La Trobe University enters a new era of data management with Envizi

CUSTOMER PROFILE

Based in Victoria, Australia, La Trobe University has six campuses, more than 35,000 students and over 3,200 staff. The University is a large consumer of electricity, using 40 to 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity each year.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

La Trobe was struggling to capture, manage and report on sustainability data across its complex operations. It also faced issues with reporting compliance and data accuracy, and had limited capacity to tackle future strategic projects.

SOLUTION DEVELOPED

The University implemented Envizi for Sustainability, a cloud-based platform that brings the University’s diverse environmental data together in a single system of record.

VALUE CREATED

Envizi automates the capture and management of La Trobe’s environmental data. The University now has powerful tools to manage and report on data, set and track performance targets and focus on more strategic areas.

“Using Envizi…we no longer need a dedicated internal resource allocated to sustainability data management, and we have the opportunity in the future to dispense with the services of external auditors for the NGER process.”

Michael Anderson, Environmental Officer, La Trobe University

ENVIZI FOR LA TROBE UNIVERSITY

La Trobe University enters a new era of data management with Envizi

Capturing, managing and analyzing data across multiple campuses and locations is no small task – particularly if you’re relying on manual processes and spreadsheets. By implementing sustainability management software, La Trobe University has taken its environmental strategy higher – and could save up to AU$30,000 each year in external audit fees alone.

Based in Victoria, Australia, La Trobe University has six campuses, more than 35,000 students and over 3,200 staff. The University consumes 40 to 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually, and also has its own natural gas-fired cogeneration plant, which provides most of the electricity and heating for its Melbourne campus. Excess electricity is sold back into the grid, making the plant economically viable.

La Trobe is one of only a small number of universities worldwide to adopt the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting framework, which gives sustainability reporting the same rigour as financial reporting.

However, the University’s complex environment – with multiple geographically dispersed campuses, 160 different electricity and natural gas accounts, small housing units and its own energy generation operations – makes it very difficult to capture, analyze and report on environmental data.

The University previously relied on manual data capture and management processes using spreadsheets and surveys, which were prone to error. This was also time-consuming, and meant the University needed to dedicate a full-time staff member to sustainability data capture and management for several months each year.

“The main driver for implementing a new system was to improve the way we were capturing data: we could do so much more if we knew what we were consuming, when and where,” says Michael Anderson, La Trobe University’s Environmental Officer. “The last thing you want to do is just be managing data on spreadsheets.”

Envizi provides a single source of truth

To take control of its environmental data, La Trobe University Since deployed Envizi for Sustainability. The cloud-based platform allows the University to track its energy and water consumption and levels of waste and recycling.

A new level of insight

Since implementing the Envizi platform, La Trobe University has automated its data capture processes and increased the auditability and accuracy of energy and sustainability reporting.

“[After implementation], La Trobe University had its easiest year of National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER),” says Anderson. “Envizi provides ease of access and visual representation of this information, which is used to regularly keep facilities managers up to date on consumption patterns.”

In addition to streamlining sustainability reporting, Envizi allows the University to monitor its energy-efficiency projects, so departments can see how projects, such as solar installations, are having a direct impact on electricity imports and sustainability.

A more cost-effective approach to sustainability

Thanks to its improved reporting capabilities, the University can potentially save up to AU$30,000 annually in external audit fees alone.

“Using Envizi, the process is now so smooth that we no longer need a dedicated internal resource allocated to sustainability data management, and we have the opportunity in the future to dispense with the services of external auditors for the NGER process,” says Anderson.

A greater focus on strategy

According to Anderson, the biggest benefit is that Envizi allows the University’s facilities department to look beyond data management and reporting to focus on more strategic areas, including energy management.

“A major project in the next 12 to 24 months is to revamp electrical sub-metering,” says Anderson. “That will give us much greater visibility on our energy usage and, using Envizi, enable us to make informed decisions on how to reduce usage or implement new systems to improve our energy efficiency.”

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