RSMG's carbon-neutrality policy was launched in October 2006.


Emissions of greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide are the main cause of anthropogenic climate change. Among other effects, climate change is likely to lead to higher evaporation, reduced rainfall and reduced runoff in the Murray-Darling Basin, which is the main area of study for the Risk and Sustainable Management Group (RSMG). 
As of October 2006, Australian government policy was focused on voluntary approaches to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Australia had not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but achievement of the emissions reductions targets set out in the Protocol was an objective of government policy. 
In these circumstances, the Risk and Sustainable Management Group felt it appropriate to undertake its research program in an environmentally sustainable fashion. In particular, the Group seeks to achieve carbon-neutrality, that is, zero net emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Aims of the policy

The aims of the policy are:

  • by reducing activities that generate emissions, and offsetting unavoidable emissions, to ensure that RSMG makes a zero net contribution to emissions of greenhouse gases, so that the Group’s activities are carbon-neutral; 
  • by identifying efficiency improvements, to achieve savings sufficient to finance all offset costs, so that the policy is budget-neutral; and
  • provide experience and information that will assist the Group’s research into climate change and related issues.
More information

Details about the approach and implementation can be found in the carbon-neutrality policy document (pdf). This document also contains further information about the assessment and evaluation of the policy, as well as the broader implications for emmissions policy and future directions. The Appendix contains our carbon audit.