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Our footprint

We are committed to becoming carbon neutral university by 2020 and implementing measures to conserve and enhance resources so that the needs of future generations are not compromised.

In line with our Strategic Plan 2009-2013, the first environmental audit across our operations to better understand its environmental impact identified:

  • the majority, 89%, of our carbon footprint arises from electricity consumption comprising
  • in 2010 our total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions represented a 5% reduction against the 2009 baseline.

Initiatives being investigated by Campus Services under the Carbon Reduction Project are focussed primarily on demand reduction initiatives (retrofitting) ahead of renewable energy options (photovoltaic installation) and low GHG emissions technology (Tri-generation).

Our emissions

The University of Southern Queensland carbon footprint outlines the emissions associated with activities over which we have operational control as defined by the National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting (NGER) Act 2007. The data is collected and calculated according to: 

  • the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008
  • the National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA) Factors June 2009 workbook
2009 (Baseline) 2010 2011
Emission source Total Tonnes CO2-e Percentage of total emissions Total Tonnes CO2-e Percentage of total emissions Total Tonnes CO2-e Percentage of total emissions
Scope 1 (direct activity emissions)
Vehicle use (diesel and petrol) Toowoomba 351 2% 316 2% 296 2%
Fraser Coast 12 <1% 11 <1% 12 <1%
Springfield 33 <1% 33 <1% 25 <1%
Fuel for Generators 12 <1% 12 <1% 12 <1%
Fuel for plant and machinery 10 <1% 27 <1% 10 <1%
Natural gas for stationary combustion 353 2% 463 3% 432 3%
Total Scope 1 771 5% 835 5% 786 5%
Scope 2 (indirect activity emissions)
Purchased electricity Toowoomba 13 336 80% 12 494 79% 13 058 77%
Fraser Coast 725 4% 749 5% 691 4%
Springfield 822 4% 749 5% 1398 8%
Ravensbourne 0 <1% 0 <1% 0 <1%
Mt Kent Observatory 25 <1% 23 <1% 22 <1%
Total Scope 2 14 908 89% 14 048 89% 15 169 89%
Scope 3 (all other indirect emissions external to the facility)
Air travel 543 3% 514 3% 487 3%
Waste landfill 464 3% 464 3% 464 3%
Rental vehicles 44 <1% 44 <1% 53 <1%
Total Scope 3 1051 6% 1022 6% 1004 6%
Total GHG Emissions 16 730 100% 15 905 100% 16 959 100%
Carbon Offsets - Greenpower 0 -310.8 -1372.6

Emissions factors have been used from the NGA factors workbook for the year reported. To be as comprehensive as possible all sources are included that can be accurately estimated at present. Data from previous years has been recalculated as more accurate date has become available.

Reporting and compliance

 We are currently developing a reporting framework aligned with the sustainability reporting guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to be utilised in our Environmental Management and Sustainability Reports to better communicate our journey and achievements in this area.

Copies of the following Environmental Sustainability Reports are available from the Environmental Office

  • GRI Environmental Performance Indicator Summary Results 2009 
  • 2009 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report 
  • Environmental Performance Report.

As a registered participant in the Queensland Smart Energy Savings Program and in compliance with the Clean Energy Act 2008 an Energy Efficiency Action Plan has been developed based on the key findings of a Level 2 Energy Audit conducted in late 2011. In alignment with our Carbon Reduction Strategy 2012-2014 a series of energy efficiency, conservation and management measures will be progressed across the Toowoomba campus.

Energy savings projects identified in the 2012-2014 period include: 

  • resetting start times of central plant equipment
  • installation of occupancy sensors on toilet lighting
  • installation of cold aisle containment in the IT server rooms
  • installation of occupancy buttons on all classrooms
  • implementation of software to automatically turn off computers overnight
  • installation of solar domestic hot water (McGregor & Steele Rudd colleges).