About VU

Environmental sustainability

We are committed to improving our environmental sustainability performance across all our campuses and fostering education for sustainability in our teaching, learning and research.

Reducing our water usage

The following stories are some of the initiatives that have resulted in such significant water savings, with over $100,000 support from City West Water.

Rainwater and recycled water in swimming pool

A state-of-the-art rainwater harvesting and backwash treatment facility at our Footscray Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre saves approximately 2 million litres of water annually. The rainwater harvested provides water for the pool balance tank and change room toilets.

In addition, the pool backwash water is filtered and treated for re-use in the pool. More information about the pool rainwater tanks and backwash treatment facility.

Single flush toilets

Our education campaigns encourage water use reduction. Toilets across all campuses have progressively been upgraded from single to dual flush, with signage included in all bathrooms to encourage water saving behaviour. All building refurbishments include toilet standards to ensure maximum water savings are achieved.

Water metering

The installation of water sub-metering has greatly improved monitoring of water use across our campuses. This has resulted in improved water management and detection of leaks in buildings and facilities.

Water saving award

At the 2011 Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) Conference, Victoria University received a highly commended award for its water saving program in the 2011 Green Gown Awards Australasia in the Continuous Improvement - Specific Area category.

Energy & greenhouse gas initiatives

Energy and greenhouse gas efficiency projects are ongoing at VU.

Renewable energy

We have a couple of renewable energy sites that produce around 13,000kWhrs per year. They are located at our St Albans and Sunshine campuses.

Ride to Work Day


Staff and students participating in Ride to Work Day.

We encourage our staff and students to participate in the annual Australia-wide Ride to Work Day.

We run an annual Ride to Uni Day breakfast which aims to encourage people to get on their bike and ride to work or class. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer emissions, improved air quality and healthy staff and students. On the day we offer free bike checks and adjustments for all participants as well as a chance to win great prizes, just for being involved. Keep an eye out for our breakfast in October and we hope to see you there!

Carpooling initiative

VU has partnered with 9 organisations in the Western region of Melbourne to implement a free car-pooling program called Carpool the West. This program is open to all students and staff members of VU and it’s free, it only takes minutes to sign up and from there you can search for other program members to link up with. All of your personal information is protected.

VU will be installing some priority parking spaces for car-pool members at our Footscray Park Campus so keep an eye out for them. They will have the Carpool the West logo on them, designating them for car-poolers only.

IT sustainability

One of many IT sustainability initiatives, the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Data Centre and IT Facilities at the Sunshine Campus reduces greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 600 tonnes CO2-e per year, saving approximately $40,000 annually on energy bills.

New energy efficient buildings

All new buildings at VU are designed to a minimum 5 Star Green Star-Education rating. The Sport and Learning Precinct building at Footscray Park Campus not only features state-of-the-art sport and exercise science facilities and student learning spaces, but also has an array of sustainable design features.

Waste & recycling

Almost everything can be re-used or recycled at VU!

On campus we recycle the following in our yellow labelled recycle bins:

  • paper
  • cardboard
  • bottles
  • cans
  • plastic numbered 1-7.

Recycle bins are located all around campus and are easy to find. Make sure you bin it right!

Mobile phones and accessories can be recycled in special bins located at each library.

Our offices and teaching areas recycle:

  • toner cartridges
  • electronic equipment
  • mobile phones and batteries
  • scrap metal (Sunshine Campus).

We also re-use office furniture during relocations.

Sustainability in our courses

Take a look at our sustainability courses and sustainability units.

Our students have the opportunity to participate in Environmental Sustainability programs on campus and as part of their course work.

We encourage any student or student group that is interested in running a sustainability-related project to contact environment@vu.edu.au. We can help with project planning and development as well as funds to assist you to get your idea up and running.

Past projects

  • Students from Footscray Nicholson Campus encouraged the cafeteria to give a discount for people who purchased a coffee using their own reusable cup.
  • A Community Development student helped get the solar powered fountain near Building D, Footscray Park, restarted after years of dormancy.
  • Student group Sustainable Living and Urban Gardening Group (SLUGG) created a community garden space complete with wall garden on the Footscray Park Campus.
  • Masters of Applied Psychology students developed a 'No butts' campaign to promote the responsible disposal of cigarette butts.

A mixture of Multimedia, Communications and Public Relations students ran an Environment Day as part of their coursework to promote environmental awareness on campus. The successful events included a recycled fashion parade, a 'green police' video and an environmental pledge signing ceremony.

Research into environmental sustainability

Our Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI) conducts environmental sustainability research. ISI has a key focus on water research, in particular research on membranes.

Environmental sustainability research is also conducted by our:

Environment policy

We have a university-wide policy to improve our environmental sustainability performance.

Contact us

If you would like any further information about environment and sustainability programs at Victoria University please contact environment@vu.edu.au or:

Matt Cairns

Environment Programs Officer, Facilities Department

Phone: +61 3 9919 4577

Emailmatthew.cairns@vu.edu.au