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Sustainable Development Targets

On examining the United Nations' goals, the University of Otago could see that this is an extremely difficult task to accomplish. Therefore, the University created 4 targets which include all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These targets are:

On examining the United Nations’ goals, the University of Otago could see that this is an extremely difficult task to accomplish. Therefore, the University created 4 targets which include all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These targets are:

  1. Cut our total carbon footprint by 33% by 2020
  2. Be 20% more energy efficient by 2025
  3. Be 100% renewable by 2030
  4. Reduce waste to landfill by 50% by 2021

First Sustainable Target Achieved

The first target has now been achieved. This leaves 3 more targets to achieve by the end of 2021, 2025, and 2030. The catch-phrase for the 4 targets that the University is aiming to achieve can be captured in the phrase: “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

A man surrounding with the 4 different types of recycling bins (Landfill, glass, paper and Mixed Recycling)

Sustainable Development Themes

Each target is achieved by selecting 6 themes. As has been mentioned in a previous step, (see SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities) these 6 themes are collectively known as “Green your scene.” They include:

  1. Waste,
  2. Energy,
  3. Transport,
  4. Engagement
  5. Leadership and Innovation
  6. Inclusion and Well-being

It is important to notice that it is difficult to put any one of the 4 targets into just 1 theme. In order to achieve just one target a lot of action needs to take place in different areas. There is a lot of “cross-over” of the themes.

Green Your Scene

People working, studying or living in the same area are encouraged to “Green Your Scene” in whatever way they can. Remember, that doing just one thing, may cross-over into another area. For example, by using a reusable coffee cup, you would make a saving in the themes, “waste,” “energy,” and “transport.” People are encouraged to work together and create positive change and to see how just one small action can make a big difference in other themes as well.

"Green your scene get amongst it" campaign banner, with two ladies smiling in the background

Green Your Scene is designed, or created, to embed sustainable practices into the mind-set of everybody at the University. This is achieved by the use of “Impact Guides.” These impact guides are tools to support teams, departments, colleges, etc., to collectively change their workplace, college, kitchen or food outlet. It is aimed at providing real sustainability practice at the grassroots level in a fun way.

Sustainable Practices Impact Guides

The impact guides include:

  • Workplace
  • Colleges
  • Kitchens
  • Food outlets
  • Sustainable Events Guide
  • Bin labels
  • Switch prompts
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) booklet
  • Sustainable Strategic Framework

Any team that can show that they are doing some of the actions in these Impact Guides can get recognised with annual awards.

Collage of different groups/ teams of people who have won a prize and are now celebrating

At any time, the Centre for Sustainability can offer advice and guidance as to how to carry out or achieve these plans for action. Teams succeed in “greening their scene” when they are passionate and motivated. Green Your Scene recognises the power of staff and students to take small steps together towards sustainability on a daily basis, and as always, have a lot of fun doing it!

Look at how the expression “green your scene” can be used in everyday conversation.

Erina: “Hey, let’s green our scene tomorrow.
Losang: “No, problem, I thought that we needed to plant out some more vegetables because the others are almost all used up. Actually, I’m greening my bedroom at the moment by airing it out and drying my clothes.”
Erina: “Great, I greened my bedroom yesterday, so all my clothes are now fresh and dry.”
1. selecting 2. framework 3. annual 4. embed
*Note: this vocabulary has been filtered through the Academic Word List from sublist 1 – up to and including sublist 5. Therefore, this course is designed to fit Intermediate Level English language learning students and above
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English Language Learning Through Sustainability

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