In a sign that the education sector is increasingly taking a leadership position in tackling environmental issues, Charles Sturt University (CSU) has recently become the first Australian university to be certified carbon neutral.
CSU’s efforts have won them accolades, including winning the Green Globe Prize for 2016, the coveted Green Gown Award Australasia recognising sustainability excellence within the tertiary sector and acknowledgement from Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s Minister for Environment and Energy.
CSU’s journey to carbon neutrality began in 2003, when they embarked upon an ambitious program of retrofitting, smart meter installation, organic waste management and solar installations to progressively reduce their emissions across their multi-site campuses. To deal with their residual emissions, CSU has committed to sourcing and retiring National Carbon Offset Standard compliant carbon credits.
“In sourcing carbon credits, we were really interested in delivering as many co-benefits as we could. We wanted to connect in a very hands-on way with land-management focused projects based near our campuses and support international projects in developing countries with a focus on clean-energy”, said Mr Maher, Manager CSU Green.
CO2 Australia, an environmental services company that has been delivering carbon projects since 2004, was engaged by CSU to deliver a carbon offset solution using verified carbon credits from a mix of local and international projects delivering environmental and social benefits on top of emissions reductions.
“This represents one of the most significant voluntary emissions programs that we’ve seen in Australia in recent years. CSU have made a big commitment to ensuring they have some meaningful connection with the offsets projects and have put a lot of thought into the types of activities they want to support through their carbon credit purchasing”, said James Bulinski, Managing Director of CO2 Australia.
One of the projects that CSU has sourced credits from is based in New South Wales, near to CSU’s Wagga Wagga campus. Through this project, historically cleared farmlands have been revegetated, increasing biodiversity and improving habitat for fauna species. A CSU delegation, hosted by CO2 Australia, recently visited the project site collecting data supporting the generation of carbon credits. “It was fantastic to see the CSU people literally getting hands-on with measuring the carbon in trees as part of the process for generating their own carbon credits” said Mr Bulinski.
CSU are committed to maintaining their carbon neutral status over the long-term and are hoping that their initiative will help drive broader emissions reducing activities from organisations and individuals. They continue with the roll out of a range of sustainability initiatives, including around waste reduction and solar projects.
Want to know more about how your organisation can meet its carbon neutral commitments? We can help you meet carbon neutral commitments in a balanced way.
Contacts for further information
CO2 Australia – James Bulinski, Managing Director, (03) 9928 5111
Charles Sturt University – Edward Maher, Manager CSU Green, (02) 6933 4080