Energy and Water
Like other universities, La Trobe consumes a significant amount of energy in the delivery of its services to students and the local community. Energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions are monitored and reported annually:
- Over the financial year through La Trobe's compliance with the Australian Government's National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme; and
- Over the calendar year through La Trobe's annual sustainability performance reporting.
Due to the 6 Megawatt gas-fired cogeneration power plant that operates at the Melbourne campus, consumption of natural gas accounts for the majority of the university's total annual energy consumption. At the Melbourne campus natural gas is used to generate electricity and high temperature hot water which, through absorption chillers, is used to heat and cool buildings.
La Trobe has set energy reduction targets to 2022. To assist in meeting these targets the university undertook a detailed facilities study through the Greener Government Buildings program in 2012/13. The findings from this study have been used in the development of plans to improve energy efficiency across the campuses and ultimately reduce La Trobe's energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions.
Water consumption at La Trobe University is also significant and is monitored and reported annually through the university's sustainability reporting. Landscape maintenance, cooling tower operations, construction and flushing toilets are responsible for the majority of potable water consumption across the campuses.
Similar to energy, La Trobe has also set water use reduction targets. Actions being undertaken that are helping to reduce the university's potable water consumption include modernising irrigation systems and increasing stormwater harvesting and reuse.
Bottled water can have negative impacts on both human health and the environment. Luckily in Australia we have some of the best tap water in the world which is perfectly safe to drink.
La Trobe has installed water fountains across our campuses to allow students and staff to refill and stay hydrated for free, so bring a reusable bottle and save some money and the environment by refilling.
Reusable bottles also help us avoid packaging waste on campus – win-win!