Kiama Council has adopted a new Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan which will see the council set itself the target of being carbon neutral by 2031.

The Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan (2021-2031) includes operations and facilities reaching net zero within ten years.

The Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan (Corp ERP) includes reasons for emissions reductions, an effective carbon accounting approach and the pathways to achieving these reductions. The Corp ERP also includes the aim of having more than half the Council’s electricity coming from renewable sources by 2025.

Mayor Mark Honey said setting the goal and deadline for net zero was a highlight of his time in office.

“This is a fantastic moment for our Council and our community. We not only have set the goal and timeframe for being carbon neutral, but we have the roadmap to reach that goal,” Cr Honey said.

“I know I speak for all my fellow councillors in saying this is an exciting, important and big step forward for our organisation, our residents and ratepayers, in realising a sustainable future for our community.

“I want to thank the Council staff who have worked to produce the Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan, and look forward to seeing it progress over coming years.”

Director Environmental Services, Jessica Rippon, said the Corp ERP provided a comprehensive approach to Kiama Council’s vision of a healthy, safe and sustainable community.

“This Plan was developed using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and Climate Active Reporting Guidelines, so our community can be assured of the standards and requirements we have set ourselves,” Ms Rippon said.

“This also ensures our actions use the best available information, technology and research.

“We’re also using an energy hierarchy approach of research, reduce, replace and offset, so our journey to net ero is efficient, affordable and doesn’t increase our impact elsewhere.

“Achieving net zero emissions is technically and financially possible. The Corp ERP provides a strategic and sustainable approach to meet this goal.”

Ms Rippon said Kiama Council had already achieved a number of energy efficiency wins in recent years, including:

  • Photovoltaic systems at the Leisure Centre, Library and Blue Haven Bonaira
  • Street lighting upgrades to LED in partnership with Endeavour Energy
  • LED lighting upgrades at Council’s Administration Centre
  • Water management and data logging programs
  • Waste education programs
  • Power optimisation and power factor correction of the Council’s buildings
  • Energy audit of Kiama Leisure Centre

“In 2019/20 alone we avoided approximately 209.55 tonnes of carbon emissions and generated 252.56 megawatts of solar power,” Ms Rippon said.

“Many of these projects were financed by our Renewable Energy Fund (REF), where cost savings are returned to the REF to help finance further projects.”

Ms Rippon said an emissions reduction plan would allow Kiama Council to access further funding, such as Australian and NSW Government grants, to support our net zero ambitions.

“All our Corp ERP projects will also be part of our Operational Plan and Budget processes, which includes community consultation.”

Developing an emissions reduction plan is a commitment Kiama Council made as a founding member of the Cities Power Partnership.

“We now have the opportunity to work with other members of the Cities Power Partnership Program on large scale projects and actions, as well as our neighbouring councils in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven,” Ms Rippon said.

Ms Rippon thanked the Environmental Services team for their work on the CORP ERP project, which was led by Environmental Health Officer Mitch Golding.

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