Achievements 2012/13

Achievements 2012/13

2030 snapshot

During 2012/13, the City of Sydney continued to work towards the targets outlined in Sustainable Sydney 2030.

Here are some of the goals we reached.


Carbon neutral

The City retained its carbon neutral status under the National Carbon Offset Standard by reducing and offsetting all our operational carbon emissions during 2011/12.

Since 2006 we have reduced carbon emissions from our City buildings by 20% (based on 2011/12 data). With these significant reductions in our buildings and reductions in other key areas, we are also well on our way towards reducing our total emissions from our operations by 70% by 2030 – with total reductions of 12% for our own operations since 2006 (based on 2011/12 data).

Energy efficiency

In an Australian first, the City advanced the rollout of 6,448 energy efficient LED street and park lights across the local area. To date, 2,620 LED street lights have been installed, resulting in a 27% reduction in carbon emissions.

Once complete, the initiative will save the City up to $800,000 per year in electricity bills.

We’ve completed 95% of our $6.9 million building energy and water efficiency retrofit of 45 City properties.

Annually, we estimate that the retrofit will reduce carbon emissions from our properties by 23%, water consumption by 53,313kL, and utility bills by more than $1 million.

Our CitySwitch Green Office program experienced a 20% increase in NSW participants during 2012. In Sydney, there are now 105 commercial tenancies – covering 865,074 square metres of office floorspace – working towards a minimum four out of five-star energy rating.

Our Smart Green Business Program has assisted 366 Sydney businesses to save on their utility bills and improve their environmental performance since the program began in 2009. To date, program participants have collectively reduced their carbon emissions by 5,600 tonnes, saved 202 million litres of water, and diverted 3,669 tonnes of waste from landfill.

The City continued to work with the Better Buildings Partnership which involves Sydney’s leading public, private and institutional landlords – who own more than 50% of central Sydney office space – working together to make the city’s buildings more sustainable.

Participants in our Smart Green Apartments program developed 30 action plans during 2012/13, guiding energy-efficiency improvements within local apartment buildings.

Renewable energy

The City developed a Decentralised Renewable Energy Master Plan, a blueprint for our transition to renewable electricity and gas resources, for community consultation.

We enabled an innovative finance agreement that will deliver low-carbon energy to 4,000 future residents of the Central Park development being built by Frasers Property on the former Carlton & United Breweries site.

The City is progressing plans to install trigeneration systems in our own buildings starting with a plant to provide electricity, heating and cooling to Sydney Town Hall, Town Hall House and the Queen Victoria Building.

People enjoying the food trucks as part of the Moveable Feast festival.


Greening Sydney

The City worked towards our target of increasing the urban canopy by 50% by 2030, with 8,900 street trees planted since 2005.

We upgraded 31 small parks during 2012/13.

The City has installed 12,837 square metres of landscaping throughout City streets since 2008, well in excess of our target.

There are 51 green roofs and 26 green walls on buildings across the local area. Totalling 89,287 square metres, these installations deliver environmental and community benefits including improved air quality, biodiversity, insulation and visual amenity.

The City provided 16 environmental grants during 2012/13, enabling not-for-profit groups to provide environmental benefits to our city villages.

Global city

The City provided $808,787 under our village business partnership program during 2012/13, awarding grants to 15 companies and organisations that contribute to the local economy, provide employment and benefit the community. The grants supported finegrain businesses, village business partnerships and shopfront improvements.

We worked in partnership with tourism bodies, businesses and tourism operators to strengthen Sydney’s standing as a global destination.

We also supported musicals, shows, exhibitions and festivals that attracted interstate and overseas visitors to the central Sydney, boosting the local economy.

Cultural life

The City of Sydney supports creative culture with more than $34 million a year in financial and value-in-kind contributions across grant programs, precinct revitalisation, marketing and communications, cultural infrastructure and major free public events.

We provided $3.5 million in grants and sponsorships during 2012/13 in support of cultural events across the local area, large and small.

The City sponsored major cultural festivals including Sydney Festival, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Biennale of Sydney, Sydney Writers’ Festival, and Sydney Film Festival.

We unleashed creativity in our local communities by funding local art exhibitions, theatre programs, visual arts and crafts, history and heritage initiatives and more.

The City staged major cultural events during the year, including Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, Sydney Chinese New Year Festival and Art & About Sydney.

We strengthened the unique cultural identity and vibrancy of the City’s villages, completing 8 permanent and 6 temporary public artworks across the local area during 2012/13.

We also launched the Eora Journey public art program, which will reassert our Aboriginal past and celebrate contemporary Aboriginal culture.

The City won the 2013 Australia Award for Urban Design for transforming 5 inner-city laneways with stunning public artworks, new paving, lighting and street furniture.

We fostered Oxford Street as a creative hub by leasing 18 City-owned retail and office spaces on the strip to cultural and creative tenants at affordable rates.

We also continued to transform the historic Burton Street Tabernacle into a 200-seat theatre and creative arts centre that will house the Darlinghurst Theatre Company from early 2014.

Community life

The City provided $1,196,734 in cultural and community grants during 2012/13 to support 151 local community organisations to deliver events, initiatives, services and resources at the grassroots level.

We helped establish 17 community gardens and 3 footpath gardens, enabling people to grow herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit, and even conserve rare plants and seeds.

Our Green Villages program attracted 1,333 participants during the year, with 37 workshops and forums held to support local communities to develop and drive their own sustainability projects.

We opened the new Prince Alfred Park Pool, the City’s first fully accessible, heated outdoor pool, bringing the total number of aquatic centres in the local area to 5.

We also maintained more than 400 parks and open spaces spanning some 188 hectares, providing the City community with welcoming public spaces to meet up, exercise and relax.

Small bars

More than 70 small bars have opened in inner Sydney since the City of Sydney pushed for liquor licensing law changes.

Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks at NYE 2012.


Sustainable transport

The City remained on track to meet a four-year target to reduce our vehicle fleet emissions by 20% by 2014, with carbon emissions at 2,304 tonnes for the 12 months.

We received the 2012 Australasian Fleet Management Association – Fleet Environment Award in recognition of our continuing efforts to reduce fleet emissions.

The City deployed 14 zero emission electric vehicles during 2012/13, for use by City staff for daily inspections or meeting attendance. As new vehicle models arrive in Australia we aim to replace up to 50 petrol and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles, all powered by 100% renewable energy.

We reduced our reliance on fossil fuels during 2012/13 by using 819,176 litres of sustainable biofuels – which combine diesel with recycled cooking oil and animal fat – in many of our diesel trucks.

The City’s parks, footpaths and roads were serviced by 32 diesel-electric hybrid trucks that produce up to 30% less carbon emissions. A further 20 hybrid trucks will be purchased in 2013/14.

Our recycling depot commissioned a new 22-tonne diesel-electric hybrid excavator during 2012/13, which reduces carbon emissions by up to 25%.


We supported more than 10,800 City residents and businesses participating in car share schemes by providing a further 151 onstreet car share parking spaces during 2012/13, bringing the total across the local area to 505. We successfully encouraged developers to include car share spaces in new apartment buildings.

Cycling trips have increased by 113% across the local area since March 2010, with around 2,000 bikes passing through top peak-hour intersections on an average weekday.

There are 110km of existing bike routes.

We’re proposing a 200km network, delivering cyclists 55km of separated cycleways (we’ve already built 10km), 60km of shared paths and 40km of other related infrastructure.

We’re building a new separated cycleway on George Street in Redfern, from Prince Alfred Park to Green Square.

The City trained a further 126 staff to use the City’s bike fleet during 2012/13, bringing the total number of participants to 230. The fleet travelled some 2,708km during the 12 months.

George Street

The City of Sydney is supporting the NSW Government’s city centre light rail project with $220 million to revitalise George Street and make it an appealing area for business and consumers.

Our designs for George Street include public art installations, new paving and lighting, new trees and specially designed new public furniture.

Last updated: Thursday, 26 November 2015