Sustainable Council

We are committed to making the region a sustainable place to live, work and play. While we play an important role in promoting and facilitating sound environmental practice in the community - we also take an equally significant leadership role in demonstrating sustainable practice in our operations and decision-making.

Our Operational Sustainability Policy(PDF, 291KB) outlines Council’s commitment to improving the sustainability outcomes of the organisation. We achieve this through:

  • promoting a culture of sustainability amongst staff
  • managing our operations in a manner that minimises our environmental and social impacts, and enabling the integration of sustainability throughout all relevant areas of Council operations.

We also have an internal ‘Sustainability Action Squad’ which is responsible for integration of sustainability outcomes into our planning and decision-making process.

Climate change and emission reduction targets

We recognise that climate change is a serious and significant issue and are committed to reducing Council’s operational carbon footprint and supporting the community in addressing climate change. The QPRC Council Operations Climate Change Action Plan covers the period from 2020 to 2030 and highlights pathways and opportunities for us to make significant reductions in emissions through a program of actions in day-to-day operations.

Council is committed to a 30% operational emissions reduction target by 2025. 

We have achieved a number of actions identified within our Operations Climate Change Action Plan. This includes the LGA-wide LED streetlighting upgrade where Council worked alongside Essential Energy to replace 5,487 inefficient streetlights with energy-efficient LED’s. This initiative has resulted in a 1402WWh per year reduction in power use, delivering a saving to Council of approximately $441,000 per annum.   

 

Memberships and partnerships

Cities Power Partnership

The Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership is Australia’s largest network of local councils leading the way to a thriving, zero emissions future. We are part  of over 165 councils from across the country, representing almost 65 percent of the Australian population.

Together, Cities Power Partnership councils are making the switch to clean energy and setting up communities for a prosperous future. 

Sustainable Choice

Sustainable Choice provides guidance and support to member councils to help them work toward procuring products and services that have environmental, social, financial and cultural benefits. By making informed procurement decisions based on quadruple bottom line considerations, councils can reduce their impacts and risks now and in the future. In many cases, long term cost savings occur as a result.

Keep Australia Beautiful NSW

Keep Australia Beautiful NSW (KABNSW) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation facilitating litter reduction and environmental sustainability.

They work with communities to educate and motivate environmental initiatives through their programs including, Take the Pledge, KABNSW Litter Congress, Community Litter Grants and EnviroMentors.

We have been an active participant of the Tidy Towns Program and member of KABNSW since the 1980’s and have received numerous awards and accolades under the Sustainable Community Program

Green Star

Launched by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2003, Green Star is Australia’s only national, voluntary rating system for buildings and communities. A Green Star rating provides independent verification that a building or community project is sustainable. Undertaking voluntary Green Star certification demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility

Infrastructure Sustainability Council

The IS Rating Scheme  is Australia and New Zealand’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating economic, social and environmental performance of infrastructure across the planning, design, construction and operational phases of infrastructure assets. The scheme can assess the sustainability performance of infrastructure at the individual assets level, for portfolios or networks, or even at a regional scale.

 

Sustainable energy

Solar & Battery Storage

Since 2012 we have installed over 430kW of solar capacity, including 4.8kW of battery storage onto numerous Council facilities and assets such as water treatment plants and works depots equating to a $129,000 cost saving per annum including a greenhouse gas saving of 558,904 kilograms. Over the next 10 years, Council plans to install an additional 800kW of solar capacity, including battery storage onto many Council assets identified in the QPRC Council Operations Climate Change Action Plan.

Local renewable energy suppliers or installers are encouraged to contact Council on 1300 735 025 to discuss potential opportunities and partnerships. 

Former Mayor Tim Overall with solar panels on rooftop at The Q

Recycling and composting

Council is committed to leading the community in sustainable waste practices by maximising resource efficiency and reducing waste within our internal operations. QPRC has received waste management accreditation under the  ‘ACTsmart business recycling’ program. For more information on the program please visit: https://www.actsmart.act.gov.au/what-can-i-do/business/recycling

Zero emissions vehicles

We are currently investigating opportunities to incorporate zero emissions vehicles across our leaseback, operational, and pool vehicles and machinery. Watch this space.

Sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement practices have been of increased focus for Council in recent years. Development of life-cycle analysis tools and sustainability guidelines is included in our procurement policy and tender documents. This directs Council operations down the path of best practice for minimising our environmental impacts from office stationery to chemical disposal and contractor environmental obligations. 

Green buildings and infrastructure

Queanbeyan-Palerang has seen significant growth in the number of third-party sustainability certified non- residential buildings and infrastructure. Significantly, Queanbeyan- Palerang now has the highest proportion of Greenstar registered and certified non- residential buildings and infrastructure anywhere in non-metropolitan southern NSW.

Council has adopted the Sustainable Design for Council Buildings Policy(PDF, 191KB) to ensure Council buildings or infrastructure are built in accordance with sustainability and environmental best practice and will contribute to the sustainability of Council operations.

 

Urban Forest and Cooling

Urban greening is recognised globally as a key contributor to the liveability and climate resilience of urban areas. The natural landscape is highly valued by our community and valuable to the local economy.

The QPRC Urban Forest Cooling Strategy(PDF, 4MB)  has been developed to support Council in providing and protecting green infrastructure and shade refuge for our growing population while ensuring our urban centres are healthy and attractive environments for residents and wildlife.  The Strategy provides 34 coordinated, local, and practical actions to manage its urban forest and to educate and inform the community.  An implementation plan has also been developed to support Council and the community manage and implement this Strategy.

Along with the Strategy we have developed a “Climate Change Vulnerability of Urban Trees(PDF, 3MB)” booklet to help residents living with the Queanbeyan-Palerang understand how climate change impacts on common urban trees and identify which trees to continue to plant in the urban environment.  

The 2020 QPRC Surface Heat Mapping Study(PDF, 2MB) aimed to establish a thorough understanding of heat distribution, specifically surface temperature, across the QPRC region and four of its major urban centres: Queanbeyan, Googong, Bungendore, and Braidwood. Specifically, the project aimed to map the spatial patterns of heat, as well as exploring the role land use patterns (natural and built) have in determining patterns of high land surface temperature. Crucially the study was vital in underpinning the development of QPRC Urban Forest Cooling Strategy including associated assumptions and actions.

*The projects listed above were funded through the NSW Government Increasing Resilience to Climate Change grants program with support from Local Government NSW. 

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