The University of Melbourne is Australia’s leading research university. Our research addresses social, economic and environmental challenges the world is facing today and into the future. Sustainability is recognised as an organising principle of the University and its contribution to society.
The University of Melbourne was the first University in Australia to adopt a whole-of-institution Sustainability Charter in 2016, committing to embedding sustainability across all its activities: Research, Teaching & Learning, Engagement, Operations and Governance. The Sustainability Plan 2017-2020 operationalises the principles and commitments of the Charter and maps our targets and priority actions, directing endeavour over coming years
To develop the Sustainability Plan the University consulted widely with students, staff, and the wider community where the passion for achieving a sustainable campuses was strongly evident. Our annual Sustainability Report draws together all of our sustainability activities and publicly and holistically demonstrates our progress towards delivery of the Charter and Plan commitments.
The University of Melbourne’s campuses are being developed to act as living laboratories, modelling sustainable and resilient communities. Our students, researchers and staff collaborate extensively with business and industry to develop innovative solutions to global sustainability challenges. This is reflected in the external relationships which impact our processes, procurement and operations.
The University acknowledges the seriousness and urgency of the threats posed by a changing climate and fully supports a lower emissions future. In response to our target of net zero emissions by 2021, we have completed two power purchase agreements which will provide renewable energy from two newly developed Victorian windfarms equivalent to our total current electricity demand.
We are a partner organisation in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP). Together with the City of Melbourne, NAB, Australia Post, Bank Australia, RMIT and other partners, MREP was awarded the 2018 Premier’s Sustainability Awards for the PPA model enabling development of new renewable energy capacity in Victoria. The 39-turbine Crowlands windfarm near Ararat commenced operations as at January 2019. The project is a demonstration of the University’s strong commitment to achieving net zero emissions from electricity by 2021 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2030.