City of Sydney claims carbon neutrality

City of Sydney has staked claim to the title of Australia’s first carbon neutral government.

The council’s CEO, Monica Barone said this was accomplished by improving energy efficiency, using accredited renewable energy and offsetting unavoidable carbon emissions.

“The City of Sydney is proud to lead the way by becoming the first government in Australia to be carbon neutral,” she said.

Independent assessors have been working since January 2008 to measure the City’s carbon emissions and the City’s total emissions for 2006/07 were calculated at 48,556.07 tonnes.

These figures include electricity usage in all City of Sydney properties, street lighting, fuel for the City’s vehicles, contractors’ fuel, taxi trips and flights taken by staff, waste generated at the City’s offices, right down to the gases used in air-conditioning and refrigerating units.

Energy use in the city no longer contributes to overall carbon emissions as the city has made the switch to 100 per cent accredited GreenPower.

Energy providers were required to go through a stringent tender review process which included analysis of the type, cost and quantity of renewable energy which could be supplied.

For any carbon emissions which could not be eliminated through improvements to energy efficiency and the use of accredited GreenPower, the City of Sydney purchased carbon offsets.

For 2006/07 the City of Sydney purchased carbon offsets equivalent to 5,983 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Ms Barone said: “We are committed to making Sydney a more sustainable city and by becoming carbon neutral we’re not only reducing Sydney’s overall emissions, we’re showing business and other governments that being carbon neutral is an achievable, short term goal.”

For further information on City of Sydney’s plans to tackle carbon emissions click here.

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