Lincoln University has long taken environmental sustainability very seriously. In 1990 the staff-student group Lincoln Environmental Organisation (LEO) was established. Three years later the University Council adopted an Environmental Charter. This quickly saw the publication of an Environmental Policy in 1993 (a first among New Zealand tertiary establishments). In 1999 the University agreed to establish an Environmental Task Force with the aim of implementing the Environmental Policy. For the University, the Millennium opened with a push for a new environmental policy. This was later revised in 2006 and again in 2010. The University now has an Environmental Sustainability Policy and an Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group (popularly called SAGE or the ‘Sustainability Advisory Group for our Environment’). This group has staff and student representation and the Chair of that group reports directly to the Vice Chancellor.
In addition to SAGE, an important role is played by LEO with strong support from LUSA. These groups help to ensure that the University ‘treads lightly on the Earth’. This has been achieved by major and significant efforts in energy conservation, water management and resource recovery. Lincoln University (together with Canterbury University and CPIT) has acknowledged that environmental sustainability must occur within the University operations but also in research, education and extension activities. For example, from the very beginning Lincoln University has been a major supporter of the Lincoln Envirotown project. The University provides an office and also resources for the Chair of the Lincoln Envirotown Trust.
A milestone was recently achieved with the completion of the building to house the School of Landscape Architecture. There are several good design features including locally sourced materials with a life span of over 100 years and which require minimal maintenance. It has won several local and national architectural awards.
Lincoln University’s achievements in education for sustainability have been summarised in research publications. Two of these publications in peer reviewed journals have received ‘Outstanding paper Awards’ from the Emerald Literati Network: “Need a university adopt a formal environmental management system? Progress without an EMS at a small university” and "Education for sustainability: Developing a postgraduate-level subject with an international perspective".
Everyone on Campus can and should help with environmental sustainability, where even simple actions such as switching off unnecessary lights and only printing those essential documents can make a real difference. Please help by taking action yourself or by making suggestions to either SAGE or LEO. We welcome your comments and ideas.
Greg Ryan Group Chair
Ian Spellerberg Deputy Chair, Academic Staff Representative
Roddy Hale Academic Staff Representative
Wendy McWilliam Academic Staff Representative
LUSA President Student Representative
Scott Walters General Staff Representative
Suzanne Huddlestone General Staff Representative
Andrew Lingard General Staff Representative
Bruce Stewart General Staff Representative
Sue Jarvis Lincoln Envirotown Trust
If you have any concerns, comments or ideas regarding any environmental matters around campus, or the wider community, we look forward to hearing from you.