In March 2020, we resolved to become a net zero emitter of greenhouse gases in its operations by 2030 and in the community by 2050. This means we are aiming to have an equal amount of greenhouse gases being released (like carbon and methane) to that being reduced, resulting in an overall zero increase in emissions.

To meet this resolution, Sutherland Shire’s Climate Strategy is being developed within the framework of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy network, which we joined in April 2021.

The Sutherland Shire Climate Strategy includes the measurement of current greenhouse gas emissions for both the Council and the community. From this information we can set targets for reductions, implement actions to hit those targets and track and report our success. We’re confident we’ll be greenhouse gas neutral by 2030 - and doing our part in tackling climate change.

How much greenhouse gas is Council and Sutherland Shire emitting?

Pie chart of council emissions July 2022Our Environmental Science Unit has crunched the numbers and we’ve found that in the financial year 2020-21 council emitted 22,731 tonnes of greenhouse gas with the two largest sources being our electricity use and roads and bridges. Together this totalled 41% of our emissions.

Pie chart of community emissions audit July 2022We also found that for the same period, our community released 1,633,294 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Once again, electricity use (stationary energy) was the largest source of emissions producing 58%, followed by transport at 26% and waste at 16%.

Our journey to net zero emissions

Even as we’re developing the Sutherland Shire Climate Strategy, here’s some of what we’re doing:

  • Committing to renewable energy. In addition to the solar arrays currently installed on Council buildings, as of 1 July 2022, Council now sources 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.
  • Constructing roads from recycled materials, such as our Bundeena Drive roadworks.
  • Encouraging fossil fuel-free movement through our Active Transport Strategy.
  • Sequestering carbon locally, supporting biodiversity, and reducing the heat island effect through street tree planting and our Greenweb program.
  • Introducing electric vehicles to our corporate fleet, with plans for more.
  • Promoting the environment and sustainability across Council departments and daily business via our internal ‘Take Action and Go Green’ group.

The Pavilion Entertainment Centre Solar PanelsSolar panels at The Pavilion Performing Arts Centre,  30 Eton Street, Sutherland NSW