We take a universal approach to sustainability, considering the physical environment we operate in, as well as our people, practices and research.
Advances in technology offer enormous potential to improve sustainability outcomes. Much of our research is focussed on one or more aspects of sustainability and, increasingly, this research and its real-world application has the potential to transform lives and create more sustainable outcomes, both for individuals and society.
Sustainability concepts are progressively being established within the curriculum in all disciplines, in the design and construction of our on-campus environment, and in how we manage our campuses.
Sustainability Development Goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are designed to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, protect the environment and address climate change. Governments, businesses and civil society together with the United Nations are mobilising efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030 — a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.
Swinburne is a signatory to the University Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. We are now part of Australia/Pacific Regional Network of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SDSN aims to bring its members together to develop and promote solutions, policies and public education for sustainable development.
Our commitment to the SDGs focuses on recognition and commitment to the following areas:
- the enormous social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the world
- future development that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable
- the vital role universities can play in achieving a sustainable future through teaching, research, and operations.
Swinburne Net Zero 2025 Pathway
In line with our sustainability development goals, Swinburne has recently made a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2025. The pledge — championed by our newly appointed Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester — has already stemmed a number of initiatives to materially reduce emissions across our campuses.
To ensure we meet our target, a cross-functional team has been established to investigate, develop and prioritise further initiatives to decarbonise our operations. Opportunities to leverage sustainability-focused research, partnerships and curriculums are also being explored. Learn more about our Net Zero 2025 Pathway.
Addressing Modern Slavery
Swinburne is committed to taking the necessary steps to identify and resolve any form of modern slavery within the University’s operations, its suppliers and partner organisations. We deplore all forms of slavery and forced labour, and we understand the significant role of universities in helping to end modern slavery.
Swinburne's first Modern Slavery Statement outlines our commitments and steps taken to resolve any forms of modern slavery within our operations, suppliers and partner organisations. We are participating in the university sector’s modern slavery program which aims to work collaboratively with our suppliers and peers in the sector to address modern slavery across our supply chains. Our Modern Slavery Statement is also published on the Australian Border Force’s online register.
Responsible Investment Charter
Swinburne’s Responsible Investment Charter guides our future investment decisions.
The Charter commits us to take account of environmental and social impacts in the investment choices that we make.
We can use our influence to increase positive impacts and reduce negative ones.
Through investments in public and private companies, we have an indirect impact on the environment and communities worldwide. We have an opportunity to influence those companies to create positive change.
Our areas of focus are:
- climate change
- human rights and modern slavery
- sustainable development
We will also exclude companies that are inconsistent with a sustainable future that generates significant revenues from:
- carbon-intensive fossil fuels
- tobacco production
- controversial weapons such as landmines
Swinburne's current investment manager is Mercer who supports the university to implement its Responsible Investment Charter. Mercer also provides advice and benchmarking reporting to Swinburne on our sustainability and reponsible investment performance.