Murdoch University Environment Committee - Senate

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Murdoch University Environment Committee


ENVIRONMENT REPORT 2003



Executive Summary


During 2003, the Environment Committee and the four environmental subcommittees have continued to
be involved in developing strategies for the University’s environmen
tal management, as well as the
development of environmental policies for Murdoch University. The environmental policies have acted
as guidance documents to develop strategies and plans for reducing the University’s environmental
impact.


The prime areas of

environmental management for the Environment Committee and the subcommittees
include:



Energy,



Waste,



Water,



Built Environment, and



Natural Environment.


Work in the areas of Energy, Waste and Water are progressing steadily, while the Built Environment an
d
the Natural Environment both need further work to reach a similar status. Where possible, this report
has generated values for a number of commonly used key performance indicators for both the
campuses by drawing on data from University sources and data

sourced externally.


The University has signed up to the Greenhouse Challenge and is using it as a framework to guide its
energy conservation and greenhouse gas abatement activities, which include:



An energy efficient lighting roll out across the Univers
ity;



The employment of an Energy Manager



Plant and machinery improvements; and



Additional benefits from the installation of a new chilled water air conditioning system.


With regard to waste management, the Resource Recovery Strategy (RRS), launched in Jul
y 2003, has
initiated:



An audit of the waste generated by both campuses;



An awareness campaign and educational information to improved the University’s recycling
levels; and



The construction of a composting facility at the Murdoch campus for food preparati
on waste.


Improvements in mains water use since 2002 and groundwater abstraction during 2003 are both positive
signs of the University’s progress towards better water management. While an Integrated Water
Strategy (IWS) is being developed to improve the U
niversity’s long term water management.


Additional focus will be directed towards the Built Environment and the Natural Environment during 2004
to advance these areas of the University’s environmental management.


Murdoch University, like many Australian
and international institutions and organisations, seeks to
become more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The environment provides the
foundation for social and economic systems to operate. Where a tertiary educational institution can
maintain a correct balance between the economic, social and environmental dimensions, then it can be
claimed that such an institution should be considered sustainable. Although Murdoch University has yet
to achieve sustainability from the perspective of en
vironmental impact, it is making a concerted effort to
achieve that objective.




Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



2



PART ONE


Introduction


This year the Environmental Committee has continued its involvement in further environmental
awareness activities on campus, while focusing on the

review process of activities conducted by the four
subcommittees on Energy, Waste, the Built Environment and the Natural Environment.


The environmental management of the University’s campuses is coordinated by the Office of Facilities
Management (OFM) i
n close association with the Environmental Committee and the environmental
subcommittees. Additionally, useful input has been received from academic and general staff, students
and their representatives, consultants and other stakeholders.


The Environme
ntal Committee and the subcommittees have developed environmental policies, relevant
to the situation and function of the University and its development. The environmental policies include
the:



Biodiversity Policy;



Energy Conservation and Supply Policy;



En
vironmental Design Building Policy;



Resource Recovery Policy;



Water Conservation and Waste Water Reuse Policy;



Water Sensitive Stormwater Policy; and the



Environmental Policy.

Note
: All of which are available on the internet at: <
http://www.murdoch.edu.au/ofm/policies/policies.html

>


The environmental policies will form the foundation for the development of a comprehensive
Environmental Management System for all three Murdoch University

campuses. The University’s
Environmental Management System will include:



Policies as guidance documents;



Associated strategies or action plans for reducing the University’s environmental impacts; and



Systems for monitoring, reviewing and reporting that t
rack the outcomes of the University’s
environmental initiatives and indicate the University’s overall environmental performance.
















Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



3


PART TWO


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Benchmarking


Where possible environmental performance indi
cators are used in this report to provide quantitative
comparative environmental information. The areas of focus for environmental KPIs and any existing
KPIs used in this report are indicated in
Table 1

below.


Table1. Category, Description and Units for K
PIs used in Report


Category of KPI

Description of KPI

Units

University Population

Gross Floor Area (GFA) per EFTSU*

m
2

/ EFTSU

Greenhouse Gas Production

Annual Greenhouse gas equivalents per unit GFA

kgCO2e / m
2


Annual Greenhouse gas equivalents per E
FTSU*

kgCO2e / EFTSU

Energy Use

Annual Electricity use per unit GFA

GJ / m
2


Annual Electricity use per EFTSU*

GJ / EFTSU


Annual Electricity cost per unit GFA

$ / m
2


Annual Electricity cost per EFTSU*

$ / EFTSU


Annual Gas use per unit GFA

GJ / m
2


Annual Gas use per EFTSU*

GJ / EFTSU


Annual Gas cost per unit GFA

$ / m
2


Annual Gas cost per EFTSU*

$ / EFTSU

Waste Generation

Annual Cost per unit GFA

$ / m
2


Annual Cost per EFTSU*

$ / EFTSU

Water & Wastewater Flows

Annual Water use per unit GFA

kL / m
2


Annual Water use per EFTSU*

kL / EFTSU


Annual Total water services cost per unit GFA

$ / m
2

Condition of Biodiversity

KPIs yet to be determined

---

Built Environment Efficiency

KPIs yet to be determined

----


* EFTSU


Equivalent Full Time S
tudent Unit


Environmental Indicators allow benchmarking against past trends and where possible against other
campuses or businesses. As environmental monitoring and sustainability assessment are further
explored, additional KPIs will be utilised in futu
re reporting systems to convey specific information that
assists the determination of the University’s sustainability. Data and KPIs in this report have been
sourced mostly Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (tefma) benchmark reports, an
d
Murdoch University data from both utilities metering figures and student enrolment figures.


Some fundamental statistics for Murdoch University’s Rockingham and Murdoch campuses are given in
Table 2
.


Table 2. Some fundamental statistics for Murdoch Uni
versity’s campuses




Campus
Gross
Floor
Area

Effective
Fulltime
Student
Units

Gross Floor
Area per
EFTSU

Campus & Year


m
2

EFTSU


m
2
/ EFTSU

Murdoch 2002

124,779

8,077

15.4

Murdoch 2001

104,544

7,772

13.5

Murdoch 2000

104,111

6,704

15.5





Rock
ingham 2002

9,058

491

18.4

Rockingham 2001

9,058

395

22.9

Rockingham 2000

9,058

363

25.0



* EFTSU


Equivalent Full Time Student Unit
Source
: Policy & Planning (Murdoch) & tefma data











Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



4


Energy

Condition

The campuses both purchase energy from
the major suppliers of electricity and gas servicing the Perth
Metropolitan Area. A small amount of renewable energy is generated on campus for research, teaching
and display purposes, with the buildings at Environmental Technology Centre (ETC) providing t
he best
example on campus of an integration system with renewable energy generation systems and low energy
use design within the built environment.


The University has recently joined the Federal Government’s Greenhouse Challenge Programme.
Although the
Greenhouse Challenge Programme has a wider focus than just energy usage, it is reported
under the Energy section this year, because most of the associated reform activities have related to
energy use.


Based on an independent consultants Greenhouse Challe
nge site assessment for the Murdoch and the
Rockingham campuses for 2001/2002, the value for key environmental indicators of greenhouse impact
were determined (
Table 3
).


Table 3. Key environmental indicators of greenhouse impact for both Murdoch Universit
y campuses



Production of

Greenhouse
gas equivalents
per annum

Greenhouse gas

equivalents per

m
2

per annum

Greenhouse gas

equivalents per

EFTSU* per


annum

Campus

tonnes CO
2
e

kgCO
2
e / m
2

kgCO
2
e / EFTSU

Murdoch


23,000



207



2600

Rockingham



1,3
35



240



2900

* EFTSU


Equivalent Full Time Student Unit


These figures were reported as being comparable with emissions from other tertiary institutions in the
Greenhouse Challenge programme. However, Murdoch University has further to go until it beco
mes a
leadership institution with regard to greenhouse gas abatement.


Electricity usage has decreased at both campuses, with associated improvements in usage and cost per
EFTSU and square metre. See
Table 4.


Table 4. Electricity consumption for both Mur
doch University campuses




Annual
Electricity
Usage

Annual
Electricity
Usage
per m
2

Annual
Electricity
Usage per
EFTSU*

Annual
Total
Electricity
Cost

Annual
Electricity
Usage
per m
2

Annual
Electricity
Usage per
EFTSU*

Campus & Year

GJ

GJ / m
2

GJ

/
EFTSU

$

$ / m
2

$ / EFTSU

Murdoch 2002

68,376

0.55

8.47

1,776,065

14.23

219.89

Murdoch 2001

68,140

0.65

8.77

1,766,666

16.90

227.31

Murdoch 2000

71,904

0.69

10.73

1,698,526

16.31

253.36








Rockingham 2002

3,902

0.43

7.95

129,968

14.35

264.70

Roc
kingham 2001

4,234

0.47

10.72

154,987

17.11

392.37

Rockingham 2000

4,440

0.49

12.23

142,988

15.79

393.91

* EFTSU


Equivalent Full Time Student Unit

Source:

Policy & Planning (Murdoch), OFM (Murdoch) and tefma data


In
Table 5

a noticeable drop in the an
nual cost of gas in 2002 is evident. This relates to a change in
contractual arrangements that subsequently produced financial savings. The increase in student
numbers has had an influence on the figures for usage per EFTSU at both campuses. Additionally,
the
increase in Gross Floor Area (GFA) is a factor in the decline of annual gas usage per unit area floor area
for the South Street campus (
Table 5 below
)
.


Table 5. Gas consumption for both Murdoch University campuses




Annual
Gas
Usage

Annual
Gas
Usage
per m
2

Annual Gas
Usage per
EFTSU*

Annual
Total Gas
Cost

Annual
Gas
Usage
per m
2

Annual
Gas

Usage per
EFTSU*

Campus & Year

GJ

GJ / m
2

GJ

/ EFTSU

$

$ / m
2

$ / EFTSU

Murdoch 2002

22,574

0.18

2.79

180,394

1.45

22.33

Murdoch 2001

24,972

0.24

3.21

30
5,832

2.93

39.35

Murdoch 2000

23,660

0.23

3.53

267,354

2.57

39.88








Rockingham 2002

1,920

0.21

3.91

23,708

2.62

48.29

Rockingham 2001

2,225

0.25

5.63

25,597

2.83

64.80

Rockingham 2000

1,695

0.19

4.67

20,483

2.26

56.43

* EFTSU


Equivalent Full T
ime Student Unit

Source:

Policy & Planning (Murdoch), OFM (Murdoch) and tefma data

Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



5


Pressure

As a peak organisation within the wider community and as a member of the Greenhouse Challenge
Programme, the University will need to keep its energy usage and green
house gas abatement
endeavours regularly reviewed. Given the continued expansion of the University, energy consumption
increases will need to be monitored and managed.


Awareness among staff and students about the effect of an individual’s energy usage w
ill be an issue
that requires ongoing focus. Currently costs are not borne directly by the groups of users that consume
energy, and if those user groups do not benefit from savings, appropriate management of energy use
can suffer inconsistent results.


A
dditionally, implementation of energy efficient technologies and design usually incurs increased capital
outlay and often involves payback periods that extend longer than regular capital works. This creates a
perceived tension between catering for the core

business requirements of the institution and
implementation of energy efficient systems. Hence, identification of mechanisms for resourcing both
types of activities while avoiding disharmony between immediate requirements and the long term
sustainability
of the University will be a continuing challenge.



Response

The University is using the Greenhouse Challenge Programme as a framework to guide energy
conservation and greenhouse gas reduction activities for both its campuses, examples of which are
outline
d below.


The University is conducting a number of audits of energy and water usage, and waste generation,
utilising both in
-
house expertise and external consultants to gain data for benchmarking performance
over time and for comparing Murdoch University w
ith other similar organisations and institutions.


The recent employment of an Energy Manager will affect changes in a number of areas associated with
energy across the University. A staff and student energy use awareness campaign will be a key output
of t
he position. While identification, planning, analysis, management and monitoring of new energy
initiatives will be another major focus for this position.


In 2004, OFM will be implementing and managing the expansion of the chilled
-
water air
-
conditioning
sy
stem, which will extend reliable centralised air conditioning services across more of the South Street
campus. An additional benefit of this new system is more energy efficient air conditioning for the
campus. Space heating and cooling is a major energy co
nsumer for organisations such as the
University. Hence, improvements to these systems have a large impact on reducing energy
requirements.


After a successful piloting programme of a more efficient light system in a section of the Physical
Sciences Buildin
g, a general role out of energy efficient lighting will occur across campus over the next 2
years. This adoption of more efficient technology and practices will:



Produce cost savings due to energy savings of 8.4 kWh per square metre per year

(1.4 year payback on outlays);



Reduce maintenance hours on the improved lighting systems (25% reduction);



Produce an improved quality of light output (colour and consistency); and



Achieve Greenhouse emissions reductions of over one hundr
ed tonnes of CO
2

and over half a
tonne of both NO
2

and SO
2

per annum.

Source:

Energy Working Group (Murdoch), from “Lighting Retrofit Project” report


Additionally, ongoing energy savings delivered through the appropriate replacement, upgrading and
mainte
nance of plant and machinery will become increasingly integrated into the regular activities of the
staff at the University.







Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



6


Waste

Condition

The City of Melville are contracted to collect general waste, recyclable materials and some liquid waste
fr
om the Murdoch South Street campus.

During 2003 the Rockingham campus has changed its waste and recycling collection provider to SITA
Australia.



Table 6. Waste collection cost figures for 2002



Cost

Cost per unit GFA

Cost per EFTSU

Campus

$

$ / m2

$

/ EFTSU

Murdoch 2002

79,460

0.64

9.84

Rockingham 2002

3,525

0.39

7.18



Source:

Policy & Planning (Murdoch) and tefma data


During 2003 the first stages of the Resource Recovery Strategy (RRS) were implemented. Part of the
RRS was conducting a campus
wide waste audit to obtain a better view of the generated wastes. The
Centre for Organic Waste Management (COWM) conducted the audit, identifying various waste
generating sectors and providing analysis of each sector’s waste data.



Table 7. Waste composit
ion figures for Murdoch University campuses



Waste Sector

Location

Recyclable

Compostable

Residue

Office Waste

South Street

56%


11.1%

20%


6.5%

24%


7.0%

General Bin Waste

South Street

22%


6.8%

52%


9.3%

26%


4.2%

Kitchen Waste

South Street

5%


2.9%

82%


2.8%

13%


0.1%

Dining Waste

South Street

34%


6.5%

45%


5.5%

21%


3.2%

Kitchen & Dining Mixed

South Street

51%


19.5%

35%


14.9%

14%


5.0%

Recycling

South Street

94%


3.9%

2%


1.6%

4%


2.6%

General Bin Waste

Rockingham

50%


8.3%

35%


9.5%

15%


6.4%

Source:

COWM (Murdoch) data


The waste stream can be sorted into paper & cardboard recycling, recyclable containers, general waste
and a number of hazardous liquid wastes. The separation of paper & cardboard and recyclables are
activities that have been extended with the assistance of the City of Melville.


Pressure

Future increases in the number of students at Murdoch and an increase in commercial and recreational
activities on the campus increase the pressure on waste manageme
nt and increase waste volumes.
The cost of waste disposal is expected to increase as landfill sites are closed down and if waste
volumes increase.


Response

On July 31st the Resource Recovery Strategy was launched as part of a set of initiatives with the
objective of reducing the amount of recyclable and compostable materials entering landfill. The
Resource Recovery Strategy along with other waste management activities will continue to be
implemented over the next 2 years, with the goal of developing the r
equired infrastructure to meet the
objectives outlined in the Resource Recovery Policy for Murdoch University.


The strategy is comprehensive in its approach and aims to increase recycling by up to 40% with new
bins, signage and educational information. Ne
w bin stations and waste collection sites across both
campuses have allowed paper and cardboard waste as well as recyclable materials to be increasingly
diverted from the general waste stream.


The construction of a composting facility at the Murdoch campu
s is progressing steadily. The compost
produced by the process will provide a high quality horticultural material well suited for use in
landscaping on campus.


Additionally, waste auditing activities will continue at both campuses to assess waste composit
ion and
generation, as well as any positive effects of the Resource Recovery Strategy.


With the Vice Chancellor’s endorsement of the policy regarding the preferred use of recycled paper in
print production, Murdoch Print has moved to make paper with recyc
led content:



a first choice for internal projects;



an option for external customers; and



a likely option for University Readers in the 2004 academic year.

Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



7



Murdoch University through the ETC and COWM is currently trialing an environmental technology at St
John of God Hospital to process the Hospital’s catering waste. The intention is to continue housing the
system at the Hospital, allowing research students to opportunity to study an operating medium scale
organic waste processing technology. This outreach
activity has been an opportunity for the University
to share its environmental technology skills and expertise within the local precinct, allowing another local
organisation to improve its sustainability.

Water

Condition

Some aspects of the University’s ma
ins and groundwater utilisation have continued to be a management
challenge. Mains water is used internally in kitchens, toilets, and laboratories, for watering animals and
in a small area of garden. Additionally, mains water is used domestically in the S
tudent Village,
Lakeview Apartments and at St Ives Murdoch.

The mains water usage and the total water services
charges for both campuses for 2000, 2001and 2002 are shown in
Table 8
.


Table 8. Mains water consumption for 2000, 2001 and 2002




Annual
Wate
r
Usage

Annual
Water

Usage
per m
2

Annual
Water
Usage per


EFTSU*

Annual

Total Water


Services
Cost

Total Water

Services
Costs per


Unit Used

Campus & Year

kL

kL / m
2

kL

/ EFTSU

$

$ / kL

Murdoch 2002

177,959

1.43

22.0

519,356

2.92

Murdoch 2001

200,777

1.92

25.8

539,427

2.69







Rockingham 2002

5,362

0.59

10.9

33,623

2.74

Rockingham 2001

5,423

0.60

13.7

32,155

3.84


* EFTSU


Equivalent Full Time Student Unit

Source:

Policy & Planning (Murdoch) and tefma data


Apart from charges for mete
red mains water, the total water services costs for each campus include
charges for drainage, fixtures, metering, fire services and industrial releases. Drainage charges are
calculated with reference to incoming metered mains water. Hence, water conservat
ion will also
produce subsequent savings on drainage charges.


Part of the 11.3% drop in mains water use at the Murdoch campus between 2001 and 2002 was due to
improved water usage awareness by user groups and through better general management of water.


I
rrigation of the Murdoch University grounds is through licensed ground water bores. Murdoch
University has seven licensed production bores at its South Street campus.

Since 2001 groundwater
abstraction has been reduced, with significant improvements occur
ring during the 2003 academic year.
This has been due to a combination of factors, including monitoring and the subsequent reduction in
use, as well as the changes in usage due to recent milder climatic conditions.


However, the South Street campus is dr
awing ground water in excess of its abstraction licence, which is
439,000 kilolitres per annum. Over 2001 and 2002 the abstraction level exceeded the licence by around
30%. Given the present abstraction (up to September) is 299,500 kilolitres, the total a
bstraction for
2003 is likely to fall around 460,000 kilolitres (5% over the licence limit). It is reported the sustainable
abstraction level for the campus is approximately 800,000 kilolitres per annum, a figure which requires
further validation
(
Source
:
Mackie Martin & Assoc., 1992. from “Murdoch University Hydrogeological Study”)
. The
University has approached the Waters and Rivers Commission on this matter.


Pressure

The use of mains and ground water needs to be managed with the dynamics of medium and l
ong term
climatic cycles for Perth, while keeping the development of the University’s campuses in

mind. Any
consistent drying trends are likely to eventually increase the cost of water as well as increase restrictions
on scheme water usage, while the grow
th of the University is likely to increase usage.


At present, capture and use of rainwater on site is limited until suitable systems can be developed that
effectively manage asbestos fibres from roofing materials in the run
-
off water.


Groundwater is cur
rently only used for irrigation. One pressure on this resource is the maintenance of
grass in a suitable condition for sporting, recreation and pasture. An ongoing issue with iron bacteria
infection of irrigation infrastructure such as bores, pumps and di
stribution networks, has causes
increased costs and a reduction in the efficiency of the irrigation system.

Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



8



Response

An information resource on mains fixtures that conserve water is being compiled and will be utilised to
identify appropriate water use op
tions as part of ongoing maintenance, refurbishment and for fixtures in
new facilities.


The significant reductions in groundwater abstraction during 2003 will allow the University to potentially
meet its licence conditions, given close monitoring and good

management over the summer period.
However in the medium term, the University may need to consider an application to increase the
abstraction limit on its groundwater licence until longer
-
term appropriate water strategies can be
implemented.


With respec
t to non
-
metered water, the University has started development of an Integrated Water
Strategy to organise information gathering, analysis of data, and development of strategic options that
can form the basis of a long
-
term appropriate water strategy and m
anagement plan.


Built Environment

Condition

Most of the teaching and office buildings at Murdoch University have some external environmental
design considerations, however factors such as passive solar design, energy efficiency, embodied
energy and materi
als use have until recently been secondary factors.


Asbestos roofing remains a constraint to the application of water harvesting and other sustainability
technologies or the retrofitting of buildings.


Pressure

Government building regulations are being am
ended to incorporate improved environmental design
outcomes for housing and these are likely to be reflected in other building types. Environmental
technologies, design and community expectations are increasingly leading to innovative environmental
design

outcomes.


Elsewhere, many appropriately designed facilities have significantly reduced utility and maintenance
costs, which create economic savings in the longer
-
term, while improving greenhouse gas abatement.


The built environment subcommittee is in th
e process of being reformed. Hence, delays in its activities to
develop strategic plans, and effective monitoring and communicating systems will be delayed until that
group is functioning effectively once more.


Response

During 2004, the Environmental Comm
ittee anticipates that the built environment subcommittee will
endorse specifications for new buildings that will recognise optimal environmental design and
construction criteria.


OFM is factoring environmental design considerations into new buildings at
the design stage and has
established consultation mechanisms to achieve improved environmental design outcomes.


Sustainability indicators and assessment systems for buildings are currently being compiled for review,
with the aim of having appropriate benc
hmarking methods incorporated into future reporting structures.


Natural Environment

Condition

The Murdoch campus has a fair amount of the original flora remaining on campus. Much of this is in
good condition and includes banksia/jarrah woodland and melal
euca wetland vegetation complexes.
Some of these areas have regrown amongst the remnants of the pine forest while other areas at the
back of the campus are original.


Over the years extensive native gardens have been established around the campus and ha
ve grown to
complement the natural biodiversity values of the campus.


Pressure

Management of tree death, weed infestation and naturalised non
-
native animals will impact biodiversity
and are continuing challenges for the University. In addition any develo
pment of facilities or grounds has
the potential to impact on biodiversity through disturbance and loss of habitat.

Murdoch University Environmental Report 2003



9



Response

The natural environment subcommittee is developing a plan for the conservation of the University’s
bushland areas. A bushland asse
ssment system, currently being developed by staff and the kind
assistance of previous students, will be utilised to assist with managing sections of bushland on campus.
Additionally, the system may be useful for assessing (from an environmental perspective
) the
landscaped sections on campus. The assessment system will initially be tested and refined on two
sections of bushland near the southern boarder of the South Street campus. This approach allows
comparison between similar types of ecosystems, as well a
s analysis over time to determine ecosystem
improvement or degradation at specific locations.


As sections of campus bushland are assessed, management systems and action plans can be updated
or formulated, and resources can be allocated accordingly.


Addit
ionally, serious consideration is being given to developing outreach programmes that can involve
staff, students and the wider community to assist conserving the natural environment on campus. These
could include activities such as bush care groups and tre
e planting events.


The landscaped sections of the University’ will now be examined by the sub committee in order to create
a strategic plan that will assist in the appropriate management of the landscaped environment of the
University.



PART THREE


Fut
ure Directions


The responses to environmental pressures faced by both campuses are an indication of where future
efforts will be directed by the University as a whole. Where the Environmental Committee and the
subcommittees have made progress with regard

to energy, water and waste, further efforts are required
in 2004 to improve the situation for the natural environment and the built environment.


As the Master Plan for the University’s South Street campus evolves, the Environmental Committee, and
the ass
ociated subcommittees, will be key stakeholders in the master planning process. As such, they
can assist the University with regard to environmental planning and performance.


Generally, the University will move to have policies that guide activities that
could have impacts on the
environment. Where specific environmental management activities occur, strategy documents and
action plans will indicate their focus, scope and progress. Finally, monitoring, analysis and reporting will
allow review of the Univers
ity’s activities to provide the opportunity to adjust, initiate, expand or
consolidate environmental programmes and projects.


Within the monitoring and review process additional focus will be given to key environmental
performance indicators and robust as
sessment systems to provide mechanisms for comparative
benchmarking with similar activities and systems, as well as determination of environmental
performance over time.


Murdoch University, like many Australian and international institutions and organisat
ions, seeks to
become more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The environment provides the
foundation for social and economic systems to operate. Where a tertiary educational institution can
maintain a correct balance between the econo
mic, social and environmental dimensions, then it can be
claimed that such an institution should be considered sustainable. Although Murdoch University has yet
to achieve sustainability from the perspective of environmental impact, it is making a concerted

effort to
achieve that objective.