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Our strategic framework

Our sustainability framework outlines where the University was in 2012 with sustainability and where to invest time and resources to help embed sustainability in everything we do, so it becomes the norm at Otago.

The framework has given us a common focus since the University of Otago Council approved it in 2017: Sustainability Strategic Framework: 2017 – 2021 (PDF).

To achieve our commitment to sustainability, the framework contains 22 strategies detailing specific activities, that sit under six inter-dependent themes:

1. Apply a whole systems approach

  • Catalyse and support transformational change
  • Embed sustainability into the institutional core
  • Build credibility through transparency and accountability

2. Lead by example through our operations

  • Actively pursue a low carbon future
  • Promote sustainability in the built environment
  • Encourage sustainable procurement 
  • Become a zero waste institution
  • Encourage sustainable transport
  • Minimise water consumption
  • Support sustainable food systems

3. Nurture a culture of sustainability

  • Raise awareness of our sustainability transition
  • Encourage institutional learning and inquiry
  • Create opportunities for staff and students to engage

4. Enhance sustainability research

  • Support excellence in sustainability-related research
  • Encourage sustainable research practices
  • Support the University as a living laboratory

5. Support education for sustainability

  • Encourage the development of subjects and courses
  • Integrate sustainability into teaching and learning practices
  • Increase sustainability literacy among students

Collaborate and be a catalyst for change

  • Encourage inter-institutional collaboration
  • Strengthen community-university partnerships
  • Advocate for sustainability and celebrate achievements