Council’s Carbon Abatement Action Plan (CAAP) was adopted in 2016 to identify and implement projects that demonstrate reduced carbon emissions as well as reduced operational costs. Since putting the plan in place, Council has seen a 25% reduction in operational carbon emissions.
We are currently finalising our emissions data for financial year 2020/21 which will be the last year for emissions targets outlined in the CAAP. These have been replaced with Council's resolution to reach net zero emissions from operations by the end of 2025 - joining a growing number of local governments across Australia to show much needed action on climate change.
CAAP Projects 2020 - 2021
Council completed the following carbon emissions projects as part of the CAAP:
- Upgrade of 36% of Blue Mountains streetlights to LEDs;
- Installation of 289kWs of solar panels on five large Council sites;
- Adoption of an Environmentally Sustainable Design Policy for Council Buildings to establish sustainability standards for new Council buildings and large upgrades; and
- Integrated a set of Equipment Replacement Specifications into the Public Domain Technical Manual to advise on best practice replacement equipment (such as more resource-efficient alternatives) for trades and contractors.
Working towards net zero 2021-2022
Council is currently working on the target of net zero emissions from operations by the end of 2025.
At the moment this involves re-looking at all the data sources used to calculate the yearly operational emissions. This is to ensure the reporting is in line with Climate Active requirements ready for when Council starts the process for carbon neutral certification.
We are also continuing to look for opportunities to reduce operational emissions as far as feasible. There are emissions that can't yet be reduced such as sites that still use gas or the emissions from landfill. It will be a process of continual improvement.