TropEco Leadership and Governance

Leadership and Governance

Sustainability is a foundational value and tenet of governance at JCU. It is a priority in the Statement of Strategic Intent and is embedded throughout the University's strategic policy and planning architecture including: the University Plan, the Academic Plan, and JCU’s Code of Conduct.

"Committed to the principles of sustainability, we will ensure that our actions today do not limit the range of social, cultural, environmental and economic options open to future generations."

JCU is also a university signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to the Talloires Declaration. You can read more about these commitments below.

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.

JCU will continue to raise awareness about our commitment to sustainability and sustainable development by promoting our Sustainability Action Plan to students and staff, and by providing opportunities to engage with sustainability activities.

The Sustainable Development Working Group supports implementation of JCU's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by assisting the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee in advancing the University's Sustainability Action Plan. This plan is currently being refreshed given the adoption of the Sustainability Statement.

The Working Group comprises JCU students and staff and the functions of the Group include:

  • Development of the University's Sustainability Statement
  • Driving the implementation and review of JCU's Sustainability Action Plan to give effect to the Statement
  • Acting as champions for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Reporting on the University’s progress in implementing its commitment to the SDGs.
  • Promoting and supporting JCU’s TropEco program.

In 2016, JCU became the first university signatory to the University Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this commitment, JCU has agreed to:United Nations Goals

  • support and promote the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • undertake research that provides solutions to sustainable development challenges
  • provide the educational opportunity for our students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development
  • contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring our campuses and major programs are environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive, and
  • report on our activities in support of the Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs are a set of 17 aspirational goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. They were ratified by the United Nations on the 25 September 2015, as part of the UN Resolution Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They replace the previous Millennium Development Goals and include delivery of the targets set in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Learning in Future Environments (LiFE) Index is a comprehensive performance improvement system developed specifically to help tertiary education institutions manage, measure, improve and promote their social responsibility and sustainability performance.

Since 2013, JCU has been using the LiFE Index to benchmark, record and internally report on the organisation’s sustainability performance.

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JCU is also signatory to the Talloires Declaration, a ten point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities.

Composed in 1990 at an international conference in Talloires, France, this was the first official statement made by university administrators of a commitment to environmental sustainability in higher education.