Environmental Management Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To provide employees and students with a set of environmental standards

2 Scope

All employees and students

3 Policy Statement

The University of Southern Queensland acknowledges the importance of protecting environmental values and recognising obligations, both locally and globally, to present and succeeding generations. Through its planning and practice, the University is committed to bringing about improved environmental practices and a greater awareness and understanding of environmental sustainability.

4 Principles

The University defines the principles of environmental sustainability as encompassing the following:

  • Facilitate and enhance the decision making process by seeking opinions, feedback and participation from the University's stakeholders on environmental management issues for University campuses and sites.
  • Promote and encourage environmental awareness and responsibility among all members of the University community.
  • Strive for continuous improvement of environmental performance by identifying and addressing environmental risk.
  • Decision making processes to effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equity considerations.
  • Offer, encourage and develop subject, courses and research of environmental and sustainable content. Promote external awareness by supporting projects that seek solutions to environmental problems in order to improve the sustainability of the global environment.

USQ's approach is structured around three levels of planning and practice which comprise our overall environmental management policy. These levels are-

  • Level One: This is the 'due diligence' level and at this level USQ makes sure that it complies with all environmental legislation and reduces long term costs. The principles of due diligence according the Queensland Government Environmental Protection Agency are set out at Attachment One. USQ is a statutory authority under Queensland Government legislation. Some of the land on which USQ undertakes its activities is state land. USQ must therefore operate to ensure that it fulfils its statutory obligations and also ensure that it has a system of management control in place to ensure the protection of people and assets.
  • Level Two: This is the 'beyond compliance' level where USQ starts to ensure that USQ is employing its corporate capacity to improve environmental performance well beyond compliance with law. At this level USQ would introduce initiatives which involved:
    • long term design and maintenance of assets;
    • procurement of goods and services;
    • use of energy and equipment including vehicles.
  • Level Three: This is the 'beyond USQ' level where USQ develops for and with our students, our community, our research partners and others, the knowledge about improving environmental outcomes for our local and broader communities.

EPA Queensland: Principles of Due Diligence for Environmental Management Acting with due diligence is relatively simple. Systems used to implement a due diligence program will help assist industry comply with all environmental legislation, reduce long-term costs and improve the industry's public image.

There are seven principles of due diligence:

  1. Development of a pollution prevention system;
  2. Establishment of a pollution prevention system;
  3. Operation of a pollution prevention system;
  4. That people with ultimate responsibility receive reports;
  5. That those with the ultimate responsibility know the environmental standards;
  6. That those with the ultimate responsibility know the environmental laws;
  7. That those with the ultimate responsibility deal personally with system failures.

5 Procedures

It is proposed to use 'rethink, reduce, reuse, repair, re-educate and recycle' as the basis for USQ's deployment of the three levels of the environmental management policy. Oversight of the three levels will be undertaken by the Finance and Facilities Committee. Management of each level will be undertaken by an appointed officer. The Head (Campus Services) will appoint officers in the appropriate manner.

Each level coordinator will engage a network of key staff to support the implementation of initiatives. The coordinator for Level One will liaise with the USQ officer appointed to manage issues associated with workplace health and safety to ensure appropriate coordination between environmental protection and safety and workplace health and safety. The level coordinator, in concert with the network, will propose a set of actions and initiatives for each year. These initiatives and actions will aim to contribute to achieving the following objectives:

  • minimise or eliminate our negative environmental impacts and use of resources; work closely with our staff, unions, students, suppliers and other interested parties to continually improve our work practices and operations by setting environmental objectives and targets in accordance with best-practice standards;
  • incorporate best-practice environmental management into our core business plans and management practices, including the preparation, fit out and ongoing operation of new accommodation;
  • regularly monitor and report on our environmental performance;
  • actively promote and encourage the adoption of ecologically sustainable work practices; and
  • operations within the University and the general community;

The consolidated list of actions will be approved by the Head (Campus Services) as part of the USQ annual planning cycle and the agreed items will be included in the section's strategic plan and annual operational plan as required. The Head (Campus Services) will provide the Finance and Facilities Committee with a list of agreed actions for each year for each level of this policy and this consolidated set of actions will be referred to as USQ's Environmental Management Plan. It is anticipated that the first plan will be prepared for 2007 and will relate to Level One only. USQ will have a Level One plan in place for each year thereafter and it is expected that this plan will outline how USQ goes about meeting its statutory obligations in relation to environmental management and compliance. Levels Two and Three will be implemented from 2008 onwards and are designed to set out discretionary action undertaken by USQ to enhance its contribution to the principles set out under the PRINCIPLES heading of this policy.

The University is committed to ensuring the protection of the environment by keeping environmental impacts to a minimum in a sustainable, financially rewarding and technically feasible manner. Prior to preparing the actions proposed for each year, each USQ coordinator will prepare a progress report for the Head (Campus Services) and this will set out the results achieved to date. The Head (Campus Services) will consolidate this information for review by the Finance & Facilities Committee. In particular, the Level One report will record any non-compliance which has occurred during the year and the action which has been taken to remedy the non-compliance.

Subject to the development of action plans for Levels Two and Three, it is expected that USQ will seek to establish an environmental performance report which sets out available information about emissions and wastes, as well as initiatives to change the culture of USQ to more effectively support the environment through the interrelated concepts of 'rethink, reduce, repair, re-educate and recycle'. USQ will aim to produce an environmental performance report from 2009 onwards.

The Vice-Chancellor will submit an annual report to Council on the implementation of this policy, noting the intention to progressively develop Levels One, Two and Three of environmental management at USQ.

6 References

Nil.

7 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Head (Campus Services)

Responsible Officer

Manager (Environmental)

Policy Type

Executive Policy

Approved Date

1/8/2007

Effective Date

1/8/2007

Review Date

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Keywords

Environment

Record No

13/317PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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