SDG #12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

100 recycling stations campus-wide

Sustainable principles embedded in all events

Clear targets in place to reduce waste

With a global material footprint increasing year on year, and landfills at capacity all around the world, we take efforts to reduce waste and generally champion more mindful consumption very seriously.  We are fortunate to have the support of Eco Campus who provide strong and engaging leadership and education for our staff and students.  While we have a way to go and clear monitoring and goals in place, we are making progress and were certainly pleased to see the end of single-use plastic bags and more and more staff and students using reusable coffee cups and stainless drink bottles.  We were also incredibly proud to learn that our transdisciplinary Āmiomio Aotearoa research team secured $10.9m to advance a curricular economy concept for New Zealand.  We eagerly await the impact this groundbreaking project will have on a raft of industries like construction.

Some things we are especially proud of

We have an industrial composter onsite in Hamilton called OSKA who can process 100kg of mixed organic waste every day turning it into usable compost within two months.

Our onsite worm farm diverts approximately a tonne of organic waste annually.

In 2020 we reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill from 370 tonnes to 296 tonnes.

We redeployed and gifted over 600 items of furniture in 2020 alone - a 50% increase from 2019.

We created a Green Events Guide to embed sustainable principles in all events planning and we embrace online events wherever possible.

We hosted a free online event about plastic pollution which including a film screening and panel discussion.


Our commitment to waste reduction on campus

Our comprehensive Waste Minimisation and Management Programme lays out a clear roadmap for reducing waste on campus.  We annually assess waste and report on how we are tracking and work closely with our students, staff and vendors to change mindsets and behaviour.

Through successive waste audits we have discovered almost 70% of our waste to landfill is recyclable, the largest components being food waste, glass bottles, paper and plastic packaging. We are constantly innovating and educating our people to improve this result.

Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts

Green events the new norm on campus

We hold hundreds of events each year across our two campuses and in 2020 many of these were delivered virtually as a result of Covid-19. This has become our new normal and we are seeing some great sustainability gains from this approach with the reduced emissions from transport and resources. We also issued a new guide for staff called the Green Events Guide to embed sustainability principles throughout the event planning and execution process. Some of the other key changes to events include:

  • Moving to online-only programmes and ticketing systems
  • Minimal use of single-use plates, cups and cutlery
  • Avoidance of ‘goodie bags’
  • Catering with caution to avoid food waste
Kim Pickering

Advancing a Circular Economy Concept for New Zealand

In 2020 we received $10.9m from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to explore a circular economy concept created for New Zealand. Over the next seven years the multidisciplinary project team, led by Professor Kim Pickering, will deliver a programme of work ultimately aimed at reducing waste and the continual use of resources by seeking a sustainable model of production and consumption of goods and services in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which follows a ‘take, make, dispose’ model as resources are only used once.