La Trobe University has been ranked first in Australia – and 63rd internationally – in the latest Universitas Indonesia Greenmetric Ranking of World Universities.
More than 215 universities from 49 countries took part in the survey, which is now in its third year. The rankings compare the efforts made by universities towards campus sustainability and environment friendly university management.
Flinders University ranked second in Australia and 66 internationally, followed by Bond University at 68 and Charles Darwin at 172.
La Trobe Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor John Rosenberg said this was a pleasing outcome for the University.
He said the survey results were based on information provided by universities about their performance across a range of measures including green statistics, energy and water use, waste management, transportation, and education.
La Trobe scored well on waste recycling and treatment, water conservation, reduction in the use of plastics and paper cups, open space and vegetation, and moderately well for energy conservation and green house gas emission.
Professor Rosenberg said La Trobe was an early adopter of environmental initiatives. These include a gas-fired co-generation plant, operating since 1993, which provides most of the main Melbourne campus’ electricity while also feeding power back into the grid.
There is a moat system recycling water to newer buildings as grey water, and for watering gardens, as well La Trobe’s Wildlife Sanctuary which provides campus and community access to the natural environment of north-eastern Melbourne.
Nine University undergraduate and four graduate programs are linked to sustainability. They range from the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Ecology to a Master of Outdoor and Environmental Education.
‘Although the metrics are not yet fully comprehensive and clearly involve some elements of subjectivity, they nevertheless provide a reasonable assessment of some core aspects of campus sustainability. They help us identify where we do well and where we can work on further improving our performance.’
Professor Rosenberg said La Trobe expects that the survey’s methodology will develop further in coming years and that the number of submitting institutions – which has increased from an inaugural 95 to 178 last year and 215 this year – will also continue to grow.
He added that the Greenmetric Rankings survey is only one indicator. ‘La Trobe is serious about its sustainability performance and also takes into consideration metrics from international and industry specific benchmarks.’ – Ernest Raetz