Environmental Policy

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The Environmental Policy formalises the University’s commitment to supporting the principles of environmental sustainability and recognises that a sustainable environment is central to our lives and our work. JCU acknowledges that its activities have an impact on the global and local environment and that we can modify our operations to reduce our negative environmental impacts. JCU is committed to improving its environmental performance and reducing its contribution to climate change and environmental degradation. By integrating sustainable environmental practices in our daily activities the University aims to be a leader in environmentally sustainable infrastructure development and operations.


This policy and associated procedures apply to all staff, students, visitors and contractors of the University across all Campuses (domestic and international), sites, centres and controlled entities.


Environmental Aspects - Element of an organisation's activities, products or services that can interact with the environment.

Environmental Impacts - Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organisation's environmental aspects.


JCU respects our relationship with the natural environment and its life-sustaining ecosystems and recognises the need to maintain and restore a rich biodiversity. The University acknowledges the adverse impacts that human activity can impose and takes actions to prevent degradation of our natural systems, while supporting the repair and recovery of those systems. As a signatory to the Talloires Declaration, the University commits to the following principles and practices:

  • Fostering the sustainable use of the Earth’s resources by “treading lightly”, recognising the approach of Australia’s Indigenous people in minimising our impact on the land.
  • Managing, monitoring and measuring environmental performance and establishing objectives and targets to minimise these impacts.
  • Communicating our environmental performance through the annual report and other internal and external reports.
  • Reducing the consumption of resources associated with operations (e.g. energy, water, paper).
  • Minimising the production of greenhouse gases, particularly those associated with energy consumption, the vehicle fleet and air travel.
  • Minimising waste production and maximising the amount reused and recycled.
  • Considering environmental aspects in the procurement of products and services, and endeavouring to ensure suppliers meet high standards of environmental performance.
  • Ensuring that all new capital works programs incorporate comprehensive environmental sustainability principles.
  • Committing to the principles of pollution prevention and continual improvement.
  • Recognising that all staff have a responsibility to assist the University to meet the commitments in this policy.
  • Empowering staff to minimise our environmental impacts through raising staff awareness and encouraging participation in environmental management practices (particularly through the TropEco program).
  • Working closely with our employees, contractors, suppliers, clients, students and the community to develop and implement environmental initiatives.
  • Providing leadership to the community and industry by demonstrating best practice methods of delivering sustainable initiatives.
  • Complying with relevant Commonwealth and State Government environmental policy, practices, regulations and legislation.
  • Communicating this policy to all employees, contractors and other stakeholders as well as making this policy available to the general public.
  • Maintaining and enhancing biodiversity at our campuses and sites, particularly in natural areas.

Related policy instruments  

JCU FMPM 710 - Procurement Policy

JCU Health, Safety and Environment Policy

Waste Reduction Management Plan

Natural Assets Management Plan

  • Cultural Heritage Protection
  • Fire Management
  • Land Management
  • Native Animal and Habitat Protection
  • Native Vegetation Management
  • Pest Management
  • Waterway and Riparian Management
  • Weed Management

Design Guidelines - Section 21 - Environmental Management

Construction and Operational Works – Environmental Management Specifications

  • Sediment and Erosion Control
  • Air Quality
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Noise
  • Flora and Fauna Protection
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Heritage Protection



Related documents and legislation

Biosecurity Act 2014 (Qld)

Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act 2001 and Regulation

Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006 Energy Efficiency Opportunities Regulations 

Environment Protection Act 1994 (Qld)

Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Environment Protection (Waste Management) Regulation 2000 (Qld)

Land Act 1994

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008

Native Title Act 1993

Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 1994

Plant Protection Act 1989

Queensland Heritage Act 1992

Cultural Record (Landscapes Queensland and Queensland Estate) Act 1987

Sustainable Planning Act 2009

Vegetation Management Act 1999

Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 (Qld) 

Water Act 2000 (Qld)


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management
Policy Sub-domainEstate and Facility Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Policy established

Manager, Environment - Estate Directorate


Environmental, sustainability