RMIT: Sustainability reporting and mentoring

“We valued the high levels of engagement with ACCSR to work at various levels of the University – with executives, data owners and the Sustainability Committee. We couldn’t put just anyone in front of our executives to advocate for sustainability reporting.”
Linda Stevenson, Senior Manager, Sustainability, RMIT

We worked with RMIT University to benchmark its performance and form the business case to develop its first public sustainability report.

The client challenge

RMIT University is a leading design, technology and enterprise institution in the heart of Melbourne. It recognises its role in shaping sustainable cities not only through its operations and infrastructure, but more critically though its high-quality teaching and research. RMIT wanted to prepare a sustainability report to track its social and environmental performance, consistently communicate the good work occurring throughout the University and scale up its positive impacts.


Our approach

We benchmarked RMIT University against leading global universities to understand its sustainability performance. This identified drivers for better sustainability performance, innovation opportunities and the business case for releasing a sustainability report.

An in-depth materiality review sought stakeholder feedback on RMIT’s sustainability approach and the most important issues to report. We interviewed University executives and key external stakeholders from government, industry and the community to understand their expectations. We also facilitated a sustainability forum with staff and students as part of the University’s strategic planning process. This forum elicited valuable feedback on how to integrate sustainability, which is now evident in the new strategic plan.

The Sustainability Committee validated the materiality review results at a workshop. These issues then shaped the University’s first Global Reporting Initiative report, a communicated their commitment to the UN Global Compact.

The report aligned communications about sustainability at the University and identified clear priorities to track performance, to systematically improve performance year on year.

Read the sustainability report here