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Yarra becomes Victoria's first carbon neutral council

05 December 2012

Solar panels on the North Carlton LibraryYarra City Council has been recognised as Victoria’s first carbon neutral Council under the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).

Yarra is only the second Council in Australia to receive carbon neutral certification from NCOS, after the City of Sydney.

Newly-elected Mayor Jackie Fristacky said achieving certification, through Low Carbon Australia’s carbon neutral program, was an important milestone to celebrate in Council’s journey towards long-term sustainability.

“We knew we were heading in the right direction when Yarra was named Victoria’s Sustainable City of the Year in 2011 so it is wonderful to be able to say Yarra is now carbon neutral,” Cr Fristacky said.

“Becoming carbon neutral by 2012 was a goal Council set for itself in 2008 when drafting the Yarra Environment Strategy.

“This certification means Council has met Australia’s benchmark for achieving carbon neutrality, and we are delighted to be the first Victorian Council to achieve that status.

“What it means is that Council has invested in accredited renewable energy projects that offset emissions we create as an organisation.

“However, it is not as simple as purchasing offsets to account for our annual emissions and claiming to be a carbon reduction leader.

“To be certified under NCOS, organisations must also demonstrate they are cutting the amount of energy they consume in real terms.

“Council has a strategy to do that, and since 2000-01 has reduced its annual energy use by almost 25%.

“We have installed energy efficient globes in our street lights, solar panels and hot water systems at Council buildings, and introduced on-site energy creation at the Collingwood Leisure Centre.

Cr Fristacky said Council would continue to work towards its goal of reducing the organisation’s total annual energy use by 50% and generating 25% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2015.

“Yarra Council continues to lead the sector in sustainability which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the values and aspirations of the Yarra community,” she said.

 Low Carbon Australia CEO Meg McDonald praised Yarra for its leadership and commitment in attaining certification.

 "Yarra City Council is proof of what can be achieved with strong community leadership and strategic direction,” she said.

 “We’re proud to have Yarra join our Carbon Neutral Network, which features some of Australia’s leading corporate names including Qantas, Virgin, ANZ, NAB, PwC, CBRE, Australian Paper, The Merino Company, GPT and DEXUS. The combined efforts of members have resulted in more than one million tonnes of carbon emissions being avoided each year.”

You can find out more about Council’s journey towards carbon neutrality and what it is doing to become more sustainable on our website here.

About NCOS

Established by the Australian Government in July 2010, the National Carbon Offset Standard sets transparent requirements for calculating, auditing and offsetting the carbon footprint of an organisation so it can achieve 'carbon neutrality'.

Council was certified as carbon neutral under NCOS in late November 2012.

If you’d like to learn more about NCOS, visit their website here.

About Low Carbon Australia

Low Carbon Australia Limited is the Australian Government's official certifier of carbon neutrality. Low Carbon Australia’s Carbon Neutral Program is a voluntary scheme for Australian organisations seeking carbon neutrality for their whole organisation, part of their organisation, an event, product or service.

To find out more about Low Carbon Australia, visit their website here.

For media enquiries about this issue, please contact:
Toby Walker
Senior Communications Officer
9205 5120 - 0408 954 769



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