
Resources
Type Details
Staff / Technical expertise Expertise of students and staff committed to sustainability
Financing (in USD) $500,000,000
Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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