Energy and emissions

The University of Melbourne is continuing to transform energy usage and reduce its carbon footprint through energy projects on and off campus.

We are a large energy consuming community of more than 60,000 full time staff and students working and studying across 450 buildings on seven campuses. It is a priority for us to be able to continue to support critical research and teaching functions long into the future through a sustainable approach to our energy and emissions usage.

Climate positive by 2030

The University of Melbourne has committed to achieve carbon neutral certification by 2025 and climate positive status by 2030. ‘Climate positive’ is a step further than ‘carbon neutral’ as it removes more greenhouse gas emissions than generated. This commitment was announced by the Vice Chancellor in October 2021.

In the Sustainability Plan 2017–2020 the University's priority to reduce its energy consumption and emissions was outlined under the following targets, which are on track to be meet.

  • Achieve carbon neutrality before 2030
  • Achieve net zero emissions from electricity by 2021
  • Reduce electricity demand by 18,350 megawatt hours per year by 2020 through on-campus energy projects.
  • Maintain minimum five-star Green Star ‘Design and as Built’ rating (or equivalent) for all new buildings, achieving a minimum six-star or equivalent by 2020.

Read the plan

See how the University is tracking on the progress of these targets at 2020 Sustainability Report.

As a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and supporter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the University is committed to its carbon reduction goals.

Clean energy now

Since 2016, the University has reduced its energy-related carbon emissions through projects both on and off campus.

These projects have led to major reductions in emissions as well as significant operational efficiencies. Projects have involved:

  • Reducing energy consumption through demand management on campus
  • Generating renewable energy on campus
  • Engaging in market mechanisms and renewable energy projects off campus

On campus

We are focused on reducing energy consumption by optimising our building operations.

Discover projects

Off campus

We are engaged in off-campus energy generation and purchasing agreements to ensure we reach net zero emissions from electricity by 2021.

Learn more