Year on Year Comparison of Carbon Emissions


UniSA’s current carbon emissions profile is depicted below. 88% of UniSA’s carbon emissions are caused by energy (electricity and gas) consumption and 77% is caused by electricity consumption alone.


In February 2009, the ATN announced a joint commitment to reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 10% of 2007 levels by 2012/13, and 25% by 2020/21.

Due to UniSA's relatively low carbon emissions in comparison to its ATN partners, our target was to reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 6% of 2007 levels by 2012/13, and 15% by 2020/21.  A 2021 carbon emissions audit identified that UniSA had achieved a 42% reduction over the period (2007 – 2020/21).

carbon emissions graph end 2022.jpg

*Total consumption expanded in 2018 due to the completion and occupation of the UniSA Cancer Research Institute and Pridham Hall.

Management Strategies

UniSA’s carbon emissions management strategy has focused on reducing electricity consumption, with the dual benefit of reducing costs. Prior to 2010 UniSA’s principal strategy was the introduction of push button lighting and air-conditioning controls in all general areas such as teaching and meeting spaces.

Further demand management strategies were implemented in 2012 which included installing:

  • variable speed pumps and valves on Mawson Lakes’ air conditioning equipment
  • variable speed drives on cooling tower fan motors
  • energy efficient lighting

In 2018 UniSA committed to installing circa 2MW of Solar PV at Mawson Lakes and City West campuses. Following a Post Implementation Review in 2020, the Solar PV was found to have reduced UniSA’s scope 1+2 carbon emissions by circa 9%.


UniSA benchmarks exceptionally well against other Australian Universities regarding its carbon emissions.

TEFMA carbon emissions 2021.jpg

*Source: Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association Benchmarking Data


Please contact us if you would like more information on individual campus or building energy consumption.


What can I do to help?

Check out the links below or send us your ideas.

  • Lower sash height whenever possible
  • Identify which cupboards can be switched off safely when not in use
  • Prepare equipment before switching on the fume cupboard
  • Complete non-hazardous processes on the bench to reduce running time
  • Avoid using fume cupboards as chemical stores wherever possible

Report faults including leaks ASAP via the Maintenance Request online tool.

  • Switch off the lights in common areas when no one is present
  • Switch off your office lights when you leave your office; particularly if it is well lit by natural light
  • Switch off your monitors when you leave your office for more than 15 minutes
  • Where possible, put your computer into 'sleep' mode when not in use
  • Switch off general equipment that is not in use. This mat include incubators, centrifuges, microscopes, analytical equipment, sterilisers and ovens
  • Ensure all items with a heating function e.g. heating blocks, microscopes, PCR machines, water basins are switched off when not in active use
  • Use curtains and blinds effectively
  • Set your heater/cooler to a set point that is as close as possible to the ambient temperature, while still being comfortable
  • Set your cooler no lower than 24 degrees and heater no higher than 20 degrees (every additional degree lower/higher uses an additional 10% of energy)