We are committed to taking care of our precious environment, now and for future generations. This is a challenge we can all work on together. In December 2019 Northern Beaches Council adopted Protect. Create. Live. Environment and Climate Change Strategy 2040. The strategy provides a roadmap for how we can shape a bright environmental future by addressing the challenges and embracing opportunities.
In January 2021, Council met two commitments from the strategy by switching to 100% renewable electricity. The change means we have meet our corporate commitments to have "all suitable sites powered by renewable electricity by 2030" and a "65% reduction in carbon emissions by 2040" early.
Northern Beaches Council is also a proud Silver Partner of Sustainability Advantage, a program of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The program helps to improve environmental performance, reduce costs and add value to businesses. We have demonstrated significant environmental achievements and are committed to further strengthening our environmental performance through collaboration with the Department.
What Council is doing...
We want to be environmentally sustainable and are working everyday on new and exciting projects. Here is some of what we have already done:
- From 1 January 2021 all of Councils sites are being powered by 100% renewable electricity. This has slashed Council's annual emissions by about 80%. Read more.
- Council has partnered with Ausgrid on the very exciting Community Battery Trail. The first of it's kind on the east coast of Australia, the Beacon Hill Community battery was installed in February 2021 and is part of a 2 year pilot aiming to help local residents get the most out of their solar systems while improving the local electricity grid. Read more.
- Council now has over 900KW of solar panels installed. The 265kW "power station" solar system at Manly Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Aquatic Centre is one of the largest systems on the Northern Beaches. We have also recently added our first solar-powered battery too.
- Improved water quality with projects such as Water Sensitive Urban Design rain gardens and creek restoration projects, such as Frog Hollow Creek rehabilitation.
- Installed more rainwater harvesting systems for irrigation and toilet flushing. This included installing 3 x 5,000kL rainwater tanks at North Narrabeen Reserve Amenities block.
- We’ve undertaken water efficiency upgrades and installed rainwater harvesting at some of our highest using sites such as Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park, Cromer Depot, and Dee Why Civic Centre.
- We have progressively improved how we irrigate our sportsgrounds using SMART technology, including a trial of soil moisture sensing technology at Manly Oval.
- We now have 16 battery electric vehicles and 13 plug-in or hybrid vehicles in Council’s fleet. This continues to grow as more vehicles come up for replacement.
- We are implementing our Northern Beaches Transport Strategy: Move 2038 making it easier for you to use sustainable transport. The use of commuter carparks and the B-Line bus continues to grow. We also support car share facilities, the provision of electric vehicle charging points, and bike networks. There are now more than 20 EV charging locations across the Northern Beaches, including 8 JOLT chargers and at least 5 additional chargers being installed on street side power poles through the new 'Intellihub EV Streetside Charging Project.’
- June 2021 Council purchased two new electric bikes as part of our sustainable transport fleet.
- We are a Climate Council's Cities Power Partner and have completed 2 of our 5 climate change pledges so far - track our progress
- Upgraded our sportsgrounds with energy efficient lighting. You can see our new lights at St Matthews Farm, Old Reub Hudson Oval and North Narrabeen Reserve. We've also improved our energy efficiency at 13 Council sites including two car parking stations in Manly by upgrading our lighting to energy efficient LEDs.
- Reduced our energy usage at Manly Library, Manly Town Hall and Manly Art Gallery with more efficient air conditioning systems.
- Partnered with Ausgrid to accelerate the replacement of our residential street lights with LED’s to reduce our energy consumption, reduce the light being spilt to the night sky by approximately 90%, keeping the light within the roadway and transitioning away from mercury vapour lights. The new LED street lighting are estimated to save Council more than $1.7 million over ten years and reduce Council’s carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes a year.
- Supported innovation through participating in a trial of SOURCE water hydropanels at Currawong Holiday Cottages. The pilot project was a partnership with Zero Mass Water and ARENA. The trial ran for almost 5 years and the data and insights obtained through the trial have resulted in improvements in the new generation of hydropanel, Newer models can produce twice as much water and are quieter to run. They are being used across the country to produce clean drinking water from air and build resilience in water supply.
- Committed to becoming plastic free. We want to show leadership so we've given over 400 reusable cups to staff. We help you do it too with water fountains for bottle refills.
- Delivering Swap for Good, a program to support and empower local businesses to swap out single-use plastic. Launched in June 2019, the program has now signed up over 60 businesses and continues to engage through networking, events and workshops. The program recently won the 2020 Local Government Excellence Award for Environmental Leadership and Sustainability.
See more information on Council's approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation.