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.

Performance data is provided in separate webpages and updated quarterly:

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 sustainability plan is currently being updated, until the new plan is finalised we continue to track our performance against our existing targets.

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.

Our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are a global initiative created by the United Nations (UN).
They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected.

For La Trobe, the goals are a way of tracking our effectiveness towards a holistic sustainable approach. It gives us a framework to set our own goals against, ensuring we’re taking an all-inclusive approach to tackling the sustainability issues of our time.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Poster

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 201420152016201720182018 Met?
Absolute greenhouse gas emissions
(Scope 1 & 2)

Reason for not meeting target:

Large gas powered cogeneration system at Melbourne Campus was decommissioned in late 2017, resulting in a significant increase in consumption of grid-sourced electricity with greater emissions intensity than natural gas.

2019 plans:

1. Finalise the implementation plan for La Trobe's net zero emissions strategy.
2. Commence the roll-out of ~2.5 Megawatt of rooftop solar PV at the Melbourne Campus.
3. Commence major internal lighting upgrades at the Melbourne Campus.
4. Undertake energy efficiency/emissions reduction actions at 16 regional accommodation facilities.
5. Install battery storage to maximise consumption of renewable energy generated by Mildura Campus rooftop solar PV system.

Facility greenhouse gas emissions
Reason for not meeting target: See reason for not meeting absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.

2019 plans:
See plans related to absolute greenhouse gas emissions target.
Staff business travel greenhouse gas emissions
(tCO2-e/FTE )

Reason for not meeting target: La Trobe elected to not purchase products to offset the emissions related to business travel in 2018.

2019 plans: The potential for purchasing offset products will be reviewed again in 2019.

Energy consumption
(GJ/m2 of GFA )

Target met: The decommissioning of the large gas powered cogeneration system at the Melbourne Campus in late 2017 resulted in a significant reduction in energy use in 2018.

Commuting (%) by car, single occupant (staff and students) 46%50%49%45%52%53%62%61%61%39%NO
Reason for not meeting target: Driving to La Trobe continues to be the most popular way to travel to the Melbourne Campus, despite there being various public transport options, which include: rail, bus and tram. In addition, the University is well connected to the Darebin Creek Trail.  The University has been and is currently being subjected to level crossing removal works on the Hurstbridge Line (completed mid-2018) and now on the Mernda Line at Reservoir Station.  These lines have bus services that connect with the campus, the works affect connectivity times between trains and buses, making public transport options less attractive to the La Trobe community.  Surveys have revealed that less people are coming onto campus, however 70% of those are driving a car.  The car is considered the most convenient form of transport to campus, especially when people have extra-curricular activities outside of work and study.  Finally, parking on campus is still cheaper than public transport which makes driving more attractive.

2019 plans:
 A transport prioritisation plan was undertaken in the latter part of 2018, this plan identified transport priorities for the University to lobby the State Government.  This included improved bus connectivity with the Hurstbridge line and beyond to the Box Hill and Doncaster regions.  The University has been unable to secure additional services to the campus so far, but continues to advocate and plan for more services, more often.
Water use (kilolitres per EFTPL ) 8.729.338.1611.7511.3711.3010.9210.8812.258.02NO
Reason for not meeting target: A full year's worth of surface water consumption data resulted in a significant increase on similar data reported in 2017. Surface water use relates to La Trobe's consumption of stormwater stored in the Moat system on the Melbourne Campus for landscape irrigation and use in some cooling towers.

2019 plans:
Complete roll-out and integration of building level water meters across all campuses to enable more granular water use data analysis and identification of potential efficiency improvement opportunities.
Waste to landfill (kg per EFTPL ) 34.5436.0438.1437.4236.0434.0031.0149.7159.6225.56NO

Reason for not meeting target: Total waste generation increased in 2018 compared to 2017 and whilst the recycling rate improved significantly, landfill waste generation also increased.

2019 plans:

1. Implement onsite organic waste processing and reuse at the Melbourne Campus to maximise the separation of organic waste from the landfill waste stream.
2. Implement food waste separation and collection at the Albury-Wodonga Campus to minimise the amount of food waste entering the landfill waste stream.
3. Trial improved internal waste and recycling bin systems to identify potential improvements.
4. Transition from paper towel use to hand dryers only within toilets at the Albury-Wodonga Campus.

Recycling (as combined % of recycling and general waste to landfill) 28%25%24.6%19.4%18.3%20.3%23.1%21.7%30.2%35.5%NO
Reason for not meeting target: See reasoning provided in general waste to landfill target comments. 

2019 plans:
See plans related to general waste to landfill target.
Paper use (reams per EFTPL ) 3.192.592.251.941.631.381.180.840.801.75YES
Target met: The continued fall 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.

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 - see Net Zero Program for details. NA NANA
Energy EfficiencyBendigoInstall meters to measure natural gas use at each building to help identify leaks/wastage and efficiency opportunities.NANANA
Water EfficiencyBendigoInstall meters to measure water use at each building to help identify leaks/wastage and efficiency opportunities.NANANA
LTU Albury-Wodonga Solar Carport
Image of Albury-Wodonga Campus Solar Carport


InitiativeCampusDetail Percentage Reduction In Site's Consumption Est. Annual Energy Saving (GJ) Est. Annual GHG Emissions Reduction (tCO2-e)
Renewable EnergyMelbourneInstall ~2.5 Megawatts of rooftop solar PV on two main electricity networks.8%12,0293,909
Energy EfficiencyMelbourneStage 1 internal lighting upgrades5%4,6801,547
Energy EfficiencyBendigoStage 1 internal lighting upgrades10%1,548512
Energy EfficiencyAlbury-WodongaStage 1 internal lighting upgrades10%14448
Energy EfficiencyMilduraStage 1 internal lighting upgrades10%7926
Energy EfficiencySheppartonStage 1 internal lighting upgrades10%10133
Energy Misc.Off-Campus Student ResidencesEnergy and emissions reduction retrofits including: ceiling insulation, LED lighting, heat pump hot water systems, rooftop solar PV systems.75%79097
Energy Misc.MilduraAddition of 40 kWh battery storage system to rooftop solar PV system to maximise onsite renewable energy consumption.5%4013
Water EfficiencyMelbourneInstallation of meters to measure water use at each building to help identify leaks/wastage and efficiency opportunities.NANANA

Electrical Switchboard With Metering

Image of electrical switchboard including metering