Blue Mountains council slashes carbon emissions by a quarter

Solar panels installed on the roof of the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub in Springwood.
Solar panels installed on the roof of the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub in Springwood.

Blue Mountains City Council has reduced its 2019/20 operational carbon footprint by 25 per cent, compared to the 2015/16 base year.

"I'm delighted that council is steadily progressing towards the goal of becoming a certified Net Zero Carbon Emissions Organisation by 2025," said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.

"This 25 per cent reduction is a wonderful next step in the work council is doing and we will see further reductions each year, as work in this space continues."

Council CEO Dr Rosemary Dillon said: "During 2019/20, council completed work to install solar panels across five main council sites, and upgraded 2781 street lights to LED. The full reduction in emissions from these projects hasn't yet been seen, and will be part of the 2021/22 carbon footprint calculations.

"Council is also working on upgrading the lighting at our facilities, has adopted an environmentally sustainable design policy for council buildings, and is investigating a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for renewable energy.

"Not only is this reduction great news for our environment, it also contributes to council's long-term financial plan to reduce operating costs across the organisation," she said.

"The CAAP is one of the mechanisms that will move the council into a leadership role in the field of carbon reduction and climate action, and the organisation will continue to prioritise investment in projects that deliver the best economic and environmental returns."

The CAAP was adopted in 2016 and identifies a strategic approach to improving council's operational carbon performance in a cost effective way.

It reports emissions in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), the standard unit for measuring carbon footprints, based on the potential to impact on climate change. This allows for easy to understand and consistent reporting.

The latest figures were revealed in the Carbon Abatement Action Plan (CAAP) Report 2019-2020, showing council is making significant progress towards reducing all emissions.