La Trobe University makes major cuts in water, waste and energy use: Joins Global Green Gang

This Saturday night La Trobe staff and students will demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by joining the millions around the world who will be turning their lights off to mark Earth Hour.

“Our approach is not just talk or ‘green wash’ as we understand the link between energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and have a long history of meaningful sustainability initiatives,” says the University’s Director of Estate Management, Tony Inglis.

At the Bundoora campus in Melbourne’s north, La Trobe generates its own electricity and hot water from natural gas using a highly efficient co-generation plant. Some of this electricity is fed back into the power grid benefiting the local community.
“Our commitment to Earth Hour is about how we can all make a difference and ultimately how we treat this planet,” said Mr Inglis.

La Trobe has demonstrated that by changing practices and investing in infrastructure, enormous savings can be made in water, waste and energy use. In the past three years the University has reduced water consumption by 20 per cent, waste to landfill (through recycling) by 27 per cent. In addition, despite adding significant cooling capacity to the campus last year, our total energy consumption reduced by 3 per cent.

In 2007, La Trobe achieved Bronze ‘Waste Wise’ accreditation and made significant efforts in the areas of transport infrastructure and carbon offsets.
Yesterday the Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson, sent an email to the University’s more than 30,000 staff and students, encouraging them to participate in Earth Hour. La Trobe also signed on as an official supporter of the initiative.

“That’s a population of around 30,000 people who could make significant energy savings” said Mr Inglis.

La Trobe aspires to be known as the ‘Green University’ and to achieve this goal is making ongoing changes to infrastructure, practices and curriculum to demonstrate leadership in sustainability ethos and practice.

“La Trobe aims to educate its students not only in their academic disciplines but in general community responsibility and a large part of this is about investing in the future through environmentally sustainable living” said Mr Inglis.