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Working towards being below zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

The problem

We face challenges from a changing climate each year. We are already witnessing devasting impacts from current warming levels and Australia is particularly at risk. More extreme temperatures, sea level rise on our coasts, coral bleaching from warming oceans as well as intensifying drought, bush fires, storms and flooding events. Many of us are experiencing damaging health effects as a result, both physically and mentally.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in their Sixth Assessment Report, identified the current state of the climate and what is required to avoid catastrophic climate change impacts. The science is clear: we need an urgent and drastic reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero as soon as possible.

Our approach

Transformational change is necessary across all sectors in society. As Australia's national university, we have a responsibility and mission to contribute to global environmental sustainability.

We will meet our goals in the most ethical, sustainable and efficient way by:

  • First and foremost, reducing emissions as rapidly as possible. Our evidence-based approach considers our main sources of emissions and runs programs that address the institutional, operational and behavioural mechanisms for short and long-term change. It includes, among others, a transition from natural gas-powered boilers to electric heat pumps and reducing these operational emissions to zero as fast as possible. Each year, more buildings are electrified on the Acton campus with the first tranche operational in 2023. University-related travel is essential and beneficial to the University's mission; it also represents a large part of our collective carbon footprint. A university-wide travel emissions reduction program is running to inspire action towards reducing emissions at individual, collective and institutional levels.
  • Secondly, by removing more emissions than we produce. This can be either by offsetting difficult-to-abate emissions using only high-quality carbon credits on Australian land or through carbon removal activities connected to ANU land, research, teaching or partnerships (“ANU-connected carbon removal activities”).

Our ambitions

Greenhouse gases

  • From 2026: Carbon neutrality for direct on campus and energy-related emissions (scopes 1 and 2).
  • By 2040: Below zero emissions from operations and value chain (scopes 1, 2 & 3).

Energy use

  • Reduce the energy consumption of Gross Floor Area by 10% in 2025 compared to 2019.
  • Complete Energy Assessments and implement feasible energy efficiency upgrades and tuning of target buildings within ANU campuses by 5% by 2025.
  • Double to 1MW the onsite renewable energy generation by 2025 compared to 2021.

Our solutions

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