Murdoch University will take action to achieve a truly sustainable campus, with targets for carbon neutrality across its operations, 0% waste to landfill, and a net zero transport plan by 2030.
The targets are outlined in a new Strategy released today – Building a Brighter Future, Together – Ngala Kwop Biddi, which focuses on three key themes to create the Murdoch University of the future:
Sustainability: a leading university in education, teaching and translational research in sustainability.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: building a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community and environment which is equitable and safe.
First Nations: becoming the University of first choice for First Nations peoples.
Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Deeks said the world had changed dramatically since Murdoch’s foundation in 1974, but the University’s long-held, authentic commitment to the environment and conservation, social justice and equity resonated even more strongly today.
“In less than 50 years, the human population has doubled to 8 billion, carbon emissions have doubled, and plastic pollution has increased 20-fold,” he said.
“The impact of these activities on the environment has become increasinglyevident and undeniable, and the need to achieve sustainable development is now a central societal goal.
“Murdoch has long championed sustainability through our teaching, learning and research, but our new Strategy propels us forward, ensuring we continue to lead by example.”
Alongside the campus 2030 sustainability targets, the University will:
Position Murdoch as a global centre of excellence in Environmental, Social and Governance principles (ESG) covering education; research and research translation; and professional development.
Develop the Harry Butler Science Centre to promote awareness of sustainability issues in WA schools and the community.
Ensure all students and staff learn and embrace the challenges facing the environment and principles of sustainable development.
Murdoch was the first WA university to sign up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the undergraduate curriculum will also be assessed for sustainability and SDG content.
In addition, the University will begin implementing a carbon neutrality strategy and look at ways to boost sustainable travel options for staff, students and visitors.
Professor Deeks said the Strategy’s complementary themes of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and First Nations also built on Murdoch’s strengths in providing a culturally safe and supportive environment where all members of the community can realise their potential, as well as embracing, promoting and benefiting from Indigenous knowledges and cultural inclusivity.
“Our Strategy document has the Noongar title Ngala Kwop Biddi, chosen and translated for us by Dr Richard Walley and his son Olman, who are deeply connected to the land on which Murdoch sits,” he said.
“Ngala (together, us) Kwop (beautiful, great) Biddi (future, path) will guide us as we embark on this new Strategy and seek to realise our vision as the University of choice for people who care, who value inclusion and curiosity, and who desire to make a positive social impact.”