The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has today released its inaugural Sustainability Report 2020, which documents progress and highlights key achievements in the University's commitment to build a greener and more sustainable future.
The report assesses AUT's progress against the ambitions of the AUT Sustainability Roadmap, launched in 2018. It found AUT has made significant progress since 2018 in meeting a number of its 2025 targets, including a 45% reduction in CO2e emissions from energy consumption and 54% in waste generated.
Chair of the AUT Sustainability Steering Group Dr David Hall says the report provides a benchmark for measuring progress in embedding sustainability in learning, teaching, and research at the University.
"Our future will be determined by the sustainable work we do today. The time to make change is now," says Hall.
"As we enter a time of great transition and technological change there are untold opportunities for AUT to reinforce its reputation as New Zealand's university of technology, and to contribute to solving the grand challenges of the twenty-first century."
Among the key targets of the report are ensuring all undergraduate programmes develop sustainability literacy, values and practices, increasing the number of peer-reviewed SDG research outputs, and halving CO2e emissions by 2025.
AUT Director of Sustainability Lucy McKenzie says the report found some of the reductions to date relate to the effects of COVID, such as campus shutdowns, as well as energy efficiency improvements. It also recommends where more work needs to be done to meet the 2025 targets and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
"AUT is committed to a better future for our staff, our students and New Zealand. The more positive changes that we can make as an organisation - combined with how we educate, empower, inspire those that we interact and engage with - all start to make a genuine difference," says McKenzie.
"As global leaders meet in Glasgow for COP26 to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, there has never been a more important time to release this report and reaffirm our responsibility to further advance sustainability through our teaching, research and operations."