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.

 

Emissions inventory

SUMMARY

1 TC02-e

Scopes 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Electricity: Properties 2, 3 27,341 27,685 27,033 23,727 23,552 22,920 21,226 20,179
Electricity: Parks 2, 3 2,501 2,636 2,610 2,849 2,877 2,577 2,467 2,196
Electricity: Street lighting 2, 3 15,131 15,699 16,057 15,636 15,269 14,783 14,653 13,730
Fleet 1, 3 2,669 3,022 2,954 3,212 3,225 3,175 2,710 2,373
Natural gas 1, 3 1,435 1,391 1,593 2,023 1,652 1,798 1,924 1,669
Contractors 3 1,150 1,315 1,407 1,548 1,378 1,253 1,241 995
Events 3 952 952 982 1,007 306 294 255 626
Refrigerants 1 449 473 473 449 449 87 618& 625
Paper 3 110 110 110 77 93 79 55 35
Waste 3 1,110 1,110 1,110 1,110 1,110 1,265 1,489 1,460
Flights 3 87 32 36 59 87 72 21 21
Taxis 3 35 19 28 35 28 29 37 29
On-site fuel 1 3 31 2 3 3 3 5 8
TOTAL 52,972 54,475 54,395 51,736 50,030 48,336 46,701 43,945

Offsets

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

OFFSETS

tCO2-e

2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
GreenPower 8,163 41,901 43,569 0 0 0  0
Offsets 3,564 12,574 10,826 51,736 50,030 48,336 46,701   43,945
TOTAL 11,727 54,475 54,395 51,736 50,030 48,336 46,701   43,945
Per cent of emissions 22% 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: Thursday, 14 August 2014