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The Australian National University
Facilities and Services Division
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Environmental Policy




The Australian National University (ANU) aims to provide research and study facilities that meet world’s best sustainability practices. ANU will genuinely improve its environmental performance through the life of this policy, making significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, other resource use and environmental risk, while raising community engagement in sustainability initiatives.

Relevant to:

All Staff, Students and Visitors

Responsible Officer:

Associate Director, Facilities and Services



Review Date:


Modification History:

The previous policy commenced in 1998, was reviewed in 2004 and 2008. The policy was modified in 2010.  

Related Policies:


Relevant Legislation:

Tree Protection Bill 2004
Environment Protection Act 1997
Nature Conservation Act 1980
Tree Protection (Interim Scheme) Act 2001
Waste Minimisation Act 2001
Water Resources Act 1998
ACT Heritage Places List
Heritage Act 1997 (NSW)
Heritage and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999


The University has demonstrated its commitment to environmental responsibility in the past through its active role as a world leader in environmental research, teaching and through various corporate initiatives. This commitment is based on the belief that actions taken now can have long term financial, social and environmental benefits.

This policy establishes a framework that will allow the University to become a corporate leader in its management of environmental issues. This will be achieved through compliance with its regulatory responsibilities, as well as, through an ongoing commitment to improvement in operational practices.

This Policy statement provides the focus for achieving best practice, through an holistic approach that achieves environmental objectives through an organized program, that includes innovative initiatives, action plans and cross community collaboration .


In pursuit of its environmental policy the University will:   

  • Establish policies and procedures that promote sustainability, including ecologically sustainable development and practice, in planning, development and operational activities
  • promote environmental awareness and responsibility among all members of the campus community, including establishing a collaborative approach to environmental sustainability;
  • promote the principles and practices of environmental responsibility by sharing knowledge and experience across the campus community;
  • identify, monitor and report on its community, legal and ethical environmental obligations;
  • strive for environmental best practice, and as befits an international educational and research institution, lead the way in defining best practice;
  • continue the high level of research and teaching in environmental areas;
  • recognise its obligations, including legislative requirements, both locally and globally.
  • develop a balanced approach designed to meet the needs of the organisation, while allowing it to fulfil its environmental obligations.


Under the terms of this policy, the University will establish and maintain an Environmental Management Plan.

The Plan will:

  • establish environmental management principles and adhere to principles laid down in this Environmental Policy;
  • list key goals, operational objectives and strategies;
  • identify the campus environmental values to be protected and enhanced, and the means to do this;
  • identify environmental problems to be managed and the means to do this;
  • establish an environmental audit process as the basis for evaluation and continuous improvement;


The following criteria will be used to determine priorities in the development of the Environmental Management Plan:

  • compliance with statutory requirements;
  • scope of impact;
  • focus on fundamental causes rather than symptoms;
  • impact on health and safety;
  • impact on neighbours and the community;
  • impact on teaching and research;
  • support from students and staff;
  • availability of resources.

The Plan will be reviewed and renewed every five years. Input from the University community will be sought as part of this process.    


An Environmental Management Planning Committee will be established to provide advice to the University on matters associated with corporate environmental issues, within the provisions of the policy and associated plans. The committee will be chaired by a senior academic, nominated by the Vice Chancellor and will have representatives from the academic and general staff, residential colleges and the student community. The committee will also have ex officio members from Facilities and Services Division. This Division is responsible for the coordination of the Committee.

The EMPC will provide an annual report to the Vice Chancellor, detailing performance against the objectives in the Environmental Management Plan.


The Vice-Chancellor accepts responsibility for the implementation of University’s Environmental Policy. However, as most of the components of the Environmental Management Plan fall within the responsibilities of the Director, Facilities and Services, this officer will be responsible for the  coordination of the Plan and management of associated funding.