In late 2021, Western Sydney University joined the United Nations-led 'Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges' global pledge to fast-track carbon neutrality targets to address climate change. The ambitious targets set by the University are to achieve:
- Carbon neutrality by 2023, and
- Climate and Nature positive by 2029
WSU first achieved carbon neutral certification under the Climate Active Organisation Standard in CY 2022. This means that actions we have taken in our business operations have resulted in us achieving carbon neutrality. Carbon Neutrality means reducing as many carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as possible, and then balancing those that cannot be eliminated by offsetting the remaining emissions by investing in verified carbon projects.
Estimates of our carbon footprint including emissions from Scopes 1, 2 and 3 (see diagram below) have been finalised and verified, including the development of our Emissions Reduction Strategy.
Following is a diagram of our process to achieve Climate Active certification.
The term ‘nature positive’ describes stopping biodiversity loss and restoring nature to pre-2020 levels by 2030 – with an aim for full and ongoing ecosystem recovery by 2050. The term ‘climate positive’ means that we will not only achieve net zero carbon emissions but it will also work to reduce and remove more greenhouse gases than our organisation emits. In short: Climate Positive means saving more greenhouse gas emissions than you produce.
There are still improvements to be made as we strive for the next target of Nature and Climate Positive, however the University is committed to reaching this target.
Our Climate Active goals have also been supported by our partnership with Sustainability Advantage, where Western has been recognised as a Bronze Partner in acknowledgement of its significant environmental achievements.
What is our carbon footprint?
For our carbon neutrality stakeholder engagement workshops, AM Creative Inc. granted exclusive and royalty-free license to use their edited version of the video, "Carbon Footprint". The video provides a basic overview of the meaning of carbon footprint, and describes how buying carbon offsets are a way to fund renewables, while we transition away from fossil fuels.
Copyrights of the “carbon footprint” video, thumbnails and illustrations are and shall remain vested in AM Creative Inc. who grants Western Sydney University a worldwide, exclusive and royalty-free license to use the edited version of the video created for Western Sydney University.