Sustainability is a relevant theme for Unitec students to explore in their programmes of study. At work, sustainable practices can provide a competitive advantage for organisations, so students with sustainability knowledge and skills have real value.

At Unitec Institute of Technology, the core value of Environmental Sustainability is simple – making sure that in meeting our needs we don't reduce the opportunity for future generations to meet theirs*. Unitec has a proud history of teaching environmental, social, cultural and economic skills, operating an efficient campus, and tackling complexity with trans-disciplinary action, learning and research this graduate outcomes is part of a deliberate strategy to ensure environmental sustainability is taught in all programmes of study at Unitec.

 The aim of this post is to provide resources, and support to programme development teams to consider sustainability in their own context.  A successful outcome will be the development of a sustainability outcome for the programme graduate profile, and integration into course learning outcomes, and assessment activities.


By the end of this session you will be able to:
Knowledge: To understand the concepts and principles of sustainability.
Skills: Develop a graduate outcome to support student engagement with sustainability in your programme.
Values: Commit to providing student to with the knowledge, skills and attributes to ensure success in their first five years of work.
People: Collaborate effectively with students, stakeholders and the programme development team members.
Learn: Access, evaluate and share resources which develops sustainability in your programme of study.
Integrate: Embed a sustainability graduate outcome in course learning outcomes and assessments.


Unitec's Environment Sustainability Strategy


Our vision is that every Unitec student will gain an understanding of sustainability from an individual and cultural perspective. They will learn the tools and strategies they need to apply sustainability in real-world situations. Unitec will become a leader in offering integrated, specialised sustainability programmes that cut across disciplines. Through our programmes and courses we will help to produce the leaders we need for a sustainable future.

ES related teaching will be based on real information from authentic New Zealand contexts and practical examples. This will include reference to Unitec’s own campus measurement frameworks and associated research, so that we use our own environment to gain real-world experience.
The main goals of Unitec’s environmental sustainability teaching strategy will be to:

1) Develop a community of educators to engage in issues of sustainability curriculum development

2) Include and promote relevant ES components in all teaching programmes

3) Develop trans-disciplinary ES qualifications at post-graduate level

4) Provide the necessary resources to support the delivery of a ‘greened’ curriculum, including support and recognition for staff with ES related teaching expertise, training for staff, and scholarly information resources.

5) Evaluate the ES knowledge and practice of students as they progress.

6) Ensure our teaching delivery processes and locations are as energy and resource efficient as possible.

To find out more about the Unitec Environmental Sustainability Strategy here.

This is a 4.5 min introduction to the work of leading sustainable development non-profit The film features interviews with key players in the organisation and includes two case studies of work carried out in partnership with AkzoNobel and Cadbury. Visit the site to learn more about the work they do in business and the public sector


To fully integrate sustainability into your programme of study, you will need to craft a graduate profile statement. To help you do this we have provided some sample statements from other institutions.
You will find the resources here.....

We have developed these questions to prompt your thinking about sustainability in your profession or vocation.

Conversation Starters


What are the current trends in sustainability in the workplace of your graduates?
  2. How does your vocation or professional body view sustainability?

  3. What practices are emerging in your vocation or profession?


  4. What international standards are in place to support sustainability in your vocation or profession?

  5. How does an expert in your professional manage sustainability issues?

  6. What technologies does your profession or vocation use to enhance sustainability issues?

Once you have developed a graduate profile statement you will need to embed it into your course learning outcomes and assessments. We have resources and training which will support your staff.  See our resource Designing courses for significant learning.


You may like to take time to consider how sustainability will help your students succeed in the first five years of work. To do this you will need to consult with graduates and employers. You current students will benefit from a clear explanation of the need for sustainability knowledge and skills in their career and you may like to include this in your student handbook and make it available in your programme information.


To ensure you have the information you need to make good decisions about sustainability, you will need to work closely with students, graduates, employers, and professional bodies. We advise you to set up a consultation project, and survey your stakeholders to gather key information and ideas about sustainabililty.


You will find a centralised and accessible knowledge base which support information skills valuable to both staff and students. You could do this through a Moodle site, or any other social network. The key is to have a knowledge based that is accessible and to which staff and students can contribute resources.


Once you have created your information skills graduate outcome, it should be embedded into course learning outcomes and assessments. We suggest you map your Information Skills outcome across your programme of study.
For more on Curriculum Mapping click here ....

We also suggest you periodically review the effectiveness of your graduate profile. To do this we have created a short introduction to our student, staff and stakeholder survey. Find out more here....

If you would like more information or assistance, please contact your Te Puna Ako academic advisors.


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Last updated by Diana Ayling Apr 18, 2013.

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