Wednesday, 3 May 2017
The University of Adelaide has confirmed its commitment to South Australia’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, with the launch of a new Campus Sustainability Plan.
Total investment in the plan will be $14.4 million over four years, with more than $12.8 million dedicated to carbon emission reduction projects at the University's three campuses, at North Terrace, Waite and Roseworthy.
"Managing and responding to climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time. As the leading research and education institution in the state and one of its biggest employers, the community would justifiably expect the University of Adelaide to lead by example," says Chief Operating Officer Bruce Lines.
"Our new plan provides an exciting vision for campus sustainability at the University of Adelaide. It comprises the University’s first coordinated suite of emission reduction projects, which will transition our institution towards low-carbon operations," Mr Lines says.
The University of Adelaide was the first major institution to sign up to Carbon Neutral Adelaide’s partnership program in November last year, pledging to reduce its overall footprint as part of a plan to showcase Adelaide’s low-carbon credentials.
"The University has pledged its commitment to making a contribution to the long-term sustainability of our state. We will be able to achieve this through a series of projects across our campuses that directly reduce carbon emissions," Mr Lines says.
The University's targets for 2020 include:
• The installation of more than 9200 solar panels across the University's three campuses, resulting in two megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy systems
• A 15% improvement in energy performance
• A 50% reduction in waste to landfill.
Initiatives to reduce the University's carbon footprint include installing efficient lighting, upgrades to mechanical equipment, and specialised recycling solutions. The two megawatts of solar photovoltaic systems will include a ground mounted solar farm at the Roseworthy campus.
Complementing these infrastructure improvements are strategies relating to sustainable investment, water reduction, staff and student sustainability education, and engagement activities.
"The University's Ecoversity program was initially established to investigate and drive sustainability activities on campus, and we've been incredibly happy with the interest shown by staff and students alike in this work.
"Our new Campus Sustainability Plan will continue to involve the collaborative efforts of staff and students in helping to achieve our common goals, as well as partnership with government and industry," Mr Lines says.
For more information about the new Campus Sustainability Plan, visit: www.adelaide.edu/ecoversity