La Trobe University is committed to being sustainable for today and tomorrow. We will become carbon neutral by 2029 and our regional campuses are set to become carbon neutral by 2022.
As part of our $75 million investment, we’re rolling out a number of projects to help us reach our goal.
LED lighting upgrade
We’re upgrading to energy efficient LED lighting solutions across all our campuses to reduce power consumption, improve quality of light and reduce waste as LEDs last longer with up to 50,000 hours of life.
Stage 1 of this project is now complete, with 24,000 energy efficient LED lights installed across all campuses, reducing our lighting energy consumption by more than 50% in over 100 buildings.
Stage 2 of the project commenced in November 2020 and includes the replacement of approximately 19,000 lights in more than 40 buildings across our campuses. These works are expected to be complete in May 2021.
Once the project is complete, over 60,000 LED lights fitted throughout the university in total, reducing our total emissions by over 15% within 12 months.
Pictured: New LED lights were installed in Humanities 2 at the Melbourne Campus.
We’ve installed over 7,500 solar panels on more than 25 buildings at the Melbourne Campus – the equivalent of 17 kms of solar panels end to end – or the distance between our Melbourne (Bundoora) and City campuses.
The new solar system will generate 2.5 Mw of renewable power – the equivalent of 500 household solar systems. At the peak of solar efficiency, the panels will supply up to 50% of the campus’ daytime power usage.
The new solar system will also decrease La Trobe’s CO2 emissions by 4,000 tonnes per year, reducing our impact on climate change. Read more about the launch of our new solar system and see how it's helping us reach Net Zero:
Our Melbourne Campus solar system is in addition to the 3,300 solar panels already in place at our regional campuses. These generate more than 1.1 Mw of renewable power across the regions, making up more than 18% of all regional consumption and contributing to a 14% electricity reduction at Bendigo and 2 21% electricity reduction at Albury-Wodonga.
At our Mildura campus, we’ll also be storing the renewable energy generated from our rooftop solar so that it can continue to serve us in the future.
Pictured: An aerial view of some of the 7,500 rooftop solar panels at the Melbourne Campus.
We’re the first university in Australia to utilise the SoilFood concept – an on-site composting unit based at our Melbourne Campus that diverts organic waste from landfill and will help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%.
Our composting unit can turn the equivalent of 100kg of organic waste into 20kg of a nutrient rich, eco-friendly fertiliser, generated cost-free and re-used on campus gardens and grounds. We have plans to expand this program across University in the future, so stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, learn more about the program:
La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform (LEAP)
We’ve been working with La Trobe academics and students from the Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition to create the La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform (LEAP) - an energy analysis platform that monitors consumption patterns and building performance, enabling us to create actionable insights to reduce our energy consumption across our campuses.
Using our La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform (LEAP), we continue to look at ways we can optimise our Building Management System (BMS) to improve our air-conditioning, electricity and gas consumption rates.
Regional Solar Carports
An exciting new project in our Net Zero journey has kicked off in the regions and 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. Once the project is complete in January 2021, 40% of electricity generated at Albury-Wodonga will be from on site renewables, and almost 30% at Bendigo.
- In Bendigo, solar carports will be constructed across Car Parks 1 and 2, covering close to 200 parking spaces. The project will add over 1,900 solar panels to the campus, including panels to the rooftops of the GDP, SSC and ED buildings. These works will see a combined total of 830kw added, which is the equivalent of 160 household systems.
- The existing solar carport in Albury-Wodonga (pictured) has been so successful in generating 11% of the total energy consumption for the campus, that an additional solar carport will be built in the same area with 270 solar panels. This will produce 110kw – roughly the equivalent of over 25 household systems.
For information on impacts and outages related to the Net Zero program, visit www.latrobe.edu.au/io/impacts-and-outages