Overview - Education Precincts for the Future


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

Australian National University

Funding $1 032 980
Location Canberra, ACT
Estimated annual savings Water: 44 million litres
Energy: 1 718 369 kilowatt hours
CO2 emissions: 1 529 tonnes

ANU Earth Hour display on public playing oval to be irrigated with non-potable water

Photo: ANU

The Education Precincts for the Future project focused on sustainability by establishing sustainable solutions in the higher education. The University expects to reduce its carbon emissions by an estimated 1,529 tonnes from installing renewable sources of energy.

Through the project, the University has engaged students and staff on campus and the broader tertiary sector by holding a range of green events including festivals, debates and seminars. These events have reached the broader community and promoted opportunities for sustainable linkages and partnerships in the corporate community.

By improving the facilities offered to long-distance bicycle commuters, the University aims to increase the use of carbon-neutral transport on campus.

Australian National University Education Precinct for the Future - Final report (PDF - 2.75 MB) | (DOCX - 3.45 MB)

Key initiatives

Key initiatives of the Education Precincts for the Future project included:

  • a 14.28 kilowatt photovoltaic solar panel system that is capable of generating more than 21 thousand kilowatts of green energy every year
  • water metering, water sensitive urban design and minimising water use
  • a building management system upgrade
  • extended treated effluent infrastructure and stormwater harvesting to irrigate additional public playing ovals
  • a synthetic turf conversion to replace irrigated recreational surfaces on Willows Oval.

Community engagement

The University's campus is used as a climate change solution classroom and a variety of green events have been held including:

  • festivals such as Celebrate Sustainability Day
  • debates such as the Great Green Debate
  • student programs such as the Longitudinal Green Steps program
  • seminars, training programs and workshops.

Celebrate Sustainability Day was held in February of 2010 and 2011 with the aim of engaging new students and staff in sustainability. The day included: a Ride to Uni breakfast; sausage sizzle; live music; and a great range of sustainability stallholders who aimed to educate participants.

The Great Green Debate was held during the National Water Week in October 2010, with ANU Staff, students and external professionals making up the two teams. The event was a success with approximately 130 in attendance, who were able to see a passionate, informative and lively debate.