Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

Northern Beaches Council's climate and sustainability commitments

Northern Beaches Council is part of the Cities Power Partnership, Australia's largest network of councils leading the way to a sustainable future

  • Traditional Owners Gayamaygal and Garigal
  • Member since 2020
  • Population 272,184

Our journey

What council has achieved in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

  • From 1 January 2021 all Northern Beaches Council sites are being powered by 100% renewable electricity. This has slashed Council’s annual emissions by about 80%.
  • Adopted an ambitious strategy outlining the most effective ways to protect and enhance our natural environment and take action on climate change. Protect. Create. Live – Northern Beaches Environment and Climate Change Strategy 2040 includes aspirations and commitments for both Council and our entire community to work towards. We have just published the first supporting action plan too.
  • Northern Beaches Council was recognised as Keep Australia Beautiful’s 2020 Sustainable City. Council was also the winner of the Recycled Organics and Environmental Communications Award, joint winner of the Response to Climate Change Award and was Highly Commended in the Coastal and Waterways Protection Award and Don’t Be a Tosser! Litter Action Award.
  • Council has partnered with Ausgrid on the very exciting Community Battery Trail. The first of it’s kind on the east coast of Australia, the Beacon Hill Community battery was installed in February 2021 and is part of a 2 year pilot aiming to help local residents get the most out of their solar systems while improving the local electricity grid.
  • Council now has over 900KW of solar panels installed. The 265kW “power station” solar system at Manly Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Aquatic Centre is one of the largest systems on the Northern Beaches. We are installing even more this year, and adding our first battery too.
  • Have now 5 battery electric vehicles and 13 plug-in hybrid or hybrid vehicles in Council’s fleet. Numbers will continue to grow as more vehicles come up for replacement.
  • Upgraded our sports grounds with energy efficient lighting. You can see Council’s new lights at St Matthews Farm, Old Reub Hudson Oval and North Narrabeen Reserve. We’ve also improved our energy efficiency at six other sites including two car parking stations in Manly by upgrading our lighting.
  • Reduced our energy usage at Manly Library and Manly Town Hall with more efficient air conditioning systems.
  • Partnered with Ausgrid to accelerate the replacement of our residential street lights with LED’s to reduce our energy consumption, reduce the light being spilt to the night sky by approximately 90%, keeping the light within the roadway and transitioning away from mercury vapour lights.
  • Made it easier for our community to use sustainable transport options. Council worked with the NSW Government to bring the B-Line bus service to the beaches. We are implementing the Northern Beaches Transport Strategy: Move 2038. We also support car share facilities, bike networks and have installed additional community accessible electric vehicle charging points.
  • Supported innovation with the installation of SOURCE water hydropanels at Currawong Holiday Cottages in partnership with Zero Mass Water and ARENA. They produce clean drinking water from air and build resilience into the water supply of the site.
  • Implemented the new domestic waste collection service which diverts more recycling from landfill than ever before.
  • Delivering Swap for Good, a program to support and empower local businesses to swap out single-use plastic. Launched in June 2019, the program fosters a network of 170 businesses, 26 schools and 30 community groups and continues to engage through networking, events and workshops.

What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

Northern Beaches Council wants to become a leader in sustainability and importantly we want to encourage and support our community to become leaders too. In doing this will reduce our energy use, align our strategic plans to work towards national and international goals and reduce our emissions. We want to continue to improve our sustainable transport networks and diversity of options to meet the needs of our community now and into the future.

What council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership

Council wants to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to real action to mitigate and adapt to climate change and deliver on the aspiration in our draft Community Strategic Plan to show real leadership in environmental sustainability.

Participating increases our focus on reducing Council’s and the community’s energy use and carbon emissions, producing additional economic benefits as well by reducing costs to Council and individual households and businesses.


Council has committed to the following Cities Power Partnership pledges:

Renewable energy
Provide incentives and/or remove barriers to encourage local businesses to take up solar power and battery storage.
Energy Efficiency
Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all council buildings, and support community facilities to adopt these measures.
Sustainable Transport
Encourage sustainable transport use such as public transport, walking and cycling through council transport planning and design.
Work Together and Influence
Develop education and behaviour-change programs to support local residents and businesses to tackle climate change through clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.
Develop procurement policy to ensure that the practices of contractors and financers align with council’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport goals.

In the news


Pledge champions: Northern Beaches set two new climate goals

09 Aug 2022
The Cities Power Partnership team is celebrating the pledge achievements of Northern Beaches Council - they have recently completed two pledges and they’ve already selected…
Case study

Northern Beaches council is going renewable

12 Jan 2022
Northern Beaches has a 4-year action plan to tackle climate change and increase renewables across the region, find out how they're doing it.

2021 Climate Awards Photo Gallery

30 Nov 2021
View the highlights from Cities Power Partnership's 2021 Climate Awards.

Join now and be part of the groundswell of local governments and communities across Australia tackling climate change.