What council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability?
Since 2009-2010 Mitchell Shire Council has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40 percent. The purchase of ‘Greenpower’ accounts for approximately 28 percent of this reduction, while the installation of rooftop solar (182.4kW has been installed over 10 Council buildings), smarter building design, and better management of buildings has played a major role in the remainder of the reduction in emissions.
A streetlight retrofit program was undertaken in 2015, changing mercury vapour lights for T5 lamps, reducing energy usage and energy costs by up to 68 percent.
Council adopted its inaugural Environment Policy in May 2020. The policy sets important targets for Energy, Climate Change, Land and Biodiversity, Water, Urban Ecology, and Resource Use and Waste Management.
In September 2021 Council adopted an Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) for Council Buildings Policy and associated set of standards that seeks to ensure future emissions from buildings, embodied greenhouse gas emissions in construction materials as well as waste and energy used in their construction are reduced, and that sustainability is embedded into the earliest stages of project design.
Council also acknowledged the climate emergency in September 2021 and supported the officer recommendation to develop a Climate Emergency Action Plan. The plan will be developed in 2022.
What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability?
Through our acknowledgement of a climate emergency Council aims to increase its efforts to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions. This will include increasing the rollout of rooftop solar on Council buildings, conducting ESD retrofits on Council buildings, exploring options to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, and engaging with the community to develop a Climate Emergency Action Plan and identify ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate emergency.
Recognising that emissions are not the only metric of sustainability and climate action, Council will also focus on climate adaptation projects, continued ecological conservation and restoration, reducing water use and playing a lead role in sustainable environmental management in our business operations and in support of the wider community.
What council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership?
Through our membership with the Cities Power Partnership, Mitchell Shire Council hopes to strengthen our response to action on climate change. We are excited to be part of this collaboration which will enable us to learn from others, share knowledge and progress our efforts.