Net Zero Initiative

The next phase of our climate action
Supporting collaborative decarbonisation innovation programs in Australia towards a net zero target.

The global demand for zero and low emissions technology, infrastructure, materials, products and services will drive industries and economies for decades to come.

Already we are seeing an enormous shift in global expenditure with an estimated US$2.4 trillion to be invested every year for the next 15 years to limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C.

This presents a significant economic opportunity for Australia. But navigating this new and rapidly changing landscape is complex, requiring deep collaboration and partnerships between research, industry, policy makers and the community. 

What is the Net Zero Initiative?

Our vision

The Faculty of Engineering's Net Zero Initiative is about helping Australian industry (urban, regional and remote) gain first mover advantage globally by understanding, developing and adopting innovative and commercially viable emissions reduction technologies early. 

It is about:

  • helping manufacturers create low emissions technology, materials and processes, profitably and at scale,
  • helping governments develop policy frameworks around existing, new and emerging technologies that provide incentives for businesses and consumers as well as attracting global investment and markets.
  • working with water, energy and transport providers to reduce waste, inefficiencies and carbon emissions within their current infrastructure, as well as investing in the right technologies for the future, and
  • ensuring Australia’s workforce remains globally competitive through educating and upskilling workers for new and changing industries.

The initiative currently consists of close to 100 researchers from across the University of Sydney.

We aim to expand on this by working with new partners both externally in industry and internally within our own university community

The Net Zero Initiative focuses on four core research pillars:

  • Climate change risk
  • Carbon removal
  • Emissions avoidance through zero emissions energy
  • Emissions avoidance through demand reduction

1st Net Zero Initiative Conference Opening Session

Net Zero Initiative Board

Chair board: Dr Clare Anderson

“Getting to net zero by 2050 is arguably the challenge of our lifetimes. We will need a broad range of solutions and we will need to implement these solutions at a speed and on a scale beyond anything humanity has achieved before. The Net Zero Initiative encompasses a broad range of technology and social research, that will unlock solutions to this enormous challenge. But it will need to be done quickly, and the NZI Board brings the expertise of Industry to move from research to implementation on compressed timelines.” Dr Clare Anderson. 

  • Worley
  • Origin Energy
  • HSBC
  • Veolia
  • Hyundai
  • Arnott’s Group
  • NSW Department of Planning & Environment
  • Rio Tinto
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries


Deanna D'Alessandro
Professor Deanna D'alessandro
Academic profile

Initiative lead

Ken-Tye Yong
Professor Ken Tye Yong
Academic profile

Initiative lead

Professor Kim Rasmussen
Academic profile

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