Sustainability Report 2014/15
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Governance and Sustainability Approach

The University recognizes the importance of establishing and implementing an effective framework of governance and management in directing and monitoring its operation and development. PolyU’s governance system is overseen by the Council, the Court, and the Senate. The University Council, consisting of 25 members, is the governing body of the University and is supported by 12 Committees according to the terms of reference prescribed by Council. The University Court is a supreme advisory body to the Council on matters of direction, with a view to promoting the well-being of the University.

Appointed by the Council, the Senate is the highest authority on all academic and related matters within the institution, with its membership drawn from across the University community, and a number of Faculty/School Boards and standing committees looking after various policy/function areas related to academic governance.

The University adopts an executive-led management system in which executives assume full responsibility and accountability for their respective portfolios, and are given corresponding authority for the purpose of discharging their responsibilities. The University maintains an effective internal control system to monitor the exercise of executive authorities, safeguard the University’s assets, and ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements as appropriate. The Internal Audit Unit, reporting directly to the Audit Committee, provides independent appraisals within the University to ensure and improve the quality of PolyU operations.

We are committed to the principles of good governance which secure our standing as a high-performing institution of teaching and research, as well as a consultancy and professional service provider for the society. The cornerstones of these principles include academic freedom and autonomy, value-added performance in student education and academic advancement, public accountability and social responsibility, transparency, ethics and professionalism.

The University upholds its role as environmental stewardship and rises to emerging sustainability challenges. We ensure that we adapt and translate best practices into action around campus, with a sound and holistic sustainability governance approach that is fleshed out with a set of university-wide strategies. After an initial focus on building academic and environmental campus facilities and conserving natural resources, PolyU reinforced its sustainability governance and established the Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC) in 2011. As a milestone in the sustainable development and one of the consultative groups of the University, CSC comprises PolyU’s senior members and reports directly to the President. It acts as a central planner and executor of sustainability policies and strategies of campus environment and facilities. CSC also fosters sustainability initiatives specifically in education, research and community service activities.

Campus Sustainability Management Structure

  • President
  • Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC)
  • Secretariat:
    Campus Sustainability Section of HSEO
  • Members across the University who are in representation of the University community:
    • Faculties, Schools and Departments
    • Administrative and Supporting Offices
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Staff Association
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Students’ Union
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Postgraduate Association
    • The Federation of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Alumni
  • Departmental Environmental Coordinators (DECs)

During the reporting year, the Health, Safety and Environment Office (HSEO) took up the role of CSC’s Secretariat in promulgating and executing sustainability and environmental policies. Departmental Environmental Coordinators (DECs) (subsequently rebranded as ‘Departmental Green Officers’) were appointed across departments and offices to give environmental management advice and support for Deans, Directors, and Heads of all Faculties, Schools, Departments and Offices. They tackle green issues and spread sustainability messages by closely liaising with HSEO’s Campus Sustainability Section, acting as reliable promoters of sustainability culture at the departmental and office level.