Marking World Environment Day on Monday 5 June, ANU launched Dhaagun, the University's Environmental Management Plan 2022-2025.
The EMP results from a detailed planning exercise to set goals, targets and an execution plan with the intent to reduce the associated environmental risks and position ANU differently within global sustainability challenges.
The EMP is closely aligned with the ANU Strategic Plan and complements the University's Below Zero initiative. This sixth iteration continues the legacy work started in the late 1990s and presented in a unique time when environmental management is in the utmost focus. The plan has six pillars - greenhouse gas management, energy management, water management, built environment, circular economy, and biodiversity and conservation.
These pillars represent complex environmental elements that the University will prioritise in our mission to achieve the Below Zero targets.
Aligning with the current Strategic Plan, the new EMP strengthens our University's national mission and enables us to contribute to global environmental sustainability through our research, teaching and operations by becoming a greenhouse gas emissions negative university through ANU Below Zero.
Speaking at the official launch, ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt remarked how the EMP marked a new chapter of enhanced environmental management and sustainability at ANU.
"As Australia's national university, it is our inherent responsibility to provide a bold response and clear actions to address global issues related to environmental sustainability."
"Let us continue to work together to create a more sustainable campus."
Brian made a special mention of the members of the Facilities and Services Division for taking the lead in producing the EMP with the collaboration of internal and external stakeholders.
Mr Chris Steel, ACT Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction, also spoke at the launch.
"It's great to be back at ANU and to see that you are developing your plans for the circular economy."
The Minister outlined how the ACT Government has been acting to reduce plastic pollution in a variety of ways.
"This has included a ban of single-use plastics that are bad for the environment. Here in the ACT, it is not just about plastics going into the ocean, but in our river systems as well."
The Minister also emphasised how his government are looking at ways to extend existing programs.
"One of these is the container deposit program. We have seen 44 million containers returned since 2018. This is having a positive effect on making sure we keep those plastics out of the environment. It also makes sure those materials can go on to the highest use possible in terms of those manufacturing capabilities."
"It is great to see that ANU has supported this initiative through the introduction of the recycling container scheme on campus. This is really great and something that will really prove itself here at ANU with the potential rollout of further schemes in the ACT."
The Minister closed his speech by congratulating ANU on the launch of the EMP and how he looked forward to continuing our partnership in the future.
To read more about the EMP, head to https://www.anu.edu.au/about/strategic-planning/environmental-management-plan-2022-2025