Council plays a significant role in encouraging environmental responsibility among local businesses, community groups, households and schools and has ongoing programmes that cover many aspects of ecologically sustainable development.
Through internal planning and management, we are working hard to minimise the environmental impacts of our operations and protect environmentally sensitive areas.
The following sections provide further information about what Council is doing to become more environmentally sustainable in its own operations.
Climate Change Action
In September 2013, Council adopted a Climate Change Policy which acknowledges the reality of climate change and its impact on both the current and future way of life for the whole Coffs Harbour community and our natural and built environment.
With the adoption of the policy we committed to:
· Reducing Council’s contribution to climate change and supporting the community to reduce their contribution to climate change.
· Adapting Council’s activities and services to become more resilient to climate change and realise the opportunities it provides.
· Working with the community to help build the resilience of our residents and local ecosystems to adapt to the effects of climate change.
Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan
“Our goal is to source all of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030”.
In April 2016 Council adopted a Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan (REERP) in order to meet the following targets:
· Council will reduce its per annum corporate emissions (tonnes CO2-e) from 2010 levels by 50% by 2025.
· Council’s energy use will consist of 100% renewables by 2030.
The process started in 2013 with Council’s adoption of the Climate Change Policy and review of its Greenhouse Action Strategy, resulting in the adopted organisational targets. In order to demonstrate leadership and emphasise this as a priority, Council developed the REERP.
The extensive plan - a framework for implementing, monitoring and reporting on renewable energy and emissions - took 12 months to create and involved the development of an emissions profile, preparation of corporate emissions reduction and a renewable energy plan and prioritisation of actions that will yield the largest emission reductions per unit cost.
Stage one of the REERP now underway involves significantly reducing consumption with a range of energy efficiency measures such as switching to LED lighting and installing solar PV systems at Council-owned sites. Sites identified for solar PV include both high energy consuming sites - such as water reclamation plant and the regional airport - and smaller load sites such as libraries and community centres that will also provide opportunities for community education and engagement.
Keep an eye out for more updates as Council progresses through this exciting and ambitious project.