Green economy

Green economy

Green industry in NSW




  • Green building value $4 billion p.a. by 2020
  • 20,500 green building jobs by 2020
  • 57.4% of Australia’s clean tech revenue
  • Clean tech revenue of $16.64 billion

A growing industry

The world’s economy is being transformed with green industries booming on global markets – green building companies, environmental consultancy services, renewables and resource efficient technologies are expected to create many jobs in the future.

Green businesses are also at the heart of considerable innovation, productivity gains and successful local partnerships between industry, government and educational institutions.

Renewable energy, low emissions technologies, water and waste water reuse treatments make up the clean tech sector that already boasts national revenue of $29 billion a year, and a workforce of 53,000 people. Many of the jobs and employment opportunities within the sector are in our major cities including Sydney.

Supporting green growth

As an economic and environmental leader, the City of Sydney is committed to supporting our green industry sector growth. Already many of the leading green finance, advisory and venture capital companies are based in Sydney and with more than 5.4 million square metres of office floor space the City is a significant market for energy efficient technology and green building.

Sydney hosts the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Low Carbon Living, the Green Building Council of Australia and incubators such as ATP Innovations, which works with entrepreneurs and innovators to support emerging technologies and tools to market.

We are developing a Green Economy Action Plan for the City that will set out ways to support the workforce and increase income as well as other green industry activities. We are also looking at opportunities arising from the greening of incumbent industries.

During 2014 the City will continue to consult with stakeholders to determine priorities and pilot projects that foster eco-innovation, encourage more green industries to locate here and support projects that help green start-ups develop new technologies and ideas.

Environmental leadership

Some of the actions we have already undertaken to support the greening of the City's economy include:

  • The City is the first local council in Australia to be certified carbon neutral.
  • Our procurement suppliers must provide details about their environmental systems and accreditations during the tender process.
  • Working with industry leaders and other levels of government to develop renewable energy, decentralised water and trigeneration master plans that create the most detailed technical and economic assessment of energy efficiency opportunities ever for Sydney.

Our work showcases and drives market demand for clean technologies, which includes converting conventional street and park lights to energy efficient LED alternatives, the largest building-mounted solar panel program in Australia covering 30 of our facilities and investing $12 million in renewables over the next 5 years.

Pie chart breakdown: Solar 19%; Wind 5%; Biofuel 3%; Water 19%; Waste 10%; Efficiency 10%; Storage and fuel cells 3%; Wave, tidal and hydro 3%; Biogas 2%; Transport technologies 3%; Geothermal 2%; Carbon 5%; Environment 10%; Green building 6%; Other 1%.

Funding and grants opportunities

There are numerous grants opportunities for businesses interested in greening their operations to fund the switch to environmentally friendly practices.

The City’s Environmental Upgrade Agreement scheme helps commercial property owners and tenants fund building upgrades to improve environmental performance.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has approximately $3 billion until 2022 to invest in renewable energy projects, which support research, development and demonstration of new technologies that increases renewable energy supply in Australia.

The NSW Government has a range of matched funding and other grant programs for enterprises to develop innovative solutions to overcome business barriers or technical challenges with ‘enabling technologies’ through its Innovate NSW program.

The Federal Government’s grants and assistance tool is a key portal where industry can find environment and climate change related support including funding opportunities.

Industry links

Sustainable Business Australia

The peak body in Australia for low carbon and environmental goods and services, also a think tank that focuses on new markets, industries and jobs.

Clean Energy Council

Represents Australia's clean energy sector with over 600 member companies that operate in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Sydney Clean Tech Network

A forum for investors, companies, government academia to meet, learn and collaborate about the sector.

Clean Tech Competition

The competition has already helped over 50 companies commercialise their ideas and access new markets.

Australian Clean Energy Directory

Clean energy products and services.

Green Building Council of Australia

National not-for-profit organisation committed to developing a sustainable property industry by encouraging green building practices.

Australian PV Association

An association of companies, agencies, individuals and academics interested in photovoltaic solar electricity research and industry.

NSW clean technology facts and statistics

Source: Australian CleanTech

Attribute Area Feature
Size of the industry NSW 427 companies
National 1,340 companies
Turnover NSW $16.4 billion
National $28.7 billion
Labour force NSW 20,600 employees
National 53,000
Industry strengths relative to national average NSW Energy efficiency
Green building technologies
Carbon
Energy storage
Environmental services
Market share NSW 31.9% of company numbers
57.3% of revenue
38.5% of employees
Facts of interest NSW Largest clean tech sub-sectors in NSW are water (19%), solar (19%), energy efficiency (10%), environmental services (10%), waste and recycling (10%).

Last updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2014