RMIT University is a multi-sector university of technology, design and enterprise that exists to prepare students for workplaces that are rapidly evolving and play a part in shaping a changing world. One of their main campuses is in Brunswick.
Carbon neutral by 2030
RMIT University is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and has completed a range of sustainability initiatives across the Brunswick Campus. These include the installation of 100kW solar PV system, changing over approximately 7,000 light fittings to LED technology, installation and consolidation of over 2MW of high efficiency condensing boilers and over 2.5MW of high efficiency multi-stage chillers for air conditioning. The university has also upgraded all building management system equipment to allow for efficient control and flexibility of air conditioning and heating. Taps were upgraded across the campus in cafes, kitchenettes, showers and toilets with more efficient products.
To minimise disruptions to students and staff, contractors were careful co-ordinated out-of-hours, as well as aligning the upgrades to seasons, with heating systems installed over the summer period and cooling systems over the winter period.
The RMIT Brunswick campus is part of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project 1, an innovative multi-partner power purchase agreement. This agreement supplies the campus with carbon-neutral electricity from the Crowlands wind farm in western Victoria – providing local investment in renewable energy and regional communities.
Michael Anderson, Manager Carbon and Sustainability at RMIT, says that “the next steps are to look to long-term strategies in reducing the reliance on natural gas, further improving the efficiency of our campuses and setting a pathway for offsetting our remaining emissions on our journey to carbon neutral by 2030.”
Reduced carbon emissions by 30%
RMIT has reduced its carbon emissions by approximately 1,000 tonnes at the Brunswick Campus, representing a decrease of 30% from a 2007 baseline. With all the actions undertaken RMIT has achieved significant financial savings through reduced energy and water bills for the campus.
Plan for the long-term
Michael’s advice is to “plan for the long term – ensuring costs are calculated over the entire life of equipment…to allow for strong business cases on the installation of new technologies”. He also suggests timing major refurbishments for when existing equipment is reaching the end of its life – a great opportunity to upgrade and integrate sustainable systems into the organisation.
How can I take similar actions?
If you work or study in Merri-bek, they are many ways that you can make improve the sustainability of your office or campus.
For energy upgrades, including finance options to help you make the switch to solar, check out our Energy Switch page for a list of what you can access in Moreland.
To reduce waste at your premises, take a look at some of the resources on our Zero Waste page.