Carbon strategy and implementation

Energetics supports the University of Queensland (UQ) to enhance its position as a leading institution for education and research by developing a coherent strategic framework to respond to the challenges of climate change. Furthermore, Energetics is working with UQ to plan and initiate implementation programs to deliver the university's climate change goals.

Key Facts

Client: University of Queensland
Location: Queensland
Industry: Education
Project: Carbon strategy
Lead consultant: Jonathan Jutsen

 

Outcome

Setting objectives and defining a program of works

Utilising our experience in assisting large organisations to develop their strategic response to climate change, and our initial understanding of UQ’s carbon exposure, Energetics developed a tailored carbon strategy for UQ. Energetics worked with UQ to identify their key carbon strategy objectives and developed a prioritised and time bound program of works associated with each of the key objectives, UQ was well positioned to plan and implement its strategy.

Establishing the priority business systems

To maintain the programs momentum, Energetics supported UQ to deliver the key actions.

For example; this included establishing an executive level carbon committee, which brought in ‘top down’ leadership to complement the existing ‘bottom-up’ operational inputs. By taking this approach, UQ has the opportunity to gain the commitment of the leadership team to deliver the strategy, and ensuring that corporate compliance, risks and responses are understood and accepted at senior levels - Thereby providing visibility of the financial requirements and benefits associated with the strategy.

Delivering a return on investment

This strategic consulting project has delivered UQ both financial and non-financial benefits. The direct and implied cost savings from the works were about five times the cost of Energetics’ consulting services. The financial returns of the strategy are expected to be even stronger in the future, as the implementation activity accelerates to deliver the significant opportunities identified in the strategy.

Background

UQ is one of Australia's premier learning and research institutions. It is the oldest university in Queensland and has produced generations of graduates who have gone on to become leaders in all areas of society and industry. The University is a founding member of the national Group of Eight, an alliance of research-strong "sandstone" universities committed to ensuring that Australia has higher education institutions which are genuinely world class.

UQ engaged with Energetics to support them to leverage off these core competencies to coordinate and enhance its carbon and energy program.

Energetics guided the University into establishing a strategic framework for the ongoing management of carbon. This framework has been invaluable in determining a way forward to meet the University's carbon objectives. These objectives focus on legislative compliance, integration of carbon and sustainability principles into teaching and research programs, minimisation of the quantity and cost of carbon emissions, and community and stakeholder engagement in responding to climate change.

Geoff Dennis, Acting Director Properties and Facilities Division, University of Queensland

Project Objectives

The delivery of a carbon strategy followed an initial strategic framework scoping exercise, which included guiding UQ to identify how they can maximise their opportunities, minimise their costs and mitigate their risks in response to the challenges of climate change. Energetics was then re-engaged to drive and provide quality assurance to UQ, for an initial six month period, to support the planning and implementation of UQ’s energy and carbon strategy.

A Partnership Approach

Energetics continues to work with UQ in a partnership approach. At the initiation of these works a Project Control Group (PCG) was established, which included Energetics, to further define the scope and manage the project deliverables. Due to the complex nature of the program and its multiple stakeholders, tasks had to be approached methodically and progress communicated regularly. Weekly PCG meetings and the project plan also enabled the successful management of the project.

Challenges

This partnership approach, whilst aimed at maximising the value of the consulting project, had its inherent risks. The main risk being that the project could only progress as fast as UQ’s internal timescales would allow. To mitigate this risk, regular project reviews were held with the key stakeholders to prioritise tasks, and to ensure quality outcomes were being maximised.