Sustainability win for Shoalhaven at prestigious environment awards

Sustainability win.jpg

Shoalhaven Council took out the top Local Sustainability Award at the Excellence in the Environment Awards hosted by Local Government NSW.

Recognised for local environmental initiatives, promotion of sustainability, and progress towards a net zero emissions target, Council’s credentials proved hard to beat.

Mayor Amanda Findley said she was proud of the work being done by Council through resilience and climate-readiness programs.

“These awards recognise outstanding achievements by NSW local government in managing and protecting the environment,” Cr Findley said.

“The team has worked incredibly hard to be sustainability champions and put in place measures to protect the environment for the community and future generations,” she said.

“In the face of an uncertain climate-future, winning this award invigorates us to continue our sustainability journey and strive towards our net zero target.”

  • Judges noted Council’s achievements in the following areas: Showing leadership by bringing forward Council’s net zero emissions target from 2050 to 2035.
  • Adopting an Adaptation Plan to prepare for future climate risks.
  • Progress towards achieving Council’s net zero target (including a 17% reduction in operational greenhouse gas emissions last financial year) thanks to actions such as:
    • a power purchase agreement for more renewables (25% in 2023 and 50% by 2025)
    • installing 400kW of solar PV across 28 assets since 2022
    • upgrading all of Council’s street lights to energy efficient LEDs
    • Council’s Recovery into Resilience project which has seen solar and battery systems installed across 25 community halls and buildings
    • a Revolving Energy Fund which supports further projects to improve energy efficiency
  • Helping residents to reduce emissions through:
    • community sustainability and solar workshops
    • the launch of energy and water efficiency kits through Council libraries
    • the release of the Shoalhaven Sustainable Living Guide.
  • Increasing and encouraging community solar uptake through tools like SunSpot, with 31% of Shoalhaven households now sporting solar PV.

With this win under Council’s belt, plans are in place to further improve sustainability across the Shoalhaven and work toward Council’s net zero ambitions.

These include increasing the purchase of renewables; ‘getting off gas’ for pools and administration centres; investigating local carbon offset opportunities; transitioning Council’s fleet to more electric and low emissions vehicles; and supporting more EV charging across the region.

/Public Release. View in full here.