Climate change is one of the biggest environmental, social and economic challenges faced by the global community.
Strategy and principles
Council adopted the Our Low Carbon Future – City of Boroondara Strategy in July 2009.
The strategy's 5 principles reflect our thinking and guide target setting and priority actions:
- Principle 1: leadership by Council with the community.
- Principle 2: assuming a moral obligation to act.
- Principle 3: pursuit of multiple benefits and a ‘no regrets’ approach to action.
- Principle 4: action prioritised by impact.
- Principle 5: equity in both strategy and action.
Objectives and targets
The objectives of the strategy are to:
- reduce Council’s own greenhouse gas emissions
- reduce aggregate emissions for Australia
- reduce the impact of increasing energy prices on our budget
- reduce the impact of increasing energy prices on vulnerable sectors of the community
- support the Federal Government to introduce more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets
- increase local energy security through investment in renewable energy sources.
Our target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 to 40 per cent below 2007-08 levels by 2020, as well as to support the community to make significant emissions reductions.
To reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions we are:
- investing in low emissions technologies, energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits for Council's largest sites through the $2M Energy Performance Contract; this will deliver substantial energy use and greenhouse gas savings with a guaranteed financial return (~10-year simple payback)
- switching to energy-efficient street lighting. We have replaced more than 7000 inefficient mercury vapour street lights with high efficiency T5 lights in residential streets across the municipality; upgrades to other public open space lighting, using LED and other smart lighting technologies, are ongoing
- improving the energy efficiency of Council buildings through good design and efficient technologies, while balancing community expectation for new or expanded facilities and services
- investing in on-site energy generation by installing solar photovoltaics (PV) and gas-fired co-generation systems at targeted Council facilities; some 292kW of solar PV is now installed across several Council buildings
- reducing emissions from our vehicle fleet by choosing more efficient vehicles and providing eco-driver training to staff, including electric bicycles in the fleet; we're also taking part in the Greenfleet offset program.
As well as reducing Council’s contribution to climate change, we're working to clarify and address high priority risks from the local impacts of climate change, for example, risks due to the increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves and storms.
Key initiatives to support our community to reduce emissions include:
- Australian Energy Foundation (formerly Positive Charge): provides up-to-date and impartial energy efficiency and renewable energy advice and one-to-one support for residents and businesses.
- Home energy meters: residents can loan meters to help them understand home electricity use.
- Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action: Council is a member of the alliance to deliver programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide support for regional adaptation to climate change impacts.
- Living for our Future program: free sustainable living workshops, events and resources for our residents.
- Subsidised compost bins, bokashi bins and worm farms for residents.
Monitoring and reporting
Each year, we track and report on greenhouse gas emissions from energy used in all Council-owned and operated buildings, street lighting, the Council fleet, taxis and air travel.
Understanding energy use and emissions sources helps us prioritise our efforts.
The figure below provides a breakdown of emissions by source since the strategy’s baseline year (2007-08).
Note: Scope 3 emissions are a consequence of the activities of an organisation, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the organisation. In particular, this includes business travel (flights and taxis) and emissions associated with extraction, production and transmission of purchased electricity and natural gas.
A range of Australian and international organisations provide information and resources about climate change science, climate change risks and ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, including: