We have policies and programs that make sure we include environmental sustainability in our operations and services.
The Boroondara Community Plan 2017– 2027 (BCP) is our main strategic document. It guides our decisions and supports our annual plans and budgets. It also supports all of our strategies, policies and actions.
Within the BCP, there are 7 priority themes. A number of these themes guide our response to environmental sustainability and climate change.
The BCP also includes the Boroondara Public Health and Wellbeing Plan. This wellbeing plan considers the potential effects of climate change, which is required under the Victorian Government Climate Change Act 2017.
We have policies and strategies that help us meet the objectives of the BCP. This Climate Action Plan will replace Our Low Carbon Future Strategy (2009–2020).
Actions from Our Low Carbon Future Strategy focused on tackling key sources of greenhouse gas emissions from our buildings, streetlights and vehicles.
We have made great progress in increasing the energy efficiency and low carbon technology in the buildings we own. Examples of our efforts include:
- We are powering more than 12,000 streetlights and 16 major buildings with 100% local renewable energy from a Gippsland wind farm. We will be doing this until 2030. This makes up over 85% of our total electricity use.
- We have upgraded over 7,000 streetlights with more efficient technology.
- We are installing solar panels on our buildings. This includes on our 4 aquatic centres. By June 2021, we had installed, or had committed to, over 1,133 kW of solar PV (energy captured from the solar panels) on all our office, depot and community buildings.
- We are delivering cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades at our largest buildings. Our recently completed $2.5 million project Energy Performance Contract (EPC) project is now saving 1,700 tonnes of CO2-e per year. It is also saving over $250,000 each year.
- During 2020–21, we used what we learned from the EPC project and put in place over $1 million in extra energy-saving initiatives.
We also run other projects and programs that support environmental sustainability within Council and our whole community. Key examples include:
- The launch of the Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) program in May 2020. This program helps keep food and garden organics out of landfill. FOGO is one of the biggest changes in community waste management since kerbside recycling.
- The Council Climate Change Risk Assessment (2020).
- The Sustainable Buildings Policy (2016). This policy makes sure that all new or upgraded buildings are environmentally sustainable. It also makes sure that all Council building projects at least a 5-star standard in the Green Building Council of Australia’s ‘Design & As Built Tool’.
- Programs such as Living for our Future, which help teach our community about energy efficiency and other sustainability issues.
- Providing the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy advice to residents and businesses through the Australian Energy Foundation.
- Our Compost Revolution program is offering advice and discounts for residents on products such as worm farms and compost bins.
- Through programs such as the Teacher Environment Network, we are supporting schools to include sustainability in their curriculum and in the way they work.
- We are building roads using recycled asphalt. The asphalt includes materials such as recycled soft plastic bags, glass and leftover cartridge toners. We also reuse asphalt that’s been recovered from our other road projects.
- We are a member of the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action. Together with other eastern suburb councils in Melbourne, we work to deliver programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support our community to adapt to the effects of climate change.