Date first approved:

23rd June 2006

Date of effect:

23rd June 2006

Date last amended:
(refer Version Control Table)

Date of Next Review:

June 2018

First Approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Director, Facilities Management Division, Mr Bruce Flint: brucef@uow.edu.au


Environmental Advisory Committee

Responsible Division & Unit:

Facilities Management Division

Environment Unit

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:

EMS Manual (FMD-ENV-MAN-001)

Principal Environmental Aspects and Impacts Register (FMD-ENV-REF-003)

Environmental Aspects and Impacts Procedure (FMD-ENV-PRO-001)

Relevant Legislation & External Documents:



Public – accessible to anyone

Submit your feedback on this policy document using the Policy Feedback Facility.


1 Purpose of Policy

  • 1. The Environmental Policy formalises the University’s commitment to supporting the principles of environmental sustainability and the need for all staff and students to share a role in achieving the policy objectives.

2 Definitions


Definition (with examples if required)


Environmental Management System: Part of an organisation’s management system used to develop and implement its environmental policy and manage its environmental aspects.*


Environmental Management Plan


Environmental Advisory Committee

Environmental Aspects

Element of an organisation’s activities or 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.*

3 Application & Scope - Exclusions or Special Conditions

  • 1. This Policy applies to UOW, its activities and people associated with it such as staff, students, visitors and contractors.
  • 2. The scope of this Policy includes all University of Wollongong (UOW) principal functions as outlined in Section 6 of the University of Wollongong Act (1989) (NSW). The Policy may also be utilised as the benchmark for other functions, e.g. commercial functions.

4 Policy Principles

  • 1. UOW is committed to the principles of environmental sustainability and in accordance with the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 the University will:
  • a. Focus on the highest environmental standards in newly built infrastructure and in managing the costs of energy and transport provision;
  • b. Build on UOW’s leadership in transdisciplinary research through further collaboration in research and in education to explore and tackle large scale global social, environmental and economic challenges; and
  • c. Sustain a vibrant environment for engagement, inquiry and creativity by providing world-class academic facilities, recreational and social amenities, and residences with planned, efficient campuses that stand out for their natural beauty.
  • 2. UOW’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainable practices will be implemented through the minimisation of energy and water use, in the responsible management and minimisation of wastes and the integration of the campus infrastructure and activities with the natural environment.

5 Aims & Objectives

  • 1. UOW aims to ensure that is research, teaching, administration and engagement activities are aligned with its environmental policy. To facilitate this objective UOW will:
    • a. Implement and maintain a structured EMS based on continual improvement and regular review to ensure that it remains relevant to UOW’s operations.
    • b. Focus on management of energy, water and materials use, minimisation of pollution, communication and engagement, research teaching and learning, and maintaining the harmonious built and natural campus environment.
    • c. Identify, assess, prioritise and record UOW’s environmental aspects and impacts in accordance with the Environmental Aspects and Impacts Procedure.
    • d. Comply with environmental law and regulations.
    • e. Set an example to the community and to other educational institutions through the adoption and implementation of principles of environmental protection and sustainability.

6 Implementation

  • 1. The UOW Environmental Policy provides the framework for the development and review of the Environment Management Plan (EMP). The EMP will incorporate a rolling action plan that provides the mechanism for implementation of this Policy.
  • 2. A review of the EMP will include the following:
    • a. Set and review environmental objectives;
    • b. Set and review environmental targets;
    • c. Outline the action required to be taken that is appropriate for the nature, scale and impact of the aspect considered; and
    • d. Provide guidelines for monitoring and reporting on performance.

7 Roles & Responsibilities

  • 1. The Environmental Advisory Committee is advisory to the Vice-Chancellor and will oversee the development and implementation of UOW’s environmental management programme. The aim of UOW’s environmental management programme is to integrate environmental responsibility into all aspects of UOW's activities and to minimise UOW’s environmental footprint.
  • 2. The Environment Unit has the primary task to lead the UOW’s environmental management program and assist the University to achieve its environmental strategic goals. The Environment Unit will support an organisational and behavioural shift towards environmental sustainability through education, communication and management of projects that generate better environmental outcomes for UOW. The Environment Unit will also be responsible for the management of the EMP, EMS and associated documents.
  • 3. The Environmental Management System Manual for UOW defines the roles and responsibilities of implementing the EMS. The Manual serves as the framework document that provides a reference to supporting operational documents, procedures and guidelines. This manual documents the structure, the elements and the procedures which collectively form the EMS.
  • 4. The EMP is a strategic document that sets objectives and targets outlining environmental improvement and defines the strategies required to achieve the objectives. It outlines the responsibilities of functional units in working towards environmental results for energy management, water management, management systems, materials management, communication and engagement, research, teaching and learning and the campus environment, over a three year rolling period.
  • 5. The Vice-Chancellor has ultimate responsibility for, and is committed to, the effective implementation of UOW’s Environmental Policy.

8 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



23rd June 2006

University Council

New Policy


6th May 2009

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Procedure. Template as per Policy Directory Refresh


9th March 2010

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Future review date identified in accordance with Standard on UOW Policy


4th February 2011


Revised Policy


16th January 2012

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Updated to reflect division name change from Buildings and Grounds to Facilities Management Division


10th July 2014

Chief Administrative Officer

Policy review with minor amendments


24 June 2016


Policy review with minor amendments to align with updated Strategic Plan and Branding

Last reviewed: 29 June, 2016