RMIT: RMIT fast tracks carbon neutral target to 2025

The University has cut its carbon emissions by 74% since 2007 through renewable energy, efficiency upgrades and other initiatives to reduce and remove carbon across its operations.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Alec Cameron, said RMIT’s new 2025 target and the practical action it had taken to achieve significant carbon reductions demonstrated the University’s long-standing commitment to sustainability.

“RMIT is moving with urgency to address climate change by continuing to reduce our carbon emissions across every aspect of our operations globally in order to become carbon neutral by 2025,” Cameron said.

“Our commitment goes beyond becoming carbon neutral. We are also incorporating sustainability principles and practices into our learning and teaching, research and operational activities within the communities we serve.

“Climate change is one of the most significant challenges of our times and our staff and students stand with us as we take meaningful steps to create positive impact on climate action.”

Some of the key initiatives that have helped RMIT reduce its carbon emissions include:

Establishing world-first partnerships with Victorian wind farms, resulting in 44 of our largest buildings being supplied with 100% carbon neutral electricity and 75% of our total grid electricity provided by renewable energy.
Focusing on sustainably transforming existing buildings, RMIT has numerous sustainable buildings with both the New Academic Street and OurPlace projects achieving a 5-star Green Star rating classed as Australian Excellence by the Green Building Council of Australia.
Boosting energy efficiency and cutting consumption to save 30,000 tonnes of emissions a year – the largest on-site reduction of any Australian university.
Delivering an overall annual emissions reduction of 55,000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking 12,000 cars off the road.
Upgrading lighting to LED and adding enhanced controls and motion sensors at RMIT’s Saigon South Campus to reduce electricity consumption.
Developing a set of Responsible Investment Principles leading to the creation of two new external sustainability investment products, reducing RMIT’s philanthropic fund fossil fuel liability to zero.

Senior Vice-President Strategy & Operations, Dionne Higgins, said the University was leading the way for the sector in cutting on-site carbon emissions.

“The carbon reductions we have achieved over the years are the biggest on-site reductions in the Australian tertiary sector and mean that we are now able to fast track our carbon neutral target,” Higgins said.

“I’d like to acknowledge the hard work of our staff working across our Sustainability Team and the wider Property Services Group for their tireless work and dedication to making sure we are doing everything we can to reduce our carbon emissions.

“We are so fortunate to have some of RMIT’s and the sustainability sector’s pre-eminent academics providing their expertise to help us achieve our targets.”

RMIT is a national and global leader in sustainability and was ranked 3rd in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which assess universities’ progress against the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The University has received the most Green Gown Awards of any institution in Australasia, winning awards for facilities and services, institutional change, carbon reduction and benefitting society. Most recently RMIT won the 2021 Green Gown awards for Climate Action and Circular Economy.

RMIT will also join the United Nations Race to Zero Universities and Colleges global initiative for a zero-carbon world.

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