2022 Net Zero Tracker and THE Impact Rankings of leading Australian universities

Written by: Barbara Albert

@barbaraalbert100

Free Guide – Net Zero Tracker and THE Impact Rankings of leading Australian universities 2022

About the Net Zero Tracker of Australian universities by 100% Renewables

Net zero pledges are rapidly gaining momentum as more organisations and governments commit to meeting ambitious emission reduction targets to address climate change.

Universities are among the leading sectors in responding to climate change, and we have been tracking the commitments of Australian universities for several years.

  • In Aug 2017, we published our first blog post outlining several universities’ demonstrated sustainable energy leadership across research, fossil fuel divestment and action to reduce their own carbon footprint.
  • Then in 2020, we published a blog post series on a number of sustainability leadership topics that are relevant to the tertiary education sector. This showcased 14 leading universities that had made commitments to significantly reduce their emissions and increase their use of renewables. Our series also reported on a range of related achievements such as Green Star buildings, signatories to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fossil fuel divestment commitments.
  • From 14 universities in 2020, the number of universities committing to ambitious emissions reduction and increased renewable energy use list grew to 23 by the time of our Feb 2021 update.

This article revisits the ambitious climate action commitments made by universities and provides an updated list. We also include here the latest update on the Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges and report on Australian universities’ performance in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2022.

Leader board of Australian universities

The list of leading Australian universities with ambitious emission reduction and renewable energy goals has increased from 23 to just 24 at this update, with Victoria University entering into a renewable energy PPA from mid-2021 and setting near-term net zero and climate positive goals.

Out of the 24 universities in the ambitious commitments list, 15 have committed to 100% renewable energy by or before 2030, 17 have committed to carbon neutrality by or before 2030, and 2 have committed to net-zero GHG emissions targets by 2050.

Universities’ net zero, emission reduction and renewable energy commitments

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