LA TROBE University is aiming to become Victoria's first carbon neutral university, and Bendigo is among the regional campuses leading the way.
The university aims to achieve net zero emissions within 10 years - fewer still at its regional campuses.
The target for Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton, and Mildura is to become carbon neutral by 2022.
Bendigo is already home to 1400 solar panels, which meet more than half of the daytime energy needs on campus during peak conditions.
Head of campus Robert Stephenson said Bendigo was harvesting a lot of rainwater - about two million litres per year - for reuse in toilets, washing facilities and in the gardens.
But there are further efficiencies to be gained, with further additions to the fleet of solar panels at the campus planned.
High efficiency, low-cost LED light fittings to account for all of the lighting on campus by the year's end.
The Bendigo campus will also have a large-scale composting machine.
The composter will save the equivalent of 100 kilograms of organic waste from going into the landfill each day.
Waste will become nutrient-rich, eco-friendly fertiliser, which will be used on the campus gardens and grounds.
More news: Bendigo Tramways list Royal Tram for sale
La Trobe University carbon neutral strategy director Andrew Jennings said progress across all campuses would be monitored using a new energy analytics platform.
He said the La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform was just about live, and would show changes in energy consumption.
Mr Jennings expected the 9000 LED light fittings to be installed at Bendigo, the university's largest regional campus, would make a significant impact on energy usage.
He said the campus was also fortunate in that it was in a good spot for solar energy.
The composting machine would not only reduce the quantity of organic waste going to landfill - a high source of greenhouse gas emissions - but would limit the transportation of organic waste offsite.
Similar projects are planned at the university's other campuses, including Bundoora.
La Trobe expects the initiative to cost $75-million
Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the university recognised the social, environment and economic importance of reducing its carbon footprint.
"That's why we have set an ambitious target to become the first university in Victoria to meet this important goal," he said.
"Not only is reducing our carbon emissions the right thing to do, it also makes good economic and environmental sense. Rather than simply buy carbon credits, we've got a clear plan for action and we are making genuine, local changes to become more efficient and make a deliberate switch to renewables."
The Bendigo Student Association is seeking to support the university to achieve its Net Zero aim by developing sustainability goals of its own, student causes officer Thomas Connellan said.
He said Sweeney's, the commercial cafe in the student union building, had introduced biodegradable packaging.
Whatever wasn't biodegradable was recyclable.
Mr Connellan said the BSA was working towards decreasing waste at events and was only using Fair Trade coffee at functions.
"We're looking towards more initiatives we can put in place," he said.
"I think there is a reasonable amount of, not pressure but expectation on the university as leaders in the community to work toward achieving the best sustainability goals they can."
La Trobe strategy and development vice-president Natalie MacDonald said the university was the first, nationwide, to commit to divestment of fossil fuel intensive investments in 2016.
"We are the first university nationally to receive a six star rating for sustainable large-scale developments and our University City of the Future plan is embracing best practice green building practices," she said.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.