RMIT: On the road to net zero

Over the past two years, the University has driven significant progress towards its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and demonstrated sustainability leadership both in the higher education sector and its own communities.

In 2020, the University delivered a 62% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and this year announced it had reduced the fossil fuel liability of its investment portfolio to zero.

In January, a further 22 RMIT buildings were switched over to 100% carbon neutral electricity thanks to RMIT’s involvement and leadership in two renewable energy projects.

Alongside RMIT’s environmental commitments, the University is playing a global leadership role in demonstrating how the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) can be a lens for institutional transformation and strong governance.

Head of the Sustainability Committee Michael Vanderheide said RMIT had a proud history of advancing the sustainable development agenda.

“Part of our commitment to the SDGs is our accessible and transparent reporting practices, which include our annual SDG Impact Report which we have published for the last two years.

“This places RMIT at the forefront of sustainability reporting across the tertiary sector globally.”

The University has published a Sustainability Annual Report since 2015 and a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Impact Report annually since 2019.

The two reports provide an important resource for the RMIT community to reflect on and celebrate key sustainability achievements and the University’s commitment to the SDGs.

The Sustainability Annual Report is prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and cements RMIT’s reputation as a leader in sustainability reporting.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Impact Report contains both qualitative and quantitative data to provide key highlights of RMIT’s contributions to the SDGs.

Vanderheide said the two reports complemented each other and provided an opportunity to celebrate the work of RMIT’s people and their role in advancing the sustainable development agenda.

“These reports are an important resource for our community and partners, who can gain a deeper appreciation of how RMIT University is making a positive impact on the global stage.

They can also be utilised by other higher education institutes as a model to develop their reporting practices,” he said.

RMIT has been internationally recognised for its contribution to the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs), ranking third globally in the Times Higher Education 2020 SDG Impact Rankings.

In 2020, RMIT was awarded the Committee for Melbourne’s 2020 Melbourne Achiever Award for an outstanding organisation, in recognition of its social and environmental commitments.

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