As Australia’s national university, ANU has a mission and leadership role to help solve some of the biggest challenges our country faces. This includes the challenge of climate change.

Through world-leading research and teaching over many decades, ANU has shown how our climate is changing and what is needed to meet this increasingly urgent challenge impacting our environment, economy and society.

ANU is home to some of the world’s leading experts on climate change. Their work is at the forefront of action to address climate change, helping fight catastrophic bushfires using new technologies, providing the most comprehensive overview of the state of Australia’s environment, developing methods to infinitely recycle plastics, enhancing our understanding of the effectiveness of carbon offsets, and helping inform and lead global action on climate change.

ANU was also among the first universities globally to implement a Socially Responsible Investment policy, driving decarbonisation across its investment portfolio. This provides important leadership in investment management while also showing how these actions support beneficial financial and environmental returns.

In 2021, ANU advanced its vital work in climate change, setting ambitious goals to reduce the University’s emissions to net zero by 2025 and below zero by 2030. ANU was among the first universities globally to set ambitious targets of this kind.

Today, ANU reaffirms its commitment to achieve below-zero emissions – a target we now aspire to reach by 2040. The University also aims to reach carbon neutrality, with the net zero target to apply from 2025 and with a focus on the University’s scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. ANU also commits to continue to map and take actions aimed at reducing the University’s scope 3 emissions.

The imperative to act on climate change is only getting stronger. The University’s commitment to reaching below zero aligns with our longstanding focus on environmental sustainability, while ensuring we continue to deliver world-class teaching and research.

To reach below zero, the University will limit and remove emissions from our operations, taking actions focused on energy efficiency, renewable electricity and, over time, de-gasification. Consistent with the advice from leading ANU research, where necessary, the University will purchase offsets that are high quality, incremental and with co-benefits.

In 2021, ANU adopted climate targets that were deliberately ambitious. These challenging targets have motivated significant change and we are proud of the actions taken and what we have already achieved. This includes converting buildings from gas to electricity, installing electric vehicle chargers and developing a masterplan for decarbonisation. The University is proud to support world-leading research, teaching and practice, highlighting the urgent need for climate action and strategies which enable decarbonisations, and to re-commit to net zero and below zero ambitions.

Read more about the University’s timeline and actions to reach below zero at our FAQs.

Read more about ANU research and advances on climate change and emissions reductions on ANU Reporter.

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