We are very proud to announce we are the third local government organisation in New South Wales to reach ‘net zero emissions’ and be certified as carbon neutral by Climate Active.

We have done so by measuring the greenhouse gas emissions we produce through our operations and working towards reducing them as much as possible.

Our remaining emissions are offset (by purchasing carbon credits generated by a solar power project), with a net result of zero emissions. This means for all of the emissions associated with running our operations, we have invested in projects which will prevent the same number of emissions from entering the atmosphere.

How we reduced our emissions
In 2010, we set a 30% emissions reduction target as part of our Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2025. Since then, we have been steadily decreasing our emissions by implementing a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives including:

* Installing solar hot water systems at six Council sites.
* Installing rooftop solar systems at five Council sites.
* Upgrading lighting for all large Council sites.
* Lighting upgrades and sensor installation in all public amenity blocks
* Purchasing renewable energy as part of Council’s electricity contracts – with 30% of electricity supplied to our five large sites supplied by the Mooree Solar Farm as part of a power purchase agreement.

How we’ll reduce our emissions even further
In September 2019 Council passed a Climate Emergency Declaration and committed to taking further action to reduce our emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Over the next three years we are committing significant resources to upgrade street lighting with new energy efficient models. Electricity accounts for roughly half of our total emissions, with street lighting being the largest individual contributor, so this upgrade will have a significant impact.

We are also installing more renewable energy systems at our sites, including a new solar system at Kiaora Place in Double Bay, and introducing electric vehicles into our fleet where possible.

Mayor of Woollahra Susan Wynne said the carbon neutral certification is testament to our commitment to tackling climate change.

“At Woollahra Council we know that Australia’s carbon footprint is among the world’s highest, and while certainly a complex issue, it is something that we are committed to tackling at a local level,” the Mayor said.

“We are proud to announce that we have achieved carbon neutral status, and we continue to lead in this space with the implementation of new emissions-saving projects. We are also committed to driving positive change through the sustainability guidance and education we provide to our community and local businesses.”