- City’s Renewable Energy Program highly commended in the 2022 Local Government Professionals Australia Awards for Excellence
- The program, established more than 20 years ago, reduces carbon emissions by 73,000 tonnes annually.
The City of Cockburn’s Renewable Energy Program which reduces carbon emissions by 73,000 tonnes annually, has been highly commended in the 2022 Local Government Professionals Australia Awards for Excellence.
The City program was highly commended in the national awards’ Environmental Leadership and Sustainability category, alongside Brisbane’s Logan City Council. The category winner was Melbourne’s Darebin City Council.
City of Cockburn Head of Sustainability and Environment Chris Beaton said the recognition was a positive reflection of the City’s commendable actions to reduce carbon emissions in a national local government context.
Mr Beaton said the City’s Renewable Energy Program demonstrated the important leadership role that local government could play in transitioning to a net zero emissions future.
“The City of Cockburn’s level of commitment to renewable energy is unique for local government in Western Australia. The advantage of the City’s approach is that it can be scaled up or down to suit other local governments.”
In September 2020, the City adopted a new target of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and has been proactively embedding renewable energy requirements into Council policies, strategies and operations.
Established over more than 20 years, the program incorporates a blend of initiatives such as policy and target setting, research partnerships, trialling new technology and education.
Under the program, the City has more than 1.5MW of solar infrastructure installed across 22 community buildings.
The City also provides electric vehicle charging stations, utilises geothermal heating and has established a partnership for methane gas extraction at its waste recovery site in Henderson.
The City’s Greenhouse Action Fund was established in 2011 to help finance the Renewable Energy Program.
Allocation of funds includes ongoing savings from previous emission reduction initiatives and to date, it has financed projects valued at more than $2m.
The City has formalised its commitment to renewable energy by embedding requirements into Council policies, strategies and operations including:
- Renewable Energy Policy - to guide community, business and industry
- Sustainability Policy - three percent of the total project costs of all new City facilities with budgets exceeding $1m is set aside for Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) initiatives, above and beyond standard practice
- Sustainability Strategy - reinforces renewable targets
- The Community, Sport and Recreation Facilities Plan - includes ESD requirements
- State of Sustainability Report - to measure and celebrate success
- Climate Change Strategy 2020-2030 - established a 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2030
The Local Government Professionals Australia Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Award recognises councils that have developed or delivered ambitious decarbonisation strategies that put them on a net-zero carbon trajectory.
Judges recognise credible strategies or actions that seek to drastically reduce emissions through clean technologies, innovative energy systems and unique management approaches.