Our journey so far

At La Trobe, we have a long and proud history of pursuing sustainable practice. We foster the next generation of technical experts, engage in sustainability research, track our performance, and deliver projects that make a real difference to the environment through behaviour change and infrastructure improvements.

We’ve already started on our pathway to be zero-emissions by 2029 and have made substantial progress.

Our timeline


  • Green Gown Australasia Awards winner for the development of a sustainability governance and management process.


  • Green Gown Australasia Awards winner for our partnership with Whittlesea Council to build computers and teach programming skills in the local community.
  • Green Gown Australasia Awards winner awarded to Colin Hocking who collaboratively led the curriculum development processes to embed sustainability across all undergraduate courses.


  • Green Gown Australasia Awards winner awarded to Professor John Dewar for transitioning the university to a financially sustainable operating model; developing and implementing the Future Ready strategy and Sustainability Plan; embedding the ‘sustainability thinking’ across all undergraduate coursework; and establishing sustainability research focus areas.


  • Our Building Management System (BMS) Optimisation program saw a 14% Gas reduction in Bendigo and a 21% Electricity reduction in Albury-Wodonga.


  • We became the first Australian university and fifth organisation in Australia to be recognised by the current six-star rating standard, which means we have achieved ‘world leadership’ status under the Green Star Communities accreditation. We continue to hold this title.
  • We adopted an Energy and Emission Strategy to bring La Trobe to net zero carbon emissions.
  • We started harvesting rainwater at our Wildlife Sanctuary to enable the toilets to use rainwater instead of mains water.
  • 2,850 solar panels were installed at our regional campuses contributing to a 1,000-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • We installed our first solar carport at Albury-Wodonga which generates 141,000 kilowatt hours of renewable electricity.
  • We upgraded to LED lighting in our Western lecture Theatre and Beth Gleeson buildings at our Bundoora Campus, contributing to a 15% reduction in electricity.


  • We unveiled the name of our biodiverse waterway - Nangak Tamboree.
  • We made a commitment to be net zero by 2029 and began to roll out a range of projects from LED lighting upgrades, rooftop solar and organic waste composting.
  • We were shortlisted as a finalist for Green University of the Year at the 2020 Asia-Pacific Triple E Awards.
  • Established the La Trobe Climate Network, which  brings together academics across La Trobe University whose research and teaching engages with the challenges faced by climate change and climate resilience.


  • Our commitment to the environment was recognised when we were named first runner-up for the Green University of the Year category at the 2020 Asia-Pacific Triple E Awards.
  • We completed Stage 1 of our LED Lighting Upgrade, which included installing 24,000 energy efficient LED lights across 100 buildings.
  • We energised 7,500 rooftop solar panels at our Melbourne Campus in Bundoora, helping to reduce our carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes each year.
  • We launched the $500,000 Net Zero fund which supports research initiatives that advance energy efficiency, sustainability and lighting solutions.
  • Works commenced to construct solar carports at the Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses which will help to reduce carbon emissions across all regional campuses by more than 20% - a significant step towards these campuses reaching the 2022 net zero target.
  • Transitioned security vehicles at our Melbourne and Bendigo Campuses to electric.


  • We energised our new solar carports in Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga, which will help to reduce carbon emissions across all regional campuses by more than 20%.
  • La Trobe University won TEFMA's Clever Campus Innovation Award for its work in designing, developing and deploying LEAP.
  • Implemented a range of energy conservation measures in the Biological Sciences 2 as part of the building’s mechanical upgrade.
  • The Hill Lab became Australia’s first research laboratory to received certification from My Green Lab, considered the global standard for laboratory sustainability practices.
  • Completed installation of a 130kW rooftop solar system at the Mildura Campus, taking the total number of solar panels installed at our regional campuses to over 6,000 panels with more than 1.8MW capacity. Renewables now generate more than 25% of electricity consumed across all La Trobe regional campuses.
  • Commenced electrification works on the HHS1 building at the Bendigo Campus.


  • Completed Stage 2 of our LED Lighting Upgrade.
  • La Trobe University signed up to the Race to Zero, a global initiative for a Zero Carbon World. The initiative is powered by the UN Environment Programme, EAUC & Second Nature and is a global campaign to rally leadership and action in the education sector.
  • Our regional campuses will be net zero with our Mildura and Shepparton Campuses being the first to reach this milestone.


  • We will be net zero.

Building on our past, we continue to embed sustainability initiatives in everything we do:

  • Our new Sports Stadium was awarded Australia’s first “6 Star Green Star Design and As Built v1.2 certified rating” for a sports building by the Green Building Council Australia, recognising ‘World Leadership’ in sustainable building practice.
  • We built a new 5 Star Green Star Student Accommodation building at our Bundoora campus which utilises Cross-Laminated Timber - a new, sustainable and renewable construction technology.
  • More than 420 new LED lights or light poles have been installed at our Bundoora campus as part of our Public Lighting Project.
  • Nangak Tamboree, our bio-diverse waterway, will create an inviting, open and culturally aware space that protects our biodiversity and connects our communities.
  • We also have a range of sustainability initiatives and practices that help us to reduce our footprint including sustainable building design, community gardens, fair-trade and sustainable travel options.

Transforming our future

At La Trobe University, we’re committed to being sustainable for today and tomorrow. We have a bold and ambitious $5 billion plan to transform our Melbourne Campus in Bundoora into a University City of the Future and our $75 million investment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2029 is a cornerstone of this plan.