Council is embedding triple-bottom-line decision making throughout its operations to ensure environmental, social and economic costs and benefits are fully considered in how Council serves the community, from policy to practice.
Council's sustainability policies and strategies include:
- Corporate Sustainability Policy ( PDF, 0.17 MB ) – a commitment to embed sustainability considerations into Council processes and decision making.
- Energy and Emissions Management Policy ( PDF, 0.12 MB ) – including Council's commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below 2007/08 levels by the end of 20/21.
- Climate Change Strategy 2020 to 2030 - currently in development.
- Climate Change Strategy ( PDF, 1.24 MB ) – a framework for delivering on climate action, including Council's emissions reduction target.
- Biodiversity Strategy ( PDF, 4.47 MB ) – a framework for managing the natural environment under the jurisdiction of Council.
- Sustainable Building Design Policy ( PDF, 0.09 MB ) - a commitment to lead by example and consider sustainability in the design of all Council buildings and renovation projects.
Information on Council's annual sustainability performance and key initiatives including waste and recycling, water and wastewater, energy and emissions, biodiversity conservation and sustainability engagement.
As a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Council recognises the important role that reef stewardship plays in the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the entire region. Find out more about the work Council has done.
Council's workplace sustainability initiatives include
Energy and Emissions Management
Emissions Reduction Target
By 2020, Council aims to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. This ambitious target is on-track through landfill gas management, energy and fuel efficiency and renewable energy installations, including an additional 800 solar panels in 2016.
Energy and Emissions System
Council monitors energy use, costs and emissions for its 450+ electricity accounts using a purpose built Energy and Emissions System. The EES is an important tool for identifying energy efficiency priorities and quantifying the on-ground benefits of investing in energy efficiency.
Annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory
An annual report that provides a detailed breakdown of Council's greenhouse gas emissions profile including electricity and fuel use, refrigerants and fugitive emissions from landfill and wastewater treatment.
New Buildings and Renovations
Council has Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) to ensure new buildings and major renovations meet specific energy efficiency criteria. These MEPS are supported by Council's Sustainable Design Principles.
An additional 165 kilowatts (kW) of solar power was installed on five Council buildings in 2016, reducing Council greenhouse gas emissions by around 270 tonnes CO2(e) per year and saving more than $100,000 a year in electricity costs. Smithfield Library (30kW), Muddy’s Playground (15kW), Stratford Depot (30kW), Portsmith Materials Recovery Facility (60kW) and Gordonvale Depot (30kW) join existing solar installs at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre (20kW), four Wastewater Treatment Plants (40kW), two community halls (8kW) and two libraries (6kW).