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 and Bendigo Campuses 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 and Rooftops
The Regional Solar Carports and Rooftops project was completed in January 2021 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.
- In Bendigo, solar carports were constructed in Car Parks 1 and 2, including almost 1,500 solar panels covering close to 200 parking spaces. Rooftop solar panels were also installed on the GDP, SSC and ED buildings. These works see a combined total of more than 1,900 solar panels and 800kw added to the campus, which is the equivalent of 160 household systems. More than 30% of total electricity consumption at Bendigo is now being generated by on-site renewables.
- A second solar carport was built at the Albury-Wodonga Campus with around 270 panels. This will produce almost 110kw – roughly the equivalent of over 25 household systems and with more than 40% of total electricity consumption at Albury-Wodonga now being generated by on-site renewables.
Read more about the project in Bendigo see one of the solar carports at the campus come to life:
For information on impacts and outages related to the Net Zero program, visit www.latrobe.edu.au/io/impacts-and-outages