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Australia: Destination Guides

Australia's top 10 green universities


With astonishing biodiversity in flora and fauna and thriving in the midst of global warming challenge, Australia is working together with its youngest generation to promote an environmentally friendly approach to education. Recently, The Australian newspaper highlighted the effort of many universities working towards greener policies in its Australian top 10 Green Universities.


1. Monash University

Monash University has been crowned as the ‘greenest’ university for its holistic approach to sustainability, The Australian newspaper reports. This university boasts several related degrees and 300 relevant courses, with extensive research across multiple environmental areas. Monash has acquired several awards, including the 2010 Premier's Sustainability Award, the UN Association Education Award and the 2009 Banksia Environmental Award.

2. Australian National University

ANU has recently collected the 2009 International Sustainable Campus Network award for engaging the entire academic community in its ANUgreen environment and sustainability programme. the Climate Change Institute is also based in the ANU, with some of the country’s most influential researchers.


3. Macquarie University

Macquire University was highly commended for its efforts in water recycling and conservation as well as waste minimisation. Macquarie was an early adopter of greenhouse gas emissions policy, having won the 2001 Green Globe for its gas fuelled cogeneration plant which reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 44 per cent. Macquarie also hosts the Australian Research Institute for Environment and Sustainability.

4. University of Western Sydney

UWS efforts have been concentrated on comprehensive teaching and learning programmes, research, community engagement and operations in its sustainability plan across a myriad of fronts.

5. University of Adelaide

From all universities, Adelaide is the university with one of the highest investments on the development of green technologies. Its $100 million engineering, mathematical and computer sciences building, Innova21, is flaunted as “Australia’s first six-star Green Star Design, Education building” and won the 2011 National Award for Sustainable Architecture from the Australian Institute of Architects. It is also home to the Centre for Climate Change.

6. University of Melbourne

With a set a target to be carbon neutral by 2030, University of Melbourne is working hard on research, degree programmes and external engagement to make the target achievable. With this mindset, the whole academic community is working towards greener policies, management of energy, water and waste.    

7. Charles Sturt University

The Albury-Wodonga campus which stretches over 87 hectares has been set as an example of sustainability in a biodiverse space. CSU has set operational targets to reduce energy and water use by 25 per cent, increase biodiversity by 20 per cent and become greenhouse neutral by 2015.

8. University of the Sunshine Coast

The USC has faced the architectural challenge of building energy efficient structures and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On October 2011 it became Australia’s first university to gain full accreditation from the Urban Development Institute of Australia for sustainability across six categories – ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community.

9. James Cook University

With a myriad of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in biology and the environment, eco-friendliness runs among every member of the academic community. James Cook University won the 2010 Australian Business Award for environmental sustainability and the 2011 TEFMA Innovation Award for its approach to reducing energy consumption. It has also been highlighted a world leader in reef and rainforest research.

10. La Trobe University 

La Trobe was the first university in the world to publish an externally assured sustainability report on its social, environmental and economic footprint. It achieved 11 per cent energy reduction between 2009 and 2010 and recently collected the 2011 Green Gown Award for continuous improvement in institutional change and making sustainability part of their everyday community life.



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