Have your say on our environmental strategy 2021–2025

We're committed to acting on climate change and creating a more resilient and sustainable city for everyone, now and in the future.

Project Status: Closed

Public consultation period to

Our new draft strategy recognises and responds to the global climate emergency, builds on what we have already achieved and sets ambitious new targets.

What we’re doing

It is important for cities to lead the way on climate action. This draft strategy outlines how Sydney will continue to be a global leader and create a more resilient and sustainable city.

It details how we will increase energy and water efficiency, use more renewable energy, move away from petrol-fuelled vehicles and divert waste away from landfill.

In 2019, we spoke to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, children and young people, residents, businesses, workers and visitors about their vision for the future.

People overwhelmingly want a response to climate change. They want a city with sustainable waste management and use of resources. People want to see a reduction in emissions, greater recycling and reusing of products and changes to how we use our city to reduce our impact on the environment.

We’ve taken insights from communities, government, and industry to develop this strategy.

It sets out 4 key directions and 23 supporting actions that we will take to achieve meaningful environmental outcomes in our city.

Environmental sustainability policy

We also seek feedback on our draft environmental sustainability policy. The policy aims to strengthen the environmental management expectations of our partners including suppliers, grant participants and organisers holding events in our spaces. Our partners will be required to comply with the policy and supporting guidelines including single-use and sustainable design technical guidelines.


Directions and actions at a glance

Direction 1 – Smart and resilient operations

We’ll ensure our buildings, parks, services and supply chain operate  efficiently and reduce water and energy use, divert waste from landfill and support circular economy outcomes. 

Direction 2 – Efficient, future-proof buildings and transport powered by renewable energy

We’ll drive all new buildings to be net zero energy and improve water, energy and waste efficiency in existing buildings through our planning controls, advocacy, partnerships and programs. 

We’ll continue to support a shift away from private vehicles and towards public transport, walking and cycling, as well as supporting the transition to electric vehicles.

Direction 3 – Regenerative and inclusive city

We’ll work with our communities, in particular our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to make our city more resilient, contribute to regenerating the natural resources it consumes and ensure this transition includes everyone.

We'll support a strong circular economy, continue to drought-proof our city through water recycling and regenerate polluted waterways, air and land.

Direction 4 – Strong foundations for delivery

Through leadership, strong governance, effective communications, quality environmental reporting and increased employee capability, we will deliver the outcomes set out in this strategy.

Targets: quick snapshot

From July 2020, the City of Sydney began using 100% renewable electricity, and we’re expecting operational emissions to drop to 76% below 2006 levels by the end of June 2021. Below is a snapshot of our new targets. The full list of targets can be found in the draft strategy.

Targets for whole local area

  • Net zero emissions by 2035 
  • 90% diversion from landfill of residential, commercial and construction waste by 2030
  • 50% of electricity demand met by renewable sources by 2030

Targets for City of Sydney operations

  • 80% reduction in emissions generation by end June 2025, from 2006 baseline
  • Zero fleet emissions by 2035 or sooner
  • Zero increase in potable water use annually until 2025, from 2006 baseline
  • 90% diversion from landfill from City-managed properties by end June 2025

Find out more

Read the proposed strategy and environmental sustainability policy.

Draft environmental strategy 2021–2025PDF · 5.54 MB · Last modified
Draft environmental sustainability policyDOCX · 65.4 KB · Last modified

How you can give feedback

Consultation closes at 5pm on Wednesday 16 June.

There are a few ways you can provide feedback:

Feedback may be published in publicly available reports at the end of the consultation period. Your name or organisation's name may appear in these reports with your feedback attributed. If you would like your feedback to be kept confidential, please let us know when making your contribution.

Other ways you can give feedback