Tom Connellan with head of La Trobe University, Bendigo
Robert Stephenson.
Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

A $75 million initiative combining 20 separate projects will ensure La Trobe will have Net Zero emissions by 2029.

The Bendigo campus is already playing its part, with 1400 solar panels installed and now supplying up to half of the campus’ daytime power usage when running at the peak of solar efficiency.

That’s the equivalent of more than 90 home solar systems.

The campus also harvests two million litres of rainwater per year, used to flush toilets and irrigate gardens and grounds.

As part of the new project officially launched by Professor Dewar and university chancellor John Brumby, the campus will have 9000 high-efficiency low cost LED lights installed across the campus in coming months.

It will also have a large-scale composter, which can turn the equivalent of 100 kilogrammes of organic waste into 20kg of nutrient rich, eco-friendly fertiliser every day.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the university was committed to making real change for long-term benefit.

“La Trobe recognises the social, environment and economic importance of reducing our carbon footprint,” he said.

“That’s why we have set an ambitious target to become the first university in Victoria to meet this important goal.

“Not only is reducing our carbon emissions the right thing to do, it also makes good economic and environmental sense. Rather than simply buy carbon credits, we’ve got a clear plan for action and we are making genuine, local changes to become more efficient and make a deliberate switch to renewables.”