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Improving the sustainability of Universities Australian International Education Conference 2013 Dr Carol Adams Director, Integrated Horizons Professor,

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Presentation on theme: "Improving the sustainability of Universities Australian International Education Conference 2013 Dr Carol Adams Director, Integrated Horizons Professor,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving the sustainability of Universities Australian International Education Conference 2013 Dr Carol Adams Director, Integrated Horizons Professor, Monash Sustainability Institute Twitter @ProfCarolAdams

2 Collaborations, connections and change: the UNGC, GRI, PRME & GRLI (plus business school accreditation) Increasing corporate take up of the UNGC Principles requires know how and aptitude UNGC signatories can comply with COP requirements with a GRI report Education is material to a University’s sustainability performance (adopting a materiality approach to sustainability performance management) PRME approach becoming more significant in business school accreditation GRLI developing the tools for implementing PRME Practical Guide to the UNGC for Higher Education suggests using GRI See Adams and Petrella (2010), Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

3 Why should Universities care about sustainability?  Pressing local and global issues with far reaching consequences – Universities have a key role in solving them  Influence future leaders and parents  The sector should be leading – not lagging  (International) students like it  Provides a reason for working across functions and disciplines  Reputation  Reduce costs and risks

4 How do Universities become more sustainable?  President/VC and Board/Council support and involvement  (Pro-active) leadership  Buy-in from responsible senior managers  Engage with stakeholders – especially staff, students and local communities  Define and communicate your sustainability vision and mission  Goal and target setting, planning, culture, policy

5 Cultural and institutional challenges  Inertia, resistance (from lack of know-how and resources)  Unimaginative leadership  Lack of opportunity/expectation to make cross boundary/discipline connections  Those wanting change have difficulty influencing the decision makers (making the business case)  Aligning values  Funding mechanisms, performance measurement systems, planning processes, recruitment processes

6 The context – sector benchmarking and policy  University sustainability reports available from university websites and  People and Planet’s Green League table of UK universities  College Sustainability Report Card for North American Universities  Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education  Environment Association for Universities and Colleges  Australian Government’s National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability

7 Target Setting  Short, medium, and long term  Targets aim to promote continuous sustainability improvement  Quantified targets established against KPIs  Actions to be undertaken in order to achieve the targets Report extracts in this presentation are from La Trobe University’s Creating Futures report

8 Targets for change  Sustainability KPIs  environmental, social and economic  operations, curriculum and research  tool for measuring, and being accountable for, sustainability progress

9 Environmental quantified targets

10 Actions and follow up  All targets require clear actions with nominated person(s) responsible  Regular reporting on actions

11 Award winning reports  UNGC COP at Advanced Level  Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting guidelines  Externally assured to AA1000AS  Include educational and research measures

12 Awards for Responsible Futures & Creating Futures  Best First Time report’ award - ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards 2011  Best First Time sustainability report - Awards 2011  Finalist – Australasian Reporting Award, Sustainability reporting award. Judges comment: –clearly demonstrate that sustainable development is a core business strategy –gives specific targets for the short term, medium term and long term –identifies areas of poor performance  Creating Futures ranked 5th in the Awards 2012 beating experienced MNC reporters plus 5th for relevance and materiality, 8th for honesty and openness and 2nd for credibility through assurance.

13 The PRME SIP report  Educational and research components  Includes actions against each of the PRME initiative’s Principles which adds in detail processes used as well as outcomes achieved.  Measures must reflect actual achievements; otherwise will the report will be seen as “greenwashing”.  Reporting leads to actions which drive change. SIP = Sharing Information on Progress

14 Why PRME is important  a framework for continual improvement.  a forum for discussion of educational values.  an important link to integrate processes to outcomes of responsible management.  a framework to drill down into how responsible management can be achieved.

15 Important reporting issues  Identify key issues for your institution, sector, country  Negative impacts  SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based)  Process  Assurance (incl. approach, benefits, response)  Short hard copy report with better use of web technology for detail

16 The role of reporting guidelines or regulation and audit  Not required to report and not audited = not important  If not reported, data is not collected and/or performance is not monitored  If not reported, there is no accountability and no incentive to improve performance.  If not audited, data collection systems remain basic/inadequate

17 Sustainable procurement is the process of acquiring goods and services that:  Meet users’ needs  Deliver long term value for money  Maximise social and economic benefits  Minimise damage to the environment and health. Buying a Better WorldBuying a Better World Forum for the Future (2007) What is sustainable procurement?

18 Sustainable Procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment. Procuring for the Future Procuring for the Future UK Govt. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2011) What is sustainable procurement?

19  Is your boss committed to strengthening sustainable procurement?  Does your university have an agreed focus on sustainable procurement? Is it part of an agreed operational plan?  Is it included in your position description in any way?  Is it included in a procurement policy?  Does it encompass goods, services, infrastructure and energy?  Do you publicly report targets, actions and achievements against them? Where are you at on sustainable procurement?

20 What can HR do? Reinforcing the message and improving performance through: Job descriptions Job advertisements Internal cultures, leadership styles Staff induction/ Training Performance appraisal www.integrated-

21 Thank you @ProfCarolAdams

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