Carbon neutral

Climate change action

The City of Sydney was the first local council in Australia to be certified as carbon neutral under the National Carbon Offset Standard.

National carbon offset standard logo

Our journey began in 2008 when we first reduced and then offset 100% of our greenhouse gas emissions. We do this to take action against climate change, meet public and staff expectations, show leadership and reduce costs through energy savings.

By measuring our greenhouse gas emissions, energy emissions, renewable energy and offsets, we monitor our progress and remain carbon neutral each year.

Our emissions

The table below helps to show our progress for each year since 2005/06. Please note, the formula tCO2-e refers to tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Scope guide

Scope 1: gas, fleet fuel and so on.
Scope 2: mains electricity emissions
Scope 3: emissions from flights, taxis, contractors’ fuel, and events.

How we do it

1. Measure

Any carbon neutral claims must be accurate and verified independently.

The City's emissions boundary and factors are based on the National Carbon Offset Standard, National Greenhouse Accounts Factors, National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Guidelines 2008, and the WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

2. Avoid and reduce

The City has been achieving real energy and greenhouse gas emissions savings in our buildings, street lighting, and fleet operations. We have started a water and energy retrofit that will reduce our 2006 property emissions by 23% in addition to savings already achieved.

3. Switch green

In previous years the City of Sydney used 100 per cent GreenPower. We have now instead committed $2 million each year to install renewable energy onto our properties, to generate clean energy locally where and when it is required.

4. Offset

The City reduces carbon liability by avoiding and reducing emissions, as specified above. Offsets are used for emissions that can’t be avoided.

 

Summary tC02 - e Scopes 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Electricity: Properties

2, 3

27,341

27,685

27,033

23,727

23,552

22,920

21,226

20,179

17,748

18,251

Electricity: Parks

2, 3

2,501

2,636

2,610

2,849

2,877

2,577

2,467

2,196

2,205

1,823

Electricity: Street lighting

2, 3

15,131

15,699

16,057

15,636

15,269

14,783

14,653

13,730

12,404

11,942

Fleet

1, 3

2,669

3,022

2,954

3,212

3,225

3,175

2,710

2,373

2,417

2,293

Natural gas

1, 3

1,435

1,391

1,593

2,023

1,652

1,798

1,924

1,669

1,963

2,218

Contractors

3

1,150

1,315

1,407

1,548

1,378

1,253

1,241

995

1,097

1,261

Events

3

952

952

982

1,007

306

294

255

626

640

467

Refrigerants

1

449

473

473

449

449

87

618

625

715

715

Paper

3

110

110

110

77

93

79

55

35

21

22

Waste

3

1,110

1,110

1,110

1,110

1,110

1,265

1,489

1,460

1,467

1,169

Flights

3

87

32

36

59

87

72

21

21

57

17

Taxis

3

35

19

28

35

28

29

37

29

28

22

On-site fuel

1

3

31

2

3

3

3

5

8

6

4

Total

52,972

54,475

54,395

51,736

50,030

48,336

46,701

43,945

40,769

40,204

Offsets

The table below helps to show the percentage of our emissions we offset through purchasing carbon neutral credits.

Summary tCO2 - e 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
GreenPower

8,163

41,901

43,569

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Offsets

3,564

12,574

10,826

51,736

50,030

48,336

46,701

43,945

40,769

40,204

Total

11,727

54,475

54,395

51,736

50,030

48,336

46,701

43,945

40,769

40,204

Per cent of emissions

22%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

More information

For further reading, you may be interested in downloading our carbon neutral resources.

Contacts

City of Sydney
02 9265 9333

Last updated: Monday, 25 July 2016