Western Sydney University has signed the United Nations-led ‘Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges’ pledge, joining institutions worldwide to mobilise climate action and build momentum towards a decarbonised economy.
As part of the pledge, the University has set ambitious targets to achieve carbon neutrality by 2023 and be climate positive by 2029. These targets fast track those set out in the Sustaining Success 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, which had previously aimed for carbon neutrality by 2030. The targets also complement the recently established Sustainability and Resilience 2030 Decadal Strategy.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said the University is pleased to participate in this global campaign and take a leadership role toward a more resilient, sustainable, and prosperous future.
“Western Sydney University’s commitment to this pledge and fast tracking of carbon neutrality targets reiterates our dedication to addressing climate change and a future that is not only habitable, but also inclusive and equitable,” said Professor Glover.
The pledge builds on the University’s recent Carbon Neutrality Implementation Plan, which investigates opportunities and implications of fast tracking progress towards carbon neutrality. The Plan establishes a carbon footprint for Western Sydney University consistent with the federal Climate Active program – an ongoing partnership with the Australian Government to drive voluntary climate action – and expands on the University’s success with Green Star buildings and 100% renewable electricity supply.
The University was invited to take part in the ‘Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges’ pledge by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges and the UN Environmental Program, through Times Higher Education. The pledge is the officially recognised initiative for universities and colleges to be part of the ‘Race to Zero’, which mobilises actors outside of national governments to join the Climate Ambition Alliance, launched at the Climate Action Summit in 2019.