Tackling climate change at the Faculty of Business and Economics

The Faculty of Business and Economics will play a key role in tackling climate change and its impacts over the next four years, as part of the University of Melbourne’s Sustainability Plan.

The University of Melbourne's Sustainability Plan for 2017-2020 will see the University become carbon neutral before 2030, achieve zero net emissions from electricity by 2021, and report each year on its sustainability impact and performance.

The Plan positions sustainability more prominently as part of the undergraduate curriculum, and outlines the University’s response to calls to divest from fossil fuel-intensive companies.

It comes after nearly a year of public consultation that began in late 2015 with the development of the University’s Sustainability Charter.

While the Charter established the high-level principles and values that would guide the University’s sustainability activities, the Plan sets out a range of clear and measurable priority actions and targets.

Key actions include:

  • Reduce emissions by 20,000 tonnes of carbon per year by 2020 through on-campus renewable energy projects
  • Increase the number of University of Melbourne graduates who can demonstrate a specialisation in environment and sustainability
  • Replace 10 per cent of University car parking spaces with bicycle parking by 2018
  • Publish a University-wide Biodiversity Management Plan
  • Develop industry partnerships that emphasise our resources for sustainability research.
Solar panels will be installed at the Spot Building at the Faculty of Business and Economics.

Rosemary Schiavello, Academic Support Officer, is one of the Faculty of Business and Economics’ Sustainability advocates.

She says the Faculty has already made headway in reducing its carbon footprint: “In the Faculty we have reduced our printing output by cutting down on printers and implementing ‘follow me’ printing for staff, which tracks how much people print.

“We have also reduced plastic cutlery, paper plates and paper cups and have bought ceramic plates, cups and cutlery for staff kitchens.

“We are getting solar panels installed in The Spot Building which is great news, and the Faculty is investigating having sensor lights installed.”

Dr Ben Neville, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management and Marketing, is also one of the Faculty’s Sustainability Advocates and Chair of the University’s Fairtrade Steering Committee.

He says the University’s Sustainability Plan will enable students at the Faculty of Business and Economics to be leaders for a sustainable future.

“Millennials generally no longer want to just be wage-earning cogs in a machine,” he says.

“They are very aware of the social and environmental challenges we face and want more purpose and fulfillment in their work life - this comes from that bigger picture of helping contribute to a better world.”

Find out more and download the Sustainability Plan at the University of Melbourne website.