Sustainability initiatives endorsed by Council

28 Mar 2019

Blue Mountains City Council is pursuing three sustainability initiatives in order to achieve a more sustainable Blue Mountains, in line with its community-endorsed Community Strategic Plan.

At the Council meeting on 26 March, the elected Council endorsed recommendations that:

  • Allow cost incentives in event charges for organisers who can show they have eliminated single use plastic from their event.
  • Adopt five Cities Powers Partnership Pledges that complement Council’s Carbon Abatement Action Plan.
  • Investigate Council achieving Carbon Neutral Certification from the National Carbon Offset Standard.

Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “These sustainability initiatives encourage responsible resource use by both Council and the community.

“As a City within a World Heritage National Park, we will continue to strive to minimise the impact of our urban footprint on the natural environment and be a model for sustainable living.”

Single use plastics at events

For the remainder of the 2018/19 financial year, Council will discount all recycling bins requested for approved events by $20 per bin.

It is proposed that from the next financial year, event organisers who enter into an agreement to reduce single use plastics, will receive a 30% discount on clean up fees. It is also proposed that fees for garbage and recycling bins for approved festivals and events will be reduced.

Proposals for the next financial year will be placed on public exhibition, as part of the Delivery Program 2019/20 and Fees and Charges 2019/20.

Cities Power Partnership Pledges

Blue Mountains City Council was among the first 100 Councils to sign up to the Cities Powers Partnership – a free, national program created by the Climate Council that is bringing together Australian towns and cities making the switch to clean energy.

Council has adopted the following five Cities Powers Partnership Pledges:

  • Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on Council buildings – for example childcare facilities, libraries, street lighting, recreation centres, sporting grounds and council offices.
  • Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all Council buildings.
  • Roll out energy efficient lighting (particularly street lighting) across the municipality, given public lighting can use a large proportion of a city’s energy budget.
  • Encourage sustainable transport use (public transport, walking & cycling) through Council transport planning and design.
  • Set up meetings and attend events, such as the community Energy Congress or the Cities power partnership summit, where likeminded cities can address common concerns and learn from the experience of others.

Attaining Carbon Neutral Certification

Council will also investigate over the next 18 months how it can become a net zero carbon organisation, under the National Carbon Offset Standard. Certification as a carbon neutral organisation requires:

  • Measurement of Council’s carbon footprint annually.
  • Preparing an annual Public Disclosure Summary including an emissions reduction strategy.
  • Offsetting emissions annually that haven’t been eliminated through approved carbon credits.
  • Verification of the above every three years by an independent registered auditor and Certification fees paid annually to the Department of the Environment and Energy.

Council will refer its resolution to Local Government NSW and the Australian Local Government Association and call for advice on how councils across the state can aim to achieve carbon neutrality.

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