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Noosa Shire Council

Zero Emissions Noosa Zero Emissions Noosa

After adopting an Emissions Reduction Policy in May 2016, Council is now implementing its Zero Emissions Strategy. The strategy sets an ambitious target of zero net emissions for the organisation by 2026.

So what does zero net emissions actually mean?

The first step towards achieving zero net emissions is to understand our organisation’s carbon footprint and where the individual sources of emissions are. Once we know what our emissions are we can set about reducing them through energy efficiency, switching to renewable energy sources and,finally, compensating for our residual emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets.


                                                                    Image courtesy of World Resources Institute

You can learn more about net zero emissions by viewing this youtube video

ZEN Strategy - 8 Key Actions

The ZEN Strategy outlines 8 Key Actions to achieve net zero emissions by 2026. The following outlines our progress to date on these key actions:

Initiative

Status

Council will continue to improve its knowledge and data collection. It will measure emissions using credible measurement tools.

Council measures its emissions in accordance with the National Carbon Offset Scheme (NCOS). NCOS is Australia’s only government supported carbon neutral scheme.

GHG emissions will be measured annually. Progress towards the defined zero net emissions target will be included in Council’s annual reporting.

Council is recalculating our baseline emissions in accordance with NCOS. A full carbon footprint for 2016/17 will be calculated as the data becomes available.

The decision-making framework outlined in the Strategy will be used when determining the appropriate approach to reduce emissions for a specific activity.

Capital projects to reduce emissions are prioritised using cost benefit analysis so that we achieve the most emission reductions for the $ spend.

A detailed Action Plan will be developed that will prioritise actions over an initial 5-year period (and ultimately 10 years). Funding of actions will be considered as part of the annual budget development process.

Comprehensive energy audits have been conducted of Council’s highest consuming buildings and facilities. We are currently prioritising the projects to reduce emissions.

The process outlined in the Strategy will be utilised when determining the appropriate approach to purchase of carbon offsets.

We are a long way off purchasing offsets as we need to reduce our own emissions as much as possible before considering the purchase of offsets.

Decision-making for the Action Plan initiatives requiring capital investment will be based on detailed cost-benefit analysis. It will also ensure that recommended actions contribute to Council’s ongoing financial sustainability and have the greatest potential to reduce emissions. Innovative methods of delivery and appropriate financing models may also be considered.

We all know electricity process continue to rise. Improving energy efficiency and utilising renewable energy actually saves Council in the long term. These projects are the ones Council will be pursuing in the short term to reduce emissions.

Appropriate resourcing (people & systems) will be provided and Council will also ensure an appropriate governance framework is established to ensure effective delivery, monitoring and reporting on implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan.

A Project Officer Carbon Reduction has been employed to implement the Zero Emission Strategy. Within council a governance structure has been created to oversee the project and ensure the selected emission reduction projects achieve the forecast savings.

The Strategy will be reviewed at least biennially (every 2 years) to ensure the approach remains appropriate to legislative, political, economic and social contexts. The detailed Action Plan will be reviewed annually as part of the budget development process.

A detailed action plan is being formulated to plan the emission reduction projects including technical and behavioural change elements. This plan will be regularly reviewed and reported against.