PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST WAS UPDATED IN FEBRUARY 2021. PLEASE GO TO THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR THE UPDATED VERSION:
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 14 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
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.
|No||State||University||Renewable energy Commitment||Renewable energy Commitment|
|1||NSW||Charles Sturt University||Onsite generation of renewable energy to all campuses||First university to obtain NCOS/Climate Active-accredited carbon neutral status in 2015|
|2||NSW||University of Newcastle||Deliver 100% renewable electricity across our Newcastle and Central Coast campuses from 1 January 2020||Achieve carbon neutrality by 2025|
|3||NSW||University of New South Wales||100% renewable electricity by 2020||Carbon neutrality on energy use by 2020|
|4||QLD||University of Queensland||100% renewable energy by 2020||Reduction in the university’s carbon footprint|
|5||QLD||University of the Sunshine Coast||Water battery located at USC - cuts energy usage by 40%||Carbon neutral by 2025|
|6||QLD||University of Southern Queensland||Committed to achieve 100% renewable energy by installing a Sustainable Energy Solution||Carbon neutral by 2020|
|7||SA||Flinders University||Generate 30% of our energy needs from renewable sources||Achieve zero net emissions from electricity by 2021|
|8||VIC||Deakin University||Sustainable microgrid systems in the community and their effective integration with existing energy networks||Carbon neutral by 2030|
|9||VIC||La Trobe University||Renewable 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.|
|10||VIC||RMIT University||100% renewable energy from 2019||Carbon neutral by 2030|
|11||VIC||Monash University||100% renewable energy by 2030||Net zero carbon emissions from Australian campuses by 2030|
|12||VIC||Swinburne University of Technology||Commit to 100% renewable energy procurement by 31 July 2020||Carbon neutral by 2025|
|13||VIC||University of Melbourne||100% renewable energy by 2021||Carbon neutral by 2030|
|14||WA||University of Western Australia||100% renewable energy by 2025||Energy carbon neutral by 2025|
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