The University of Wollongong is committed to working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its governance, teaching and learning, community engagement, partnerships and research. The following initiatives are by UOW staff and students working towards SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Waste management and the environment
UOW’s Environment Policy includes a commitment to environmental protection and sustainable practices implemented through the minimisation of energy and water use, responsible management and minimisation of wastes. UOW also has a hazardous waste disposal guideline that details the management of hazardous wastes. The University focusses on the highest environmental standards in newly built infrastructure and in managing the costs of energy and transport provision. The Environmental Management Plan addresses issues such as low carbon food options, single use packaging, waste wise events and recycling infrastructure.
The University is committed to ethical procurement practices as outlined in its Purchasing and Procurement Policy. Ethical sourcing is the process of ensuring products being sourced are obtained in a responsible and sustainable way, that the workers involved in making them are safe and treated fairly and that environmental and social impacts are taken into consideration during the sourcing process.
Bulky Kerbside Collections
The Bulky Kerbside Collections research seeks to broaden understandings of the collection of ‘bulky kerbside materials’ and the factors that affect their movement through local council waste-streams. Despite increasing global attention to the economies of reuse and recycling, there has been little consideration of collection systems which support bulky kerbside collections or the conditions under which bulky waste materials enter landfill. This project is a joint collaboration between UOW researchers and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO). The ISJO coordinates the regional waste strategy of five local councils.
UOW Makerspace runs workshops for the public of all ages using plastic waste. The makerspace team guides attendees through the process of making their own unique and sustainable earrings, decorations and other useful objects from recycled plastics. The makerspace aims to educate workshop participants and wider community to learn about plastics and the recycling process, including how to reduce household waste.