Unitec is making some big commitments to create a more sustainable future by adopting the international One Planet Living initiative.
The first in New Zealand to adopt it, One Planet commits Unitec to reducing its carbon footprint by more than 50 per cent over the next 15 years.
One Planet Living is a global initiative providing a vision and a set of guiding principles for a more sustainable world.
By adopting One Planet Unitec is ensuring graduates become kaitiaki - environmental guardians - with the skills and knowledge needed to work sustainably regardless of the profession they enter.
“This will help us play our part in protecting our environment and using the earth’s resources more wisely,” says Dr Rick Ede, Chief Executive of Unitec.
“It will help us build a brighter future for our graduates as we produce leaders in sustainable thinking. We want to help our graduates develop the skills they need to create a society that values people and the planet, as well as profits, to help ensure we provide proper stewardship of our planet's resources for the generations to come.”
The initiative will focus on teaching, research, collaboration with local communities and industries, and a significant investment in greening its campus.
“Over the next ten years we are redeveloping and consolidating our campuses to deliver a more modern and sustainable education environment,” says Dr Ede.
To achieve targets Unitec is refurbishing existing facilities and designing and building new ones to optimise use of space, energy and water and minimise waste and materials.
Unitec is also working towards more sustainable transport options including improved transport linkages and shared pedestrian and cycle ways.
The One Planet commitments also align with Auckland Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan and its Low Carbon Strategic Action Plan.
“We want to support Auckland Council in achieving these wider regional sustainability targets,” Dr Ede says.
As part of One Planet Unitec has launched a carbon pledge challenge inviting students, staff, ordinary kiwis, businesses and schools to share their carbon commitments. The challenge has already seen over 231 pledges, totalling a huge 1818 tonnes of carbon saved.
To learn more about Unitec’s One Planet initiative or to make your own carbon pledge, visit Unitec's One Planet website.