Investing globally for regional outcomes

Thursday 3 Nov 2016

Tree measuringCharles Sturt University (CSU) has finalised its investments into sequestering carbon and generating renewable energy in Australia and overseas.

CSU has appointed Australian company CO2 Australia to manage its commitments to projects that will offset its remaining carbon production following its carbon neutral status from the federal government in July this year.

The university produced over 40 000 tonnes of carbon in 2014, in excess of its carbon savings, and so is investing in projects that provide carbon offset credits and allow the institution to become carbon neutral.

CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said the projects aim to improve national and global social outcomes, in line with the university's ethos and sustainability goals.

"Co-benefits that are being delivered through the local-based projects include restoration of habitats for native fauna, new employment opportunities for regional Australians and diversification of income streams for Australian farmers."

"The overseas-based renewable energy projects that we are supporting are all located in developing countries. Co-benefits of these projects include new employment opportunities for people involved in the construction and maintenance of the systems, increased air quality, and improvements in the reliability of electricity supply as a result of decentralised generation."

Manager of CSU Green Mr Ed Maher, who is responsible for managing CSU's carbon neutral status, said CO2 Australia is the company that has been appointed as CSU's provider of offsets.

"We are running a run a field trip to one of the Australian project sites which is at West Wyalong on Thursday 10 November which will provide staff and students with an opportunity to take part in the outcomes of the offset project," Mr Maher said.

Tree gaugingDuring the field trip at West Wyalong participants will be able to see a reforestation site that is being used to generate carbon credits for CSU's offsetting program; learn about Australia's current greenhouse emissions policies, the operation of the Emissions Reduction Fund and the practicalities of day-to-day management of carbon projects; learn about the way in which carbon accounting is carried out in Australian forest carbon projects; receive training in how to conduct field assessments for forest carbon accounting and collect measurements that will be directly used to generate carbon credits for CSU's offsetting program.

CO2 Australia's Managing Director, Mr James Bulinski, said CSU has applied a very rigorous selection process for their offset purchasing and have consistently communicated their need for offsets to be high quality verified credits that are recognised by the Australian standard and which deliver a range of co-benefits.

"It's been really exciting to see how Charles Sturt University wants to be hands-on with the offsetting activities and they have really been looking to create a strong connection with the underlying projects," said Mr Bulinski.

"Charles Sturt University wanted to support local projects and I'm very pleased that we are able to work with them with some of our revegetation projects in regional New South Wales, which deliver a wide range of biodiversity and land management benefits, on top of the emissions reductions".


Media contact: Jo Mazzocchi, 0418 469 605

Media Note:

Read more on CSU as Australia's first University to be declared carbon neutral

CSU Green in partnership with CO2 Australia Carbon Offsetting Field Trip program to West Wyalong on Thursday 10th November, 2016:

9am Depart CSU Wagga Wagga campus, car park 4 by mini bus.

11am Arrival on site for morning tea followed by in-field presentation by CO2 Australia, describing the history of the project, how the Emissions Reduction Fund works, key processes such as offset reporting and auditing, and the technical under-pinning's of carbon accounting in reforestation projects.

12pm Hands on demonstration and training in collection of data for carbon accounting, including actual assessments of permanent sample plots by participants.

1.30 Lunch 2pm Wrap up comments from CO2 Australia, including preliminary carbon estimates for individual trees and sample plots measured on the day. 2:30 Departure 4:30 Arrive Wagga Wagga campus.