La Trobe University’s Mildura and Shepparton campuses are officially net zero.
They are the first Victorian university campuses to achieve this important milestone.
The announcement comes as part of the University’s $75 million commitment to become carbon neutral across all its campuses.
The Bundoora campus in Melbourne will be carbon neutral by 2029 while all of the regional campuses are expected to reach the target by the end of 2022.
La Trobe University vice-chancellor professor John Dewar AO said he was proud of what the university had been able to achieve in a short timeframe.
“We announced our ambitious plan less than three years ago, in August 2019, because not only was it the right thing to do, it also made good economic and environmental sense,” Professor Dewar said.
“Many organisations have bold targets for reducing their emissions – but moving from ambition to action can be where the real challenge lies.
“We’ve set very specific goals, and we’re achieving them through timely actions so our staff, students and communities will benefit for years to come.”
Greater Shepparton city council mayor, Kim O’Keeffe, said the achievement was a positive step for the region and worked to support the need for urgent climate emergency action.
“Greater Shepparton City Council are working consistently to help promote and improve the climate and sustainability of our region and it is fantastic to see organisations across the municipality understand this need for change to maintain a safe climate for all,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
A range of projects have been implemented on each campus, including the installation of rooftop solar panels, energy efficient LED lights, mechanical system efficiency upgrades, and batteries to store solar energy.
In 2021, La Trobe generated enough renewables across all campuses to power all regional campuses for the entire year. Today in Mildura, 78 per cent of the campus is self-powered during the day. In Shepparton, the solar panels alone supply 36 per cent of the campus’ daytime energy use.