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Sustainability Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) Charles Darwin University aspires to be a champion of sustainability. The University recognises it has a responsibility to provide leadership in protecting and improving the environment in which it operates, and more broadly, and to comply with prevailing community standards, best practice and relevant legislation relating to sustainability.

(2) The University is committed to becoming a recognised innovator in sustainability education, research and community engagement – addressing the non-sustainable impacts of human activity on our environment; inspiring positive outcomes for people, communities and society; and promoting environmentally and socially responsible business practice and governance.

(3) The University recognises that for sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonise the three interconnected core elements of sustainability – environmental protection, social inclusion and justice, and economic growth.

(4) The University is a member of the Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability group (ACTS) and a signatory of the United Nations University Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Section 2 - Statement of Authority

(5) The authority behind this policy is the Charles Darwin University Act 2003 part 3, section 15.

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Section 3 - Compliance

(6) This is a compliance requirement under the Charles Darwin University Act 2003.

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Section 4 - Intent

(7) The intent of this Policy is to provide a framework for the University’s efforts and activities relating to sustainability.

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Section 5 - Relevant Definitions

(8) In the context of this document:

  1. Sustainability means living within the resources of the planet without irreparably damaging the environment now or into the future; and
  2. Sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
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Section 6 - Policy

(9) The Principles of this Policy are as follows:  

  1. The University will advance its performance towards improved sustainability in the following areas:
    1. Leadership and Governance - Advance sustainability initiatives through leadership and supporting frameworks to create a culture that supports all members of the University community to contribute to the achievement of the University’s sustainability goals;
    2. Learning and Teaching - Empower the University’s learning and teaching community to contribute to a sustainable world though awareness, understanding and appropriate skills; 
    3. Research - Ensure that research is conducted in a sustainable way and, through research outcomes, contribute to knowledge on how to achieve sustainable development;
    4. Facilities and Operations - Minimise the impact of the University’s operations on the environment through changes to design, infrastructure, procurement, transport, and resource use, as well as protection of biodiversity; and
    5. Community and Engagement - As an education and research provider and member of the Northern Territory community, become a model for sustainability and contribute to community sustainability initiatives.

(10) The Charles Darwin University Sustainability Leadership Group will be responsible for the oversight and implementation of this Policy through the Charles Darwin University Sustainability Plan. 

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Section 7 - Non-Compliance

(11) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(12) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(13) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.