Our performance

The university has previously published annual Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) aligned sustainability reports. A GRI aligned sustainability report was not published in 2014 and will also not be developed in 2015. Instead of these annual reports, GRI aligned performance data metrics and information regarding our progress towards our sustainability targets will be published on this website.

Our current sustainability targets are detailed below, followed by our most recent annual performance against these targets. Quarterly updated energy, GHG emissions, water, waste and materials performance data is provided in separate webpages.

Our sustainability targets

In 2011 La Trobe set its initial improvement targets for some of its key impacts. These targets and our Sustainability Plan were amended in 2015 based on the findings of a review which analysed the university's performance over the previous five years  to enable forecasting of future performance incorporating viable improvement measures.

Our environmental targets are promoted to students and staff in various ways to help build awareness and action.

A visual representation of our targets can be seen in our Environmental Sustainability on Campus brochure which is distributed to new students at O-Week and available at various locations on campus.

Quantified targets


Quantified targets 2010
20152016201720182019 202020212022
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
(Scope 1 & 2) (tCO2-e)
Facility Greenhouse Gas Emissions (tCO2-e/m2 of GFA) 0.1819%↓ 20%↓ 21%↓ 22%↓ 22%↓ 23%↓ 24%↓25%↓
Staff Business Travel Greenhouse Gas Emissions (tCO2-e/FTE)2.4520%↓21%↓23%↓24%↓26%↓27%↓29%↓30%↓
Facility Energy Consumption
(GJ/m2 of GFA )
1.6315%↓ 17%↓ 19%↓ 21%↓ 23%↓ 26%↓ 28%↓ 30%↓
Commuting by Vehicle, Single Occupant
(staff and students)
46%13%↓ 14%↓ 15%↓ 16%↓ 17%↓ 18%↓ 19%↓20%↓
Water Use
(kilolitres per EFTPL )
8.727%↓ 7%↓ 8%↓ 8%↓ 9%↓ 9%↓ 10%↓ 10%↓
General Waste to Landfill
(kg per EFTPL )
34.5416%↓ 19%↓ 23%↓ 26%↓ 30%↓ 33%↓ 37%↓ 40%↓
(% of combined recycling and landfill waste)
28% 16%↑ 19%↑ 23%↑ 26%↑ 30%↑ 31%↑ 37%↓40%↑
Paper Use
(reams per EFTPL )
 3.19 34%↓ 38%↓ 41%↓ 45%↓ 49%↓ 53%↓ 56%↓60%↓

Our most recent annual performance results

Our most recently collated annual performance results shown against our previous results and targets are detailed below. La Trobe's annual performance reporting aligns with the calendar year and is generally updated in the second quarter of each year.

Annual performance against targets

Environmental (against 2010 baseline)

Target AreaActual PerformanceTarget
2010201120122013 20142015201620172017 Met?
Absolute greenhouse gas emissions
(Scope 1 & 2)
Reason for not meeting target: Emissions are now trending down but further planned emissions reduction activities must be implemented over the next 2-3 years to achieve the targeted reductions. Significant operation of the natural gas powered cogen system occurred in 2017 which reduces grid-sourced electricity consumption and related Scope 2 emissions due to the lower emissions intensity of natural gas combusted onsite compared to grid-sourced electricity. The effect of the cogen in reducing emissions has been reduced somewhat by the commissioning of the secondary HV elecricity feeder into the Melbourne Campus in November 2015 to boost supply capacity. This has resulted in approximately 1.5 Megawatt of load being transitioned from the cogen connected electricity network to the secondary feeder network, meaning that 1.5 Megawatts of load will always be fed by grid-sourced electricity.
Energy efficiency and conservation initiatives implemented at regional campuses in 2016 and early 2017 produced some significant results, such as a 31% reduction in emissions at the Shepparton Campus and a 45% reduction at the Mildura Campus due to the rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed there and a 10% reduction in emissions at the Albury-Wodonga Campus due to the LED lighting upgrade that occured there. Large-scale rooftop solar PV systems were installed and commissioned at the Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga Campuses in late 2017 with significant related emissions reductions expected from 2018 onwards.

2018 plans:
Installation of a large solar carport at the Albury-Wodonga Campus and continuing energy efficiency improvements to heating, cooling and mechanical systems , building management system upgrades, and the continuation of LED lighting upgrades at the Melbourne Campus. Implementation of University wide facilities energy and emissions management strategy.
Facility greenhouse gas emissions
Reason for not meeting target: See reason for not meeting absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.

2018 plans:
See plans related to absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.
Staff business travel greenhouse gas emissions
(tCO2-e/FTE )
Target met: La Trobe have again purchased carbon offsets from Australian biodiverse reforestation and forest protection projects  for the emissions related to the LTU vehicle fleet operations, staff taxi use and air travel for 2017, which amounts to 7,920.5 tonnes of C02-e. The majority of this total is in relation to staff flights which increased by 21% compared to 2016 figures.
Energy consumption
(GJ/m2 of GFA )

Reason for not meeting target: Similar result to 2013 due to similar significant operation of cogen system at Melbourne Campus.
Refer to comments in absolute greenhouse gas emissions target regarding energy efficiency and conservation initiatives.

2018 plans: See plans related to absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.
Commuting (%) by car, single occupant (staff and students) 46%50%49%45%52%53%62%61%39%NO
Reason for not meeting target: Driving to La Trobe remains the most popular way to travel to campus despite there being many public transport options of rail, bus and tram around and within the University. In addition, most campuses are also accessible via bicycle and walking paths but the infrastructure does vary significantly in different locations.  There has been an increase in public transport use due to service improvements and promotion, but results vary between staff and student demographics. Significant works on level crossing removal and line duplication works on the Hurstbridge Line caused major disruption to services on the Melbourne Campus, and although these improvements are welcome and will be beneficial in the long term, they do cause short term interruptions that can impact travel behaviours. Feedback from the transport survey indicates that people chose to drive for a variety of reasons including no public transport where they lived, the frequency wasn’t convenient, or public transport was too time consuming or wasn’t always reliable. A number of staff respondents cited school runs or other similar commitments that they felt were incompatible with public transport options available.

2018 plans:
 Continue to promote sustainable transport options to the La Trobe community, benchmark current usage with the yearly multi-modal and online transport surveys, review and update the current transport strategy to develop a greater understanding on what needs to be done to meet transport targets. Lobby for improved services though further track duplication and level crossing projects to minimise disruption during works and increase frequency and reliability of services once major works are completed.
Water use (kilolitres per EFTPL ) 8.729.338.1611.7511.3711.3010.9210.888.02NO
Reason for not meeting target: Further large-scale water conservation actions required to achieve targetted performance. Various rainwater harvesting installations were implemented across the Bendigo and Melbourne Campuses in 2017, reducing potable water use at a small scale, contributing to the downward trend in consumption seen over last four years.

2018 plans:
 Building level water meters to be installed across the Melbourne Campus which will enable targeted actions to reduce wastage. Further automation of landscape irrigation including transition from potable to stormwater is continuing at Melbourne Campus. Reducing toilet flusher water use at Melbourne Campus to be investigated.
Waste to landfill (kg per EFTPL ) 34.5436.0438.1437.4236.0434.0031.0149.7126.6NO
Reason for not meeting target: In this first year of receiving more accurate weight data under a new waste and cleaning contract, evidence indicates that estimated data received under previous supplier was inacurate, but we won't be able to confirm until end of 2018.

2018 plans:
Update waste and recycling signage across University and replace street bin lids with colour coded lids on the Melbourne Campus. Continue to roll-out organics waste recycling on the Melbourne Campus, install waste/recycling stations on Melbourne Campus to improve separation and collection of materials.
Recycling (as combined % of recycling and general waste to landfill) 28%25%24.6%19.4%18.3%20.3%23.1%21.7%34.5%NO
Reason for not meeting target: See reasoning provided in general waste to landfill target comments. 

2018 plans:
See plans related to general waste to landfill target.
Paper use (reams per EFTPL ) 3.192.592.251.941.631.381.180.841.88YES
Target met: The significant drop in paper consumption is likely attributable to the roll-out of new printers across the university with updated print release functions resulting in a significant amount of avoided printing, equivalent to 2,104 reams or more than 1 million sheets of A4 paper.

tCO2-e/GFA = tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent per gross floor area

tCO2-e/FTE = tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent per full-time equivalent staff workload

EFTPL = Equivalent full-time person load (full-time equivalent staff workload hours + equivalent full‑time student load hours at the University's Victorian campuses; excludes international offshore, off‑campus and external)

GJ/m2 of GFA = gigajoules per square metre of gross floor area

Actions we are taking

To help us meet our 2022 targets we have developed an initial 4 year program of capital sustainability works which commenced in 2016. Details of the works we are undertaking are presented below.


InitiativeCampusDetailPercentage Reduction In Site's ConsumptionAnnual Energy Saving (GJ)Annual GHG Emissions Reduction (tCO2-e)
Energy EfficiencyAlbury-WodongaWhole of Campus lighting upgrade10%610201.6
Onsite RenewablesAlbury-Wodonga20kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on McFarlane's Hill Student Accommodation. Reduces site's grid-sourced electricity use by 24%.24%10534.6
Mildura85kW solar PV system on Brian Grogan Building. Reduces site's grid-sourced electricity use by 33%.33%497164.2
Shepparton29kw solar PV system on Shepparton Campus Building. Reduces site's grid-sourced electricity use by 10%.10%15149.8
Water ConservationBendigoImplementation of further rainwater harvesting and reuse systems linked to Canoe Shed and Ironbark Centre buildings.N/APotable water use reduction currently being monitored.N/A

Shepparton Campus Building Solar PV System

Image of the Shepparton Campus Building Solar PV System


InitiativeCampusDetailPercentage Reduction In Site's ConsumptionEst. Annual Energy Saving (GJ)Est. Annual GHG Emissions Reduction (tCO2-e)
Energy EfficiencyMelbourneColleges lighting upgrade11%1,275418
Western Lecture Theatre lighting upgrade18%15250
Building Management System modernisation and mechanical improvements1%4,4451,469.2
Boiler replacements5%22,3451,234.1
Onsite RenewablesAlbury-Wodonga225kW solar PV system on main electricity network. Reduces site's grid-sourced electricity use by 20%.20%1,130373.7
Bendigo85kW solar PV system on the Hillside Apartments. Reduces site's grid-sourced electricity use by 14%.14%391129.3
98kW solar PV system on HHS and HHS2 buildings. Reduces site's grid-sourced electricity use by 6%.6%493163
169kW solar PV system on BUS and VA buildings. Reduces site's grid-sourced electricity use by 10%.10%804265.8
Water ConservationMelbourneUpgrade of water using fixtures and fittings across Campus and implementation of rainwater harvesting and reuse systems where viable.TBCPotable water use reduction to be confirmed.N/A
Image of the Bendigo Campus Solar PV Systems


InitiativeCampusDetail Percentage Reduction In Site's Consumption Est. Annual Energy Saving (GJ) Est. Annual GHG Emissions Reduction (tCO2-e)
Energy Efficiency Melbourne Building Management System modernisation and mechanical improvements 3% 13,334 4,407.5
Renewable EnergyAlbury-WodongaInstall 100 kWp solar photovoltaic carport in southern car park.11%NA165
Energy Misc. All CampusesFinalise Facilities Energy and Emissions Management Strategy and related implementation plan TBC TBC TBC


InitiativeCampusDetail Percentage Reduction In Site's Consumption Est. Annual Energy Saving (GJ) Est. Annual GHG Emissions Reduction (tCO2-e)