Griffith showcases commitment to sustainability

Koalas are just one of the many emblematic species on Griffith campuses.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans says Griffith’s commitment to environmental sustainability remains as important as ever.

“Since 2019, we have made significant progress towards our environmental sustainability goals, including the deployment of new postgraduate teaching programs with a focus on sustainability, the opening of an international hub for researchers fighting climate change and infectious disease outbreaks, and the implementation of a number of transport, energy saving and conservation management strategies across our campuses aimed at reducing our carbon emissions,” Professor Evans said.

“Our commitment to environmental sustainability is such an important aspect of Griffith’s culture and values.”

Professor Evans will be accompanied by The University’s Sustainability Sub Committee and Working Group co-chairs in a webinar today outlining action plans already underway to meet Griffith’s strategic ‘Green Goals’ by 2025.

Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans.

Initiatives also include the Griffith Climate Change Response Program, which is leading the way on research in climate change adaptation and mitigation, and smaller meaningful changes like the Sustainable Paper Procurement Initiative, which has seen the University’s paper consumption of 100% recycled sources rise from 19% to 41%, with the goal to eliminate the use of non-recycled paper.

A range of webinars and fun workshops will be held as part of the University’s Sustainability Week.

With events running until 4 September, the week will highlight Griffith’s sustainability strategies, honouring its commitment to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the University tackles global challenges like climate change.

In other webinars, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mario Pinto will discuss the UN’s SDGs and the role universities play in their implementation, and Professor Tim Ryley will take a deep dive into how the University will combat carbon emissions by reducing air travel.

Professor Catherine Pickering and Associate Professor Samantha Capon will host Friday’s web discussion on Griffith’s incredibly diverse ecosystems and what the University is doing to protect them.

“Griffith University is the proud custodian of lands that hold important biodiversity as well as cultural values,” Professor Pickering said.

Professor Catherine Pickering is encouraging greater awareness of the rare and endangered flora at Griffith University.

“Over the five campuses there are over 800 species of native plants, with nearly 700 just at Nathan in Toohey Forest.

“For animals there is a great diversity found at Griffith including emblematic species such as koala, short-beaked echidnas, glossy black-cockatoo, powerful owl, and brush-turkeys carefully turning over the mulch at Nathan and the Gold Coast campuses.”

Professor Pickering said it was essential we protect the ecosystems which have become synonymous with Griffith’s identity.

“There are also endangered ecosystems and species, with a range of ecosystems providing us with diverse benefits, including cultural and spiritual as well as recreation,” she said.

“They are important carbon stores, and are sequestering carbon for us, reducing our emissions even further. “

Across the University, we are working on how to conserve these forests, wetlands and gardens for the long term, as such areas of green in cities will only become more important over time, to Griffith and to the cities we live in.

Further information on Sustainability Week events and activities – like beeswax wrap and macrame plant hanging workshops – is available online.