Wollongong City Council
Is a Power Partner
Through the Cities Power Partnership, Wollongong City looks forward to working with other communities to learn and share knowledge on climate action and the move towards clean energy. We have recently set an emissions reduction target for our community and being part of the Cities Power Partnership will help Council to achieve our commitment to energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transportation in our local government area. We need to work collectively to support and encourage our communities to respond to the effects of climate change in Australia. The Cities Power Partnership provides a valuable mechanism to achieve this.
Partnership action pledges
Our power partners are committed to switching to non-polluting energy and reducing emissions in their communities.
Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings.
Implement landfill gas methane flaring or capture for electricity generation.
Encourage sustainable transport use such as public transport, walking and cycling through council transport planning and design.
Set city-level renewable energy or emissions reduction targets.
Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all council buildings, and support community facilities to adopt these measures.
Wollongong City Council
What Council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability
In 2019 Wollongong City Council declared a climate emergency and voted to adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2030 for our operations and net zero emissions by 2050 for the wider community. Our commitment to climate action supports our membership of the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) which we joined in 2017.
Our administration building was the first building in Australia to achieve a 5-star Green Star Performance rating in 2015. In June 2019 we achieved a 6-star Green Star Performance rating. We have reduced our energy consumption in the building by 64% thanks to smart lighting and efficient systems to heat and cool the building, reduced water use by 75% through a mix of improvements like low-flow taps and toilet flushing, rain water storage tanks and reusing clean water, and we have diverted more than 60% of our waste from landfill through recycling, composting and reducing the amount of waste we generate in this building.
We have so far installed 327kW of solar photovoltaic systems across our Council facilities and have completed energy-efficient lighting and HVAC upgrades on some of these facilities also. We have reintroduced hybrid cars into our fleet and have established a Community Recycling Centre at our Whyte’s Gully Waste and Resource Recovery Park. We have also developed a Sustainable Procurement Policy for Council.
We have a number of plans and strategies in place that address sustainability in the wider community, including our Wollongong 2028 Community Strategic Plan, Environmental Sustainability Strategy, Urban Greening Strategy and Wollongong Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy and Action Plan.
What Council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability
Our future efforts will be guided by our Environmental Sustainability Strategy which is currently under review. We are preparing climate change mitigation and adaptation plans to fulfil our commitments to GCoM and to meet our emissions reduction targets. These plans will guide the city in reducing its emissions and coping with climate change impacts.
Future projects that are expected to result in significant emissions savings for Council operations include gas capture and reuse at Whyte’s Gully landfill and the roll out of Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) waste collection and processing. We are exploring opportunities to increase solar energy generation on Council facilities and the installation of energy-efficient lighting. This includes upgrades to street lighting throughout our city.
We are developing an Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Policy which will support the uptake of electric vehicles by increasing charging infrastructure in the city and reducing range anxiety, a fear felt by electric vehicle owners that they may run out of charge and be left stranded due to limited availability of chargers. The delivery of our Urban Greening Strategy to revegetate our city will improve the quality of our urban environments and help to regulate temperatures.
What Council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership
Being a part of the Cities Power Partnership will provide us with additional knowledge and support as we work to reduce operational and community emissions. Working alongside other like-minded Councils will allow us to share information and achievements and support each other on our journey towards greater sustainability.