The University has a moral and legal responsibility (primarily through the Environmental Protection Act 19971), to prevent or minimise any environmental harm as a result of its actions. This includes protecting Sullivan's Creek, one of Canberra's major urban waterways, and bushland on the Acton and other campuses.

To do this the University must demonstrate due diligence by:

  • ensuring staff, students and contractors are aware of their obligations and comply with the legislation
  • establishing an environmental management system.

ANU is also required to report pollution levels annually under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and the National Pollutant Inventory.

1 This is the primary environmental pollution legislation relevant to the University.


To prevent and minimise environmental harm as a result of activities undertaken by the University.


  • Establish an Environmental Management System (1SO 14001 or equivalent) by 2018 to ensure compliance with environmental legislation
  • Conduct annual environmental audits
  • Reduce emissions of key pollutants2 by 25 per cent by 2020

2 Pollutants to be chosen with reference to National Pollutant Inventory chemicals and after the development of the Environmental Management Plan.


  • Conduct annual environmental audits and monthly monitoring of Sullivans Creek water quality
  • Continue to report under the National Pollutant Inventory and the National Greenhouse Energy Reporting Scheme
  • Continue to maintain a register of environmental incidents
  • Maintain a hazardous waste collection (see Waste section)
  • Review and monitor the effectiveness of sediment traps and gross pollutant traps on Sullivans Creek
  • Maintain central response spill kits in case of emergency
  • Ensure staff, students and contractors are trained to use the Chemical Management System and receive pollution prevention training


The University has implemented an in-house chemical management system to register and track chemicals and ensure their safe handling, storage and responsible disposal. The University also strives to prevent pollution ensuring up-to-date spill kits are available across the campus and has installed sediment trap on drains leading to Sullivans Creek. The University also conducts conducted annual risk audits.