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A brighter tomorrow: understanding Curtin’s commitment to sustainability 

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With more and more of us making lifestyle choices that reduce our impact on the planet, it stands to reason that education providers want to play their part in promoting sustainability. Here at Curtin, we’re stepping up to the challenge of helping to create a sustainable world.  

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the key steps Curtin is taking to contribute to environmental responsibility and advocate for a brighter future for all. 

What is sustainability? 

The United Nations (UN) defines sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  
Simply put, it’s about finding ways to develop and grow while making sure the world has resources enough to support itself for years to come. 

Curtin’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 

At Curtin, we are committed to a range of initiatives and efforts that keep us accountable to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were established in 2015. The SDGs aim to create a more sustainable and equitable world by 2030.  
The SDGs cover a wide range of issues, including social, economic and environmental concerns. Each goal has specific targets to track progress and ensure accountability. 

Here are some of the ways that Curtin is contributing to the SDGs. 

Quality Education (Goal 4) 

SDG4 aims to eliminate discrimination in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education for the vulnerable, including women, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples.  

Curtin actively upholds and works towards this mission through a variety of diversity and inclusion initiatives, one being the Indigenous Cultural Capability Framework (ICCF). The ICCF is a core component of Curtin’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commitment, integrating content into courses to ensure graduates are culturally competent to engage respectfully with local First Peoples and other diverse cultures. 

Curtin also works to raise awareness and influence change in gender equity policy through the Gender Research Network (GRN). The GRN unites Curtin gender researchers and those interested in learning about gender research, and regularly holds events to share current gender research being undertaken at Curtin and externally. 

Affordable and Clean Energy (Goal 7) 

The Curtin Institute for Energy Transition (CIET) facilitates multidisciplinary research, bringing together perspectives from a broad range of areas – artists and writers, biologists and geologists, engineers and physicists, and philosophers and social scientists – to champion interdisciplinary collaboration to effectively address the issue of climate change. Our Institute brings together researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds, providing the skills, knowledge and thought leadership to safely and fairly transition to a clean energy future. 

Climate Action (Goal 13) 

We are actively researching ways to address problems created by climate change, specifically addressing the UN’s global sustainable development goals Our research strengths include sustainable consumption, sustainable fashion, and participatory sustainability – encouraging young people to display pro-environmental behaviours and be more proactive about tackling climate change challenges.  

To learn more about the work of Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP), visit our Sustainable development page

Partnerships (Goal 17) 

We collaborate with various partners (including government agencies, industries and community organisations) to drive meaningful change and create sustainable futures.  

The Sustainability Challenge – an industry-partnered, challenge-based unit that enhances learning through immersive experience – is a key example of this commitment. Throughout the week-long challenge, multidisciplinary student teams develop solutions to real-world challenges presented by industry members. At the end of the week, students left more informed and better equipped to advance positive environmental change. 

Reduced Inequalities (Goal 10) 

Our Centre for Human Rights Education – which celebrated its 20th year in 2023 – is committed to fostering dialogue and understanding across cultures and societies. Its members work with, hold direct discussions with, and advocate for human rights communities and marginalised peoples. The Centre’s ultimate goal is to shine a light on the importance of lived experience and social justice at local, national and international levels.   

Course offerings 

Curtin recognises the potential of education to drive transformative change, and we integrate sustainability principles into the courses we offer. Students at Curtin have the opportunity to study in specialised fields that promote a more sustainable future.  

  • The Agricultural Science major embraces regenerative practices, balancing food production with ecological wellbeing.  
  • An Economics major includes a focus on sustainable resource management and equitable growth. 
  • An Environmental Science major allows students to gain expertise in a range of disciplines, including ecology, environmental management, conservation and sustainability. 

On-campus facilities 

At Curtin, all campuses are designed to be welcoming and vibrant spaces where the broader university community can engage with our academic, entrepreneurial and commercial activities. In addition to inclusivity, sustainability is at the heart of these spaces. 

In 2020, the Greater Curtin Master Plan was awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Communities recertification from the Green Building Council of Australia – an upgrade from the 5 Star certification it received in 2015.  

Additionally, Curtin’s Exchange precinct in Bentley – which seeks to connect people by bringing together industry, community and education in one place – received the Environmental Excellence Award from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA). Throughout the development of Exchange, Curtin prioritised carbon reduction, responsible water management and walkability. Now, the precinct serves as a sustainable hub where residents, students and visitors can exercise, relax and socialise. 

Curtin is also home to several specialised research centres dedicated to promoting sustainable growth and change. There are many ways to get involved with our research teams, ranging from technology and innovation, training programs, policy and advocacy, collecting field data and writing reports. 

Our commitment to sustainability is further represented through the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute. CUSP serves as a hub for research, collaboration and spreading knowledge focused on sustainability. It plays an important role in creating strategies that advance sustainability on a local and global scale. 

Curtin is a great place to learn, grow and advocate for a sustainable future. Want to make your own contribution to global sustainability? Find your ideal course today.

This post is correct as of 15 January 2024, but is subject to change by Curtin University (in its sole discretion). Curtin University may change the content, and its location or blog, post, and web address. This post contains general information only. Users should consider how it applies to their personal circumstances and seek specific advice. This blog, post, and our website are not intended as, and shall not be construed as legal, financial, tax, medical, health, or any other professional advice.
© Curtin University 2024.

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