TropEco Sustainable Campuses

Sustainable Campuses

TropEco is committed to reducing waste, encouraging reuse and increasing recycling rates at all of our campuses. Learn about what goes in what bin and more about our waste systems, including how you can help, at the  JCU Recycling and Waste page.

people collecting rubbish. waste reduction hierarchy. waste bin.

JCU encourages students and staff to use sustainable transport when travelling to and from campus. TropEco has implemented several sustainable transport initiatives, including our Green Bike Fleet and associated Bicycle Workshops at the Cairns and Townsville campuses. TropEco's award-winning Green Bike Fleet program repairs second-hand bicycles and sells them at low cost to JCU students.

Sustainable transport options at JCU include:

Bike Workshop CairnsSunbusCycling at entry

JCU's campuses and research sites are uniquely bio-diverse, featuring tropical ecosystems including wet tropical rainforest, dry tropical savanna and fringing coral reefs.

Townsville, Bebegu Yumba Campus

The JCU Townsville campus is set in the foothills of Mt Stuart, a bio-diverse, dry tropical savannah region, with localised riparian vine thickets. The area supports abundant native wildlife, with the campus being a haven for many native species. Two major ephemeral creeks traverse the site, Wadda Mooli Creek and Goondaloo Creek, which reflect the Indigenous heritage of the site.

Maintaining and enhancing the natural areas on campus is important to JCU and the Townsville Campus Natural Assets Management Plan has been developed to ensure future development is considerate of the natural areas by minimising harm to native species and ecosystems and protecting and enhancing significant natural areas on campus.

The Townsville campus has installed several Fish Ladders to ensure the uninterrupted passage of native fish to their spawning grounds during the wet season.

Cairns, Nguma-bada Campus

The JCU Cairns Campus is located between the two World Heritage sites of the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef. Established on a disused cane farm, the site is nestled in the foothills of the Macalister Range. Atika Creek runs through the heart of the campus and the remnant riparian rainforest is a major feature of the campus, attracting students and staff from across Australia and Internationally.

Protection and enhancement of local biodiversity and balancing ecosystem protection with appropriate development is an important priority for JCU. The Cairns Natural Assets Management Plan seeks to safeguard the campus environment for the future. A campus arboretum has been established to highlight key native and Indigenous use species and this will be expanded in 2016, with a tree mapping project being undertaken by the Australian Tropical Herbarium in collaboration with TropEco.

Research sites

Daintree Rainforest Observatory

Orpheus Island Research Station

Fletcherview Research Station

JCU is a leader in energy management at its Townsville and Cairns campuses. The award-winning energy management program has resulted in savings to JCU of over $10 million since 2009, with greenhouse gas emissions reductions of over 10,600 tonnes per year. JCU continues to work to ensure its campuses, buildings and sites are energy efficient.

JCU is working to increase renewable energy use on its campuses.  Solar power installations are in place at the Daintree Rainforest Observatory and Orpheus Island Research Station. The JCU Townsville campus has solar installations at the Science Place and Rotary House. Cairns campus has a solar installation on the JCU Ideas Lab.

aerial photo of DRS. OIRSsolar panels on roofsolar panels on Ideas Lab.

Award-Winning Energy Management

Campus District Cooling System

Energy Management System (EMS)

Energy and Water Action Plan

JCU realises the importance of conserving water and is implementing measures to reduce water use. These include:

  • Installation of rainwater tanks on new buildings, such as the Boatshed in Cairns and ATSIP in Townsville.
  • Education and awareness programs for staff and students.
  • Reuse of old cooling tower tanks to store storm and bore water for irrigation.
  • Use of bore water and stormwater to irrigate grounds.
  • Improved irrigation practices, metering and monitoring.
  • Installation of water efficient showers and tap fittings.
  • Installation of water efficient fittings and toilets in all new and refurbished buildings.
  • Installation of additional sub-metering and connection to the JCU energy management system to identify usage patterns and faults.
  • Working with Townsville City Council to minimise irrigation use and comply with water restrictions.