Journal article

The nitrogen footprint for an Australian university: Institutional change for corporate sustainability

Xia Liang, Ee Ling Ng, Shu Kee Lam, Elizabeth A Castner, Allison M Leach, Baojing Gu, Gerard Healey, James N Galloway, Deli Chen



Reactive nitrogen (Nr; all species of nitrogen other than N2 gas) is a major cause of air and water pollution, with worldwide costs of billions in human health and ecosystem damages. The nitrogen (N) footprint, which quantifies the anthropogenic release of Nr from the production and consumption of both food and energy, has been used as an indicator of sustainability at individual and national levels. Here, we present the first institutional N footprint in Australia – the N footprint for The University of Melbourne (UoM) in 2015, and projections to 2020 under four scenario families. The total N footprint of UoM in 2015 was 139 tonnes N; food production (36.7%), utilities (32.4%), and transpor..

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Awarded by Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant Australian Research Council

Awarded by Australia China Joint Research Centre - Healthy soils for sustainable food production and environmental quality

Funding Acknowledgements

Authors appreciate the help and support we received from the following UoM departments and individuals: Sustainable Campus team of UoM (Manager Danielle Rostan-Herbert; Judith Alcorn and Emily Newton), Chancellery Sustainability Adviser Clare Walker and her team - Gerard Healey and Katie Mee; Fleet Officer (Chris Stavrou); Grounds Supervisor (Andrew Gay); Utilities Management (Van-Hung Le); Admin and Professional Support of Transport & Parking (Zoe Tran) and Property Manager (Warwick Padey) of the Infrastructure Services, General Manager (John Macaulay) of University House; Facilities & Infrastructure Manager of UoM Student Union Ltd (Paul Durrant) and all 33 dining venues for a food consumption survey. We also received help beyond UoM from the Melbourne Water (Kelly Brooks and Ellen Tao) and The Royal Melbourne Hospital (Monika Page). Authors also acknowledge the University of Melbourne for a research scholarship, Meat and Livestock Australia, Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme Australian Research Council (DE170100423), Australia China Joint Research Centre - Healthy soils for sustainable food production and environmental quality (ACSRF48165), for financial support.