Sustainability benchmarking report shows reduction in council’s carbon footprint
  • Monday 18 September 2017

A significant drop in waste generation, increased landfill gas flaring and a reduction of fuel use are just some of the measures Sunshine Coast Council has adopted to reduce its carbon footprint by 2% over the last 12 months, according to a nation-leading benchmarking report.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council’s Organisational Environmental Sustainability Benchmarking Report 2016/2017 provided an annual snapshot of the organisation’s greenhouse gas footprint and sustainability performance.

“The environmental sustainability benchmarking exercise commenced in 2014/2015 to collect baseline data to measure and monitor our greenhouse gas (carbon) emissions, waste, energy consumption, transport use, water use, green buildings and programs, and internal systems and processes that deliver sustainability outcomes,” Cr McKay said.

“Collecting information on these indicators in a consistent way that is quantifiable and measurable, enables us to monitor changes over time, improve business efficiency and identify opportunities for investment and cost savings.

“The rate of population growth, the weather patterns and trends, the decisions we make as a community, including the adoption of new technology, are all factors that can influence the outcomes of this report year on year. 

“As our ability to embrace new technologies and process data increases into the future, these reports will become an increasingly valuable guide to constantly improve council’s processes and inform the wider community of our progress.”

To view the full Organisational Environmental Sustainability Benchmarking Report 2016/2017 and one-page summary, or for further information, visit council’s website

 Key findings from the 2016/2017 Benchmarking Report include:

  • Council’s total carbon emissions (which includes emissions from community waste managed at council landfills) were 140,238 tonnes of greenhouse gas, a reduction of 2% on last year’s totals.
  • The largest contributors to council’s overall carbon footprint continues to be waste to landfill 77% (from both council and community activities), electricity 12%, and street-lighting 7%.
  • A long period of hot, dry weather has contributed significantly to increased water (16% increase) and electricity usage (increase 7%).  Figures contained in this report reflect the increased demand on council owned facilities  including community pools and aquatic facilities, parks, gardens, nature reserves and caravan parks as well as administration buildings and depots.
  • The amount of waste generated by council activities decreased by 25% compared to 2016/17 FY 
  • Sunshine Coast Airport became Australia’s first to gain Level 3+ Carbon-Neutral accreditation under the international Airport Carbon Accreditation program. Sunshine Coast Council became the first Local Government in Australia to construct a utility scale (15MW) Solar Farm.