Reducing council emissions

City of Adelaide is serious about its sustainability goals and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The City of Adelaide has been measuring and reducing carbon dioxide for a number of years, and is currently on a pathway to carbon neutrality for its own operations.

Neutrality is achieved by accurately measuring greenhouse gas emissions, reducing direct emissions, and purchasing accredited offsets that contribute to global efforts to address climate change. Council has been working towards this for 20 years as they improve efficiencies and utilise smart technology as part of their on-going journey.

Our achievements so far

City of Adelaide's sustainability achievements in a diagram
photo-icon City of Adelaide
  • 2018 City of Adelaide awards event diverted 100% of waste away from landfill, sending all 29kg to a local composting company.
  • 1500 LED street lights installed saving enough electricity to power 100 homes each year.
  • Energy efficient upgrades to buildings resulting in approximately $465,000 savings per year.
  • 12 hybrid vehicles and 32 plug-in electric vehicles in our fleet as at June 2019
  • 330 kW of solar, creating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 95 homes/year.

10 projects for a carbon neutral Council

The City of Adelaide has developed 10 key projects towards carbon neutrality.

  • Tracking and Managing Energy and Water. Managing our utilities to save big on bills and cut carbon emissions.
  • Improving Buildings. Improving on past saving to make our buildings perform better, save money on bills and contribute to staff comfort and wellbeing.
  • LED Streetlights. Completing LED replacements for all of Council’s 5,000 streetlight assets across the city.
  • Sustainable Procurement. Choosing products based on their social and environmental credentials reduces Council’s emissions and is also a powerful way to make positive change in the marketplace.
  • Sustainable Events. We’ve eliminated single use plastic straws from all council-run events and are working with event organisers to make big waste reductions, save energy while still giving great experiences.
  • Waste and Recycling at Work. We are diverting more waste away from landfill for productive uses.
  • Solar Power on Buildings. New solar panels are being installed on Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide Aquatic Centre, UPark Topham Mall and UPark Pirie Flinders, in addition to those on the Central Market, Adelaide Central Bus Station, London Road Depot and UPark Rundle.
  • 100% Renewable Electricity. Switching to a 100% renewable energy contract will reduce our overall emissions by more than half.
  • Zero Emissions Transport. Council will invest in electric fleet vehicles, charged on renewable energy by 2020.
  • Carbon Neutral Certification. The City of Adelaide will undertake the necessary steps to achieve certification for carbon neutrality via the Commonwealth Governments National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).

Tracking Council carbon emissions

Between 2007 and 2017, energy savings initiatives in the City of Adelaide’s top 10 electricity consuming buildings have resulted in a reduction in annual electricity used by 15% and costs by around $465,000, per annum.

City of Adelaide corporate emissions inventory

For several years now, the City of Adelaide has prepared a corporate greenhouse gas emissions inventories. The 2015/16 and 2016/17 have been calculated in accordance with the National Carbon offset standard for organisations.

The breakdown of Council’s current greenhouse gas (carbon) emissions by source in 2017/18 are as follows:

Council emissions donut 2017 18

The corporate emissions for the City of Adelaide for our commercial operations in 2017-18 are in the order of  22,371 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), for the year, pending audit.

By comparison, other Australian cities pursuing carbon neutrality have the following footprints:

CityAreaGreenhouse accounts 2017-18
City of Melbourne37.7 km235,914 t CO2e
City of Sydney26.15 km239,653 t CO2e
Brisbane City Council1,342 km2635,352 t CO2e