Our performance

The university has previously published annual Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) aligned sustainability reports. A GRI aligned sustainability report was not published in 2014 and will also not be developed in 2015. Instead of these annual reports, GRI aligned performance data metrics and information regarding our progress towards our sustainability targets will be published on this website. 

Our current sustainability targets are detailed below, followed by our most recent annual performance against these targets. Quarterly updated energyGHG emissions, water, waste and materials  performance data is provided in separate webpages.

Our sustainability targets

In 2011 La Trobe set its initial improvement targets for some of its key impacts. These targets and our Sustainability Plan were amended in 2015 based on the findings of a review which analysed the university's performance over the previous five years to enable forecasting of future performance incorporating viable improvement measures.

Our environmental targets are promoted to students and staff in various ways to help build awareness and action.

A visual representation of our targets can be seen in our Environmental Sustainability on Campus brochure which is distributed to new students at O-Week and available at various locations on campus.

Quantified targets


Quantified targets 2010
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 20202021 2022
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
(Scope 1 & 2) (tCO2-e)
Facility Greenhouse Gas Emissions (tCO2-e/m2 of GFA) 0.1819%↓ 20%↓ 21%↓ 22%↓ 22%↓ 23%↓ 24%↓25%↓
Staff Business Travel Greenhouse Gas Emissions (tCO2-e/FTE)2.4520%↓21%↓23%↓24%↓26%↓27%↓29%↓30%↓
Facility Energy Consumption
(GJ/m2 of GFA )
1.6315%↓ 17%↓ 19%↓ 21%↓ 23%↓ 26%↓ 28%↓ 30%↓
Commuting by Vehicle, Single Occupant
(staff and students)
46%13%↓ 14%↓ 15%↓ 16%↓ 17%↓ 18%↓ 19%↓20%↓
Water Use
(kilolitres per EFTPL )
8.727%↓ 7%↓ 8%↓ 8%↓ 9%↓ 9%↓ 10%↓ 10%↓
General Waste to Landfill
(kg per EFTPL )
34.5416%↓ 19%↓ 23%↓ 26%↓ 30%↓ 33%↓ 37%↓ 40%↓
(% of combined recycling and landfill waste)
28% 16%↑ 19%↑ 23%↑ 26%↑ 30%↑ 31%↑ 37%↓40%↑
Paper Use
(reams per EFTPL )
 3.19 34%↓ 38%↓ 41%↓ 45%↓ 49%↓ 53%↓ 56%↓60%↓

Our most recent annual performance results

Our most recently collated annual performance results shown against our previous results and targets are detailed below. La Trobe's annual performance reporting aligns with the calendar year and is generally updated in the second quarter of each year.

Annual performance against targets

Environmental (against 2010 baseline)

Did we meet our targetsActualTarget
2010 2011 2012 2013 20142015 2015 Met?
Absolute greenhouse gas emissions
(Scope 1 & 2)
Note that this is a new target adopted in 2015 to ensure a continuing focus on reducing the university's absolute greenhouse gas emissions.

Reason for not meeting target:
The cogeneration system on the Melbourne Campus operated more consistently in 2015 (down for 5 months) compared to 2014 (down for 9 months) resulting in less emissions from grid-sourced electricity . However, GreenPower (Government accredited zero emissions electricity) was not purchased in 2015 compared to 2014 which increases emissions from grid-sourced electricity. Whilst planning and commitments were undertaken in 2015 regarding the future implementation of emissions reduction opportunities, no major opportunities were implemented in 2015.

2016 plans:
Energy conservation/efficiency and emissions reduction capital projects planned, including installation of small-scale solar photovoltaic systems; energy efficient lighting upgrades (Albury Wodonga); power quality improvements (Bendigo) and sub-metering platform installation on a building-by-building level to measure and monitor utility consumption
Facility greenhouse gas emissions
Reason for not meeting target: See reason for not meeting absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.

2016 plans: 
See plans related to absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.
Staff business travel greenhouse gas emissions
(tCO2-e/FTE )
Target met: Fleet management continued to purchase carbon offsets for the emissions related to La Trobe vehicle fleet operation. Kilometres of air travel flown by staff on University business reduced by 38% compared to 2014.
Energy consumption
(GJ/m2 of GFA )

Reason for not meeting target: Increase compared to 2014 due to increased operation of cogeneration (cogen) system at the Melbourne Campus in 2015. Whilst the operation of the cogen provides cheaper and less emissions-intensive electricity than coal-generated electricity sourced from the grid ,it does lead to higher overall energy consumption than if we were sourcing all of our electricity from the national grid. This is because of efficiency losses within the cogen system which results in the consumption of approximately 4 GJ of gas to generate 1 GJ of electricity.

Data modification: Calculation formula for this metric amended in 2015 to ensure natural gas consumed by cogen system at Melbourne Campus incorporated fully, previous formula included electricity generated by the cogen instead of gas used to generate electricity. This amendment results in a more complete reporting of La Trobe's energy consumption by including energy consumption related to thermal losses in the cogen system.

2016 plans: See plans related to absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.
Commuting (%) by car, single occupant (staff and students) 46%50%49%45%52%53%40%NO
Reason for not meeting target: No major opportunities that may have reduced the amount of single occupant vehicle commutes implemented in 2015.

Data modification:
 2015 online transport survey data used. This survey commenced in 2015 and provides a more complete picture of student and staff commutes to and from all La Trobe campuses than the previous multi-modal survey data which provides granular level data related to the Melbourne and Bendigo campuses.

2016 plans: 
Express Public Transport Victoria bus service between Reservoir Station and the Melbourne campus to encourage public transport use commenced operation in February 2016.
Water use (kilolitres per EFTPL ) 8.729.338.1611.7511.3711.308.11NO
Reason for not meeting target: No major water saving opportunities implemented in 2015. This target was not reviewed in 2015. It will be reviewed in 2017 once sub-metering data is available.

2016 plans: 
Sub-metering to be installed on all campuses by end of year for improved monitoring of water consumption on a building-by-building level. Analysis of this data will inform a potable water use reduction plan which will be developed in 2017.
Remote irrigation management system currently being installed at Melbourne Campus incorporating greater harvesting of stormwater from the moat to reduce potable water use on grounds.
Waste to landfill (kg per EFTPL ) 34.5436.0438.1437.4236.0434.0029.01NO
Reason for not meeting target: Improved over 2014 performance. Major improvement opportunities such as re-contracting of waste and cleaning contracts still to be implemented. Other opportunities such as separation of organic waste at the Melbourne Campus are reliant on new waste and cleaning contracts being in place.

2016 plans: 
New cleaning and waste contracts are expected to be in place by year-end with improved data collection and management of recycling streams. Data will inform targeted programming to reduce waste and increase recycling.
As part of new cleaning and waste contracts, hand dryers will replace paper towels in toilets across the Melbourne campus, reducing paper towel waste currently disposed to landfill.
Recycling (as combined % of recycling and general waste to landfill) 28%25%24.6%19.4%18.3%20.3%32.7%NO
Reason for not meeting target: Improved over 2014 performance. No major recycling rate improvement opportunities such as separation of organic waste at the Melbourne Campus will be implemented until new waste and cleaning contracts are in place.

2016 plans: 
See plans related general waste to landfill target.
Paper use (reams per EFTPL ) 3.192.592.251.941.631.382.11YES
Target met: Steady increase in paper reduction possibly as a result of improved technology available to students and staff (PDF edits, tablets, etc.).

tCO2-e/GFA = tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent per gross floor area

tCO2-e/FTE = tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent per full-time equivalent staff workload

EFTPL = Equivalent full-time person load (full-time equivalent staff workload hours + equivalent full‑time student load hours at the University's Victorian campuses; excludes international offshore, off‑campus and external)

GJ/m2 of GFA = gigajoules per square metre of gross floor area