The University of Adelaide has been awarded a Sustainability Licence from South Australia's Environment Protection Authority (EPA), recognising the University's genuine commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.
This is the first Sustainability Licence to be awarded to a university in the State, and only the fourth such licence to be granted by the South Australian EPA.
A Sustainability Licence combines the standard EPA licence with a voluntary sustainability agreement. This agreement outlines the University's public commitment to reducing its impact on the local environment.
EPA Deputy Presiding Member Stephen Hains said the EPA’s Sustainability Licence was only presented to businesses that have gone above and beyond standard EPA licence conditions and demonstrate a genuine commitment to reducing their environmental footprint.
"The launch of their flagship building Innova21 – Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star Design in the education sector – is a practical demonstration that the University is a truly deserving recipient of the Sustainability Licence," Mr Hains said.
"The University has a proactive culture of complying with environment protection requirements as well as demonstrated leadership in sustainability. The EPA is pleased to recognise this leadership and the model that it offers to all EPA licensees to take a proactive role in meeting their environmental standards."
The University's Vice-President (Services & Resources), Mr Paul Duldig, said: "The University of Adelaide is already a widely recognised leader in environmental research and education, and we believe it's important to demonstrate leadership in sustainability issues at an operational level.
"With 25,000 students, more than 3000 staff, four campuses and wide-ranging research and education activities, the University is a major organisation in this State with a significant environmental footprint. Understanding and managing that footprint, and finding more sustainable ways of doing so, are extremely important to us," he said.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, the University has:
• established an 'Ecoversity' initiative to tackle environmental sustainability right across the University
• worked with SA Water to reduce water consumption
• accomplished waste reduction and improved recycling with the assistance of Zero Waste SA
• established an 'Ecoleader' program and student internships programs, addressing water, waste and energy management
• produced comprehensive carbon inventories since 2007
• developed a web-based sustainability management and reporting tool to manage energy, carbon and environmental performance.
Minister for Environment and Conservation the Hon. Paul Caica has congratulated the University of Adelaide on its ongoing efforts to improve environmental performance.
"I'm pleased to see the University of Adelaide has become the first educational institution in the State to take this step, leading by example and helping to show what can be achieved towards environmental sustainability," Mr Caica said.
The Sustainability Licence applies to the University's campuses at North Terrace, Waite, Roseworthy and Thebarton.
The EPA and Minister Caica have officially handed over the Sustainability Licence to the University of Adelaide at an event at the University's Innova21 building this morning.
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