JCU's sustainability statement is an expression of the University's intention to contribute to the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of people in northern Queensland and the Tropics. It formalises the University's commitment to weave sustainability into its research, teaching and operational efforts, along with the many aspects of university life and in the broader community.

This is reinforced by JCU's commitment as a signatory to the Talloires Declaration, actioned in 2013. The declaration was originally created in 1990 by university leaders and environmental experts as a consensus statement for embedding sustainability in the teaching, research, operations and outreach functions of universities.

Sustainability Statement

JCU is committed to working towards equitable and sustainable development in Northern Queensland, Northern Australia, the Tropics and worldwide. JCU believes sustainability is fundamental to a thriving society. This requires working collaboratively to build social, environmental and economic systems and processes that seek to enhance the current and future quality of life of all living entities.

For this reason, JCU engages decision-makers, industry and communities in the task of pursuing more sustainable ways of living.

This Statement applies to all members of the JCU community. JCU commits to working towards the achievement of sustainable development as follows:

  • Foster a university wide culture of sustainability by embedding sustainability principles into governance policies, strategies and procedures
  • Demonstrate leadership in sustainable practices and behaviour
  • Promote equity, diversity, inclusivity and social justice within University operations
  • Ignite and support a passion for learning about sustainability through the embedding of sustainability into curriculum and learning and teaching practices
  • Build and apply research excellence to meet economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges of sustainability
  • Engage and support students and staff in sustainability practices and strive for continual improvement
  • Pursue opportunities to improve organisational sustainability and embed sustainability principles into University procurement and investment
  • Develop strategic industry, community, government and non-government partnerships to innovatively address sustainability challenges
  • Communicate the University’s sustainability values, activities and performance
  • Monitor, evaluate and report annually on the University’s sustainability activities and performance.

Talloires Declaration

We, the presidents, rectors, and vice chancellors of universities from all regions of the world are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources.

Local, regional, and global air and water pollution; accumulation and distribution of toxic wastes; destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and emission of “green house” gases threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and the heritage of future generations. These environmental changes are caused by inequitable and unsustainable production and consumption patterns that aggravate poverty in many regions of the world.Talloires Declaration logo

We believe that urgent actions are needed to address these fundamental problems and reverse the trends. Stabilization of human population, adoption of environmentally sound industrial and agricultural technologies, reforestation, and ecological restoration are crucial elements in creating an equitable and sustainable future for all humankind in harmony with nature.

Universities have a major role in the education, research, policy formation, and information exchange necessary to make these goals possible.

Thus, university leaders must initiate and support mobilization of internal and external resources so that their institutions respond to this urgent challenge.

We, therefore, agree to take the following actions:

1 | Increase Awareness of Environmentally Sustainable Development

Use every opportunity to raise public, government, industry, foundation, and university awareness by openly addressing the urgent need to move toward an environmentally sustainable future.

2 | Create an Institutional Culture of Sustainability

Encourage all universities to engage in education, research, policy formation, and information exchange on population, environment, and development to move toward global sustainability.

3|Educate for Environmentally Responsible Citizenship

Establish programs to produce expertise in environmental management, sustainable economic development, population, and related fields to ensure that all university graduates are environmentally literate and have the awareness and understanding to be ecologically responsible citizens.

4|Foster Environmental Literacy For All

Create programs to develop the capability of university faculty to teach environmental literacy to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

5|Practice Institutional Ecology

Set an example of environmental responsibility by establishing institutional ecology policies and practices of resource conservation, recycling, waste reduction, and environmentally sound operations.

6|Involve All Stakeholders

Encourage involvement of government, foundations, and industry in supporting interdisciplinary research, education, policy formation, and information exchange in environmentally sustainable development. Expand work with community and nongovernmental organizations to assist in finding solutions to environmental problems.

7|Collaborate for Interdisciplinary Approaches

Convene university faculty and administrators with environmental practitioners to develop interdisciplinary approaches to curricula, research initiatives, operations, and outreach activities that support an environmentally sustainable future.

8|Enhance Capacity of Primary and Secondary Schools

Establish partnerships with primary and secondary schools to help develop the capacity for interdisciplinary teaching about population, environment, and sustainable development.

9|Broaden Service and Outreach Nationally and Internationally

Work with national and international organizations to promote a worldwide university effort toward a sustainable future.

10|Maintain the Movement

Establish a Secretariat and a steering committee to continue this momentum, and to inform and support each other’s efforts in carrying out this declaration.

Discover more about the history of the Talloires Declaration.