Carbon Objectives

Objective 1
Align energy and carbon mitigation programs with UQ’s core business objectives of Learning, Discovery & Engagement.
Objective 2
Comply with Government carbon legislation.
Objective 3
Minimise the consumption and cost of energy and carbon.
Objective 4
Position UQ on energy, carbon & sustainability with both internal and external stakeholders.


Sustainability Targets and Action Plan

To measure its sustainability achievements, UQ is currently developing a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) outlining UQ's carbon reduction and sustainability targets and the actions necessary to meet it. The SAP is being developed for endorsement by the Sustainability Steering Committee, ensuring that our targets and actions are meaningful and achievable.

The University of Queensland's Carbon Footprint

To develop a response to climate change, UQ must first understand its carbon footprint.

UQ has over 40,000 students and almost 6000 staff occupying well over 700 buildings in its four campuses and over 50 teaching and research sites throughout Queensland.

UQ generated over 138 kilotonnes of CO2-e emissions in 2010/2011.  97% of our reportable footprint (Scope 1 and 2) is attributed to the consumption of approximately 151,000MWh of electricity (Scope2).  The remaining emissions (Scope 1) result from natural gas consumption, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) consumption, unleaded petrol and diesel consumed in UQ's fleet vehicles, vessels and generators, in-house incineration and wastewater treatment and sulphur hexafluoride leakages from electrical infrastructure and scientific equipment.

Scope 3 emissions which are currently not reportable to the federal government's Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) result from commuting and business travel, paper consumption, offsite waste disposal/treatment and offsite wastewater treatment. 

Managing UQ's Carbon Footprint

Having identified and quantified elements of UQ's operations that contribute to the carbon footprint, strategies can be developed to manage these greenhouse gas emissions.

The following carbon management model presents those elements of UQ’s operations that can be managed to minimise the carbon footprint. The elements are grouped under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Emission Scope (1, 2 or 3) to which they relate (see page 21 of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development – The Greenhouse Gas Protocol a corporate accounting and reporting standard for explanation of the scopes]. 
UQ Carbon Management Model
View this model in PDF format [ PDF, 142KB ] 

Carbon Compliance and Legislation

In recent years, the Federal Government has introduced new legislation to conserve energy and greenhouse gas emissions. 

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (the NGER Act) establishes a national reporting framework for large corporations to report on Scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption and production from 1 July 2008. UQ produced its first report in October 2009, covering over 20 sites and numerous emission sources. Comprehensive monitoring of the University's emissions is an ongoing requirement and UQ will submit a report to the DCCEE annually.

See NGER brochure for details on your responsibilities under this legislation.
More information on NGER can be found at

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