The University of Sydney has been rated among the world’s most sustainable higher education institutions in the 2022 Sustainable Campus Index, produced by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
The University achieved a silver rating and tied in first place with Cornell University in the Coordination and Planning section. It was one of just three Australian institutions to appear in the index and the only one to achieve a first-place position.
The Sustainable Campus Index recognises top-performing universities and colleges across 17 sustainability impact areas, using a rating system that addresses environmental, social and economic considerations.
The Coordination and Planning section focuses on how institutions organise, implement and publicise sustainability initiatives, recognising the provision of infrastructure to foster sustainability, guide priorities and decision-making and set a vision for a sustainable future.
The University’s Gelion Living Lab initiative was recognised for its innovation and impact. The project saw the University collaborate with research spin-off Gelion to create and install solar-powered benches that use Gelion’s energy storage battery to illuminate dark spots on the campus for safe access at night.
Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Annamarie Jagose, Executive Sponsor for the Sustainability Strategy, said the STARS results acknowledged the hard work and commitment of the whole University community.
We’re committed to embedding sustainability in every aspect of University life and have made a strong start in achieving our targets.
“At the University of Sydney, we are passionate about cultivating a local and international culture of sustainability. It’s wonderful to have our efforts noticed and celebrated,” she said.
“We’re committed to embedding sustainability in every aspect of University life and have made a strong start in achieving our targets, from switching to 100 percent renewable electricity to reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill.”
The University’s targets under its Sustainability Strategy include:
- Net zero emissions by 2030
- Zero waste to landfill by 2030
- Sourcing 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources (achieved in 2022, three years ahead of schedule)
- Reducing potable water use by 30 percent per person
- Five-star Green Star ratings for new buildings, and four-star ratings for complete building refurbishments
- Introducing sustainable procurement practices to reduce waste and increase social sustainability.