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Yarra's sustainability program among the world's best
03 September 2014
Yarra City Council’s world-class sustainability program has seen it named Australia’s first One Planet Council and only the third local government in the world to receive the title.
One Planet Living is an internationally recognised benchmark bestowed on regions around the world, for being exemplars of sustainable living.
Council’s sustainability performance was independently assessed against ten principles that allow communities to live and work within their fair share of the earth’s resources.
Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky, said Council’s certification in One Planet Living’s International Leadership category validated Council’s longstanding commitment to applying sustainable principles to its work.
“We were thrilled when Yarra became the first Victorian Council to achieve carbon neutral certification under the National Carbon Offset Scheme in 2012,” Cr Fristacky said.
“One Planet Living provides a way to rate Council against other local authorities leading the world in terms of approaches to sustainability, to see how Yarra measured up and to highlight areas we could improve.
“To be recognised as an international leader, is a fantastic affirmation of Yarra’s visionary commitment to sustainability.
“We will wear this as a badge of honour and use the recognition as motivation to examine new ways for Yarra to be a model for sustainable inner-city communities.”
Cr Fristacky said Council’s recognition at the 2013 UNAA World Environment Day Awards for its excellent overall environmental management had spurred Council to set new goals for itself and its community.
“Since 2012, Council has continued to strive to reduce its carbon footprint, including a substantial retrofit program for 18 of its buildings, as well as introducing on-site energy generation to save on energy required to heat two of our community pools,” Cr Fristacky said.
“it is so pleasing that the results from these initiatives are being realised.
“Council has reduced its annual energy consumption by 25% compared with consumption in 2000/01 - the base year we measure against.
“By June 2015, once the retrofitting project is complete, we are hoping to have that reduction up to 45% which will be a wonderful achievement if we get there.
“While Council is doing what it can, we also see that our Yarra community is taking action too.
“More Yarra residents cycle work than in any other local government area in Australia so we are very fortunate that we have a community of people making the choice to live more sustainably.”
Managing Director of One Planet Living, Ed Cotter, said an independent audit of Council’s sustainability programs and targets, measured against One Planet Living’s key sustainability principles, placed Yarra alongside leading international communities like Brighton in the UK and Sonoma Mountain Village in the USA.
“Certification against One Planet Living is a stamp of recognition reserved for international sustainability leaders striving to make one planet living a reality for people and organisations,” said Mr Cotter.
“Yarra City Council has shown great leadership and vision on how local government can actually head the charge on sustainability by assessing its operations against the only metric that really matters - one planet living”.
One Planet Living provides a framework and plan of action for projects and organisations to make it easy, attractive and affordable for people to lead happy and healthy lives within earth’s finite resources - one planet's worth of resources. Sadly, much of Australia uses three planet’s worth.
Yarra’s One Planet Council Certification
May 2014 - Council engaged a licenced One Planet Sustainability Integrator (Ironbark Sustainability) to complete an independent a gap analysis of Councils’ sustainability performance, programs and targets against the One Planet framework.
June 2014 – Ironbark Sustainability submitted this formal report, based on this initial gap analysis, on behalf of Council to BioRegional Australia for independent assessment.
August 2014 – BioRegional Australia confirms Council as Australia’s first One Planet Council, and the world’s third One Planet Council.
Coordinator - Communications
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