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CITY SLASHES CARBON EMISSIONS

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A swag of clever and creative initiatives helped the City reduced carbon emissions across its operations by 30 per cent in the four years to June 2021.

A new report also reveals the City recycled more than 95 per cent of all asphalt, concrete and bluestone used in its construction program, and assumed responsibility for more than 105 extra hectares of natural habitat in 2020–21.

The Sustainability Performance Report 2021 reviews the City’s progress annually against the Sustainability Framework Action Plan, indicators, and targets.

The Sustainability Framework Action Plan aims to set Greater Geelong up for an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable future.

Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan said the Council was committed to tracking the rate of improvement across the three priority areas of the Sustainability Framework.

Yearly checks will enable everyone to understand our rate of improvement and highlight the long-term changes needed to meet our ambitious targets. The pandemic has unfortunately impacted a handful of our initiatives, but this first report shows some encouraging progress that is already making a tangible difference.

The sustainability objectives range from climate change action and biodiversity protection, through to supporting local food production and creating a strong economy with jobs for all.

The report shows that of the 66 actions being implemented, almost 90 per cent were on track or complete by the end of 2021.

Just five actions were deemed ‘off-track’, with three of those directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights of 2021 included:

  • Reducing the City’s operational carbon emission by a further five per cent in the year to 30 June 2021, taking the reduction to 30 per cent in the past four years
  • Increasing the area of natural habitat under the management of the City by 105.1 hectares, taking the total to 1380.8 ha
  • Starting a household food organic collection trial in Lara and partnering with Barwon Water and other councils to create a regional organics processing facility
  • Providing $1 million to help the Geelong Food Relief Centre open a large-scale emergency food hub in North Geelong; and
  • Introducing the first fully electric vehicles to our fleet, with plans to add another four electric vans and two electric commercial ride-on mowers in 2022

The City is also on track to deliver Stage 1 of the northern suburbs free wifi project by mid-2022.

Councillor Belinda Moloney, Deputy Chair of the Sustainability Performance portfolio, said the results provided some optimism but also outlined a clear path towards meeting the Sustainability Framework’s targets.

The targets represent our civic and community response to the region’s long-term social, environmental and financial sustainability challenges and the opportunities presented in working towards equality, inclusion, safety, food sovereignty and more. We take these targets seriously. Council has taken a strong leadership position in this space, and we want to help create a more sustainable community to live and prosper in. It is now time for all levels of government and community members join us in working together towards a sustainable and thriving future for our pretty city.

 

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