At the University of Tasmania, we know that climate change is one of the biggest issues facing humanity right now.
We want to be a leader in taking charge and addressing climate change in the education sector. And we want to help, inspire and assist students in playing their role as well.
It’s because of this commitment that the we keep ranking high in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ratings on action towards achieving Goal 13 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We were ranked #1 globally in 2022.
What are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?
The United Nations goals are ways that we can work towards a better world by tackling the big issues, such as poverty, climate change and inequality.
And of those, number 13 is about how we can “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts". There are four key criteria, are we’re passionate about addressing each one.
Research on climate action
As a university, we’re in an incredibly fortunate position. In addition to taking steps to reduce our emissions, we can facilitate research to discover entirely new ways that we can make a difference.
Our postgraduate students have completed several fascinating research projects, including a PhD project on sea level rise impacts on UTAS properties and Masters research on diverting organic waste from landfill.
Additionally, hundreds of students of all levels have been involved in climate-related projects through SIPS (Sustainability Integration Project for Students).
Low-carbon energy use
With over $800 million committed to developing new campuses across the state over a 10-year period, reducing our carbon emissions can make a big difference. That’s why we’re targeting a reduction of at least 25% in all new buildings.
Some of our other energy efficiency initiatives have included HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) upgrades and LED lighting. There has been a phase out from natural gas, with no gas lines in new developments and campus expansions, and we’ve ensured all new buildings are solar power ready.
Environment education measures
We currently offer over 100 courses with climate-focused units. These give students in a wide range of courses the opportunity to learn more about the environment and how climate change affects us.
In addition to this, we have SIPS (Sustainability Integration Project for Students). This project has given hundreds of students the opportunity to make real change to the university and the environment.
Commitment to being carbon neutral
We’re not doing this on our own: The University of Tasmania is a part of several key networks that will help us reach our goals.
Frist, we’re part of Climate Active, an ongoing partnership between the Australian Government and Australian organisations to drive voluntary climate action. In 2016, they certified us as carbon neutral organisation. This means that we are committed to reducing our emissions and any carbon we release into the atmosphere is completely offset.
We also joined The Race to Zero in 2021. This global effort is based around gathering support from organisations like us, with the goal of reaching worldwide net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.
We've joined the Race to Zero
The University of Tasmania joined the global campaign Race to Zero in April 2021. In meeting all the criteria, we are part of the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.
Certified carbon neutral since 2016
The University of Tasmania has been a certified carbon neutral organisation since 2016. We are currently one of only two universities in Australia that are Certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active.