I’m pleased to announce a major milestone in our mission to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2029: we have completed the installation of 7,500 solar panels at our Melbourne (Bundoora) Campus. This project is an important part of our commitment to pursue sustainable practices in all of our activities, and will deliver both environmental and financial savings.
We can now generate 2.5 megawatts of renewable energy at the Melbourne Campus (the equivalent of 500 household solar systems), and will achieve financial savings from reduced energy bills for the next 25 years. The system will also reduce our emissions by 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, and meet 50 per cent of campus energy needs on peak usage days. You can see the new solar system and how it’s helping us reach Net Zero.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions mean we cannot hold the planned launch on campus with Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, however I’m delighted that the Minister has sent her congratulations in this video.
Our Melbourne campus now houses one of the largest solar systems in the north of Melbourne, and there are another 3,300 panels already in place across our regional campuses. We have also installed 24,000 LED lights across 100 buildings at all campuses. Together these projects will reduce our emissions by 15 per cent this year alone. La Trobe has a proud history of leadership in sustainable practice, a role that was recognised recently with our ranking as fourth in the world in the 2020 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. The Net Zero Strategy contributes further to this mission: as well as helping to assure La Trobe’s future viability, it helps the University to continue making a positive contribution to the future of our shared planet.