Part 1: University leadership – ambitious commitments

Introduction

We previously discussed in a 2017 blog post the actions and commitments of several universities who demonstrate sustainable energy leadership. We highlighted examples of leading clean energy and low carbon research, divestments from fossil fuels, and examples of targets and actions by universities to reduce their own carbon footprint.

As we have done with our analysis of local governments and communities, our new blog post series takes a more comprehensive look at the commitments, actions and achievements of Australia’s public tertiary education sector. Like local government, universities have the capacity to influence climate change responses well beyond their own operations, through their research, education, investments, as well as their commitments to renewables and climate change mitigation and adaptation within their operations.

In this first blog post, we highlight the ambitious renewable energy and net zero or carbon neutral commitments of 13 leading universities across Australia. In a later post, we will look at some of the actions and achievements of these institutions, highlighting actions they are taking to progress towards or exceed their targets.

In other blog posts in this series, we will report on a range of other aspects of universities’ climate change performance, including:

  • Renewable energy and carbon targets, commitments and achievements by 26 other universities across Australia
  • Commitments to built environment, such as Green Star certified buildings
  • Universities that are signatories to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their progress on these
  • Universities with fossil fuel divestment commitments
  • Case examples of leading projects and achievements

Universities 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality commitments

Universities 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality commitments
Universities 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality commitments

Below is the list of universities in Australia who have demonstrated sustainable energy leadership with their ambitious commitments to 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality.

NoStateUniversityAcronymRenewable energy CommitmentRenewable energy Commitment
1NSWCharles Sturt UniversityCSUOnsite generation of renewable energy to all campusesFirst university to obtain NCOS/Climate Active-accredited carbon neutral status in 2015
2NSWUniversity of NewcastleNEWCASTLEDeliver 100% renewable electricity across our Newcastle and Central Coast campuses from 1 January 2020Achieve carbon neutrality by 2025
3NSWUniversity of New South WalesUNSW100% renewable electricity by 2020Carbon neutrality on energy use by 2020
4QLDUniversity of QueenslandUQ100% renewable energy by 2020Reduction in the university’s carbon footprint
5QLDUniversity of the Sunshine CoastUSCWater battery located at USC - cuts energy usage by 40%Carbon neutral by 2025
6QLDUniversity of Southern QueenslandUSQCommitted to achieve 100% renewable energy by installing a Sustainable Energy SolutionCarbon neutral by 2020
7SAFlinders UniversityFLINDERSGenerate 30% of our energy needs from renewable sourcesAchieve zero net emissions from electricity by 2021
8VICDeakin UniversityDEAKINSustainable microgrid systems in the community and their effective integration with existing energy networksCarbon neutral by 2030
9VICLa Trobe UniversityLATROBERenewable energy project will increase our solar generation by 200%Carbon neutral by 2029 and our regional campuses are set to become carbon neutral by 2022.
10VICRMIT UniversityRMIT100% renewable energy from 2019Carbon neutral by 2030
11VICMonash UniversityMONASH100% renewable energy by 2030Net zero carbon emissions from Australian campuses by 2030
12VICUniversity of MelbourneUNIMELB100% renewable energy by 2021Carbon neutral by 2030
13WAUniversity of Western AustraliaUWA100% renewable energy by 2025Energy carbon neutral by 2025

 

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