Strategies for Reducing the Carbon Footprint of an Australian University

By Kevin Parton, William Adlong and Ed Maher.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper reviews both the development of strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions of universities around the world, and government policy in Australia for reducing emissions. Then the approach taken by one university in Australia, Charles Sturt University (CSU), is placed within this overall context, as it moves to achieve neutrality in greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon-reduction targets that were developed by CSU are discussed, and its role as a community leader demonstrating exemplary practice in the carbon-reduction process is examined. Conclusions are presented about whether CSU and universities around the world are likely to meet the reduction schedule called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and others. An important function of a successful carbon reduction strategy is its ability to establish a culture of sustainability and sense of norms that staff and students of universities will enshrine, and that students will carry into their future workplaces. This is a significant influence that the universities can have on achieving a more sustainable world.

Keywords: Greenhouse Gas Neutrality, Universities, Cultural Leadership, Strategy Implementation, IPCC Targets

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.361-374. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 845.546KB).

Prof. Kevin Parton

Research Professor, School of Business , Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW, Australia

Professor Kevin Parton has 35 years of teaching, research, research management and research training experience in a range of organisations, including universities, Australian and Canadian Government agencies and international research organisations. He has completed research projects in the EU, Australia, Canada, Ethiopia, Kenya, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. In 1992 he won the Sir John Crawford Award for extension of research methods in agricultural research institutes in Papua New Guinea. Professor Parton has published over 100 internationally refereed journal articles. He has research interests in both agricultural and health economics. He has held positions of director of a centre for health research and development, head of school and dean of faculty. He is now a Research Professor in the Institute for Land, Water and Society, and Head, Orange Campus, Charles Sturt University. He teaches courses in market research and quantitative analysis, and his current major research interests are in the economics of climate change policy, and social and health aspects of adaptation to climate change. Professor Parton is a Fellow of the Australian Farm Business Management Network and editor of the Australian Farm Business Management Journal.

William Adlong

Head, CSU Green, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia

William Adlong has been an Educational Designer with Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Australia since 1999. He is also a PhD candidate with the Faculty of Education at CSU, focusing on non-formal and informal education involved in responses to major environmental problems. William has been actively involved for years in local and regional networks campaigning for greater action on environmental issues. He has recently spent two years in an internal transfer as Manager of the University’s new sustainability office ‘CSU Green’.

Ed Maher

Energy Manager, Facilities Management, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia

Edward Maher currently works in the role of Energy Manager at Charles Sturt University where he is leading the implementation of the University’s carbon, energy, water, waste and biodiversity targets. His responsibilities involve the “hands-on” identification of efficiency opportunities and implementation of associated works in addition to leading the development of environmental sustainability-related policy. He has over 7-years experience in resource efficiency. Prior to joining Charles Sturt University Mr Maher worked for 5 years as a key member of Sydney Water’s Every Drop Counts Business Program Team. Significant achievements whilst in that role include the delivery of the award-winning Best Practice Guidelines in Water Efficiency for Commercial Buildings and Shopping Centers and establishing the ground-breaking Every Drop Counts Online – a web-based self service portal allowing Sydney Water’s business customers to access a suite of automated reporting and benchmarking tools to aid in improved water management. Edward Maher has qualifications in Environmental Science (Hons), Business Management and energy efficiency.

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