Our Environmental Initiatives

At the School of Economics we are aware that office activities impact the environment and is committed to improving the environmental sustainability of our office. We joined the University's Green Office Initiative in 2010 and now has a "Green Team" of staff members who monitor our School's environmental awareness and performance, and promote UQ initiatives and sustainable behaviour in the School.
Since 2010, our Green Office rating has jumped from 67% to an outstanding 81% and in 2014 our Green Team won the UQ Green Program award for 'Most Motivated Team'! Green Office Ratings are determined by a number of variables, including individual awareness and energy use and the School's overall implementation of the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' policy.
2014 initiatives included introducing rechargeable batteries to be used in School electronic equipment; installing motion sensor lighting; promoting the use of electronic signatures and forms.
2015 initiatives include the purchase of 30 coffee mugs embossed with the School's logo to be used by staff in place of disposable cups and a continued focus on an online marking system to reduce paper use.

The School of Economics - Overall Green Office Rating

The Overall Green Office rating is an average of all tested components including
  • Individual:
    • Awareness
    • Energy use
    • Reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Purchasing officer interview
  • School workstation energy use
  • Workstation reduce, reuse and recycle
  • School reduce, reuse and recycle


School of Economics Paper Usage

November 2009 - October 2010, used 1640 reams
November 2010 - October 2011, used 1410 reams a 14% Reduction
November 2011 - October 2012, used 1421 reams a .01% Increase
November 2012 - October 2013, used 1247 reams a 12% Reduction
November 2013 - October 2014, used 979 reams a 21% Reduction
November 2014 - October 2015, used 675 reams a 32% Reduction

School of Economics Energy Usage

Combined energy consumption levels 5 and 6

November 2010 - October 2011
229,000 kWh
November 2011 - October 2012
230,648 kWh
November 2012 - October 2013
239,732 kWh
November 2013 - October 2014
260,822 kWh

The School's green initiatives include:

  • Implementing the University's Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, including an increase from 0% to 95% of the paper purchased by the School being recycled
  • Setting all computers to double sided printing by default
  • Providing a paper recycle box at each work station
  • Providing a box for battery recycling and disposal in the central stationery and printing room
  • Providing of durable (re-usable) glasses, crockery and cutlery at School functions and meetings
  • Phasing out desktop printers in favour of more energy and toner efficient multi-function devices in the central stationery and printing room on each floor
  • Installation of motion sensor lights in all kitchenettes and bathrooms
  • Recycling used toner cartridges from printers and copiers
  • Recycling of old IT equipment and furniture
  • Use of re-manufactured toner cartridges for printers
  • Development of guidelines for environmentally responsible records management
  • Introduction of electronic timesheets for administrative staff
  • Introduction of rechargeable batteries (and recharging station) for all School computer mice, keyboards, microphones and pointers
  • An information session and volunteer trial for online marking
  • Purchase of 50 tablets for use by teaching staff to enable online marking and to provide an enriched teaching and learning environment for our students
  • The School of Economics promotes environmentally sustainable work practices and reinforces the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" motto by encouraging staff to:
  • Switch off lights if the area will be unattended for more than 30 minutes
  • Use energy saving computer settings
  • Turn off computer hard drives and monitors when not in use, especially at the end of the day
  • Turn off electrical equipment (printers, copiers, microwave) at the end of each the day.
  • Send printing to the large multi-function devices on each floor rather than to individual desktop printers
  • Minimise printing wherever possible
  • Print and photocopy on both sides of a piece of paper
  • Re-use single-sided paper for draft copies or notepaper
  • Approve actions and forms via email endorsement/electronic signature
  • Locate and use the glass, aluminium and plastic recycling bins on each floor
  • Locate and use the paper and cardboard recycling bins on each floor
  • Use the battery recycling/disposal box located in the central stationery and printing room
  • Use durable mugs/cups when buying coffee
  • Use refillable water bottles
  • Use sustainable transport for travel to UQ, such as public transport, walking, cycling or car-pooling.
  • Provide suggestions and feedback to improve the Schools environmental performance