In 2019, Indigo Shire Council became one of the first local government areas in Australia to declare a Climate Emergency.
Our response to climate change is embedded in our Council Plan, and we've committed to NET ZERO by 2035 target for the greenhouse gas emissions we produce.
Our Net Zero target includes emissions produced across the organisation, and covers Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
We're also supporting our community to reduce community-generated emissions, transition to a renewable energy future, and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Climate actions at Council
The actions we are taking within Council are informed by our Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP). Developed in 2021 with Ndevr Environmental, our ERP identified how much emissions were produced by the organisation, and where they were coming from.
Using 2019/20 as our baseline, Council produced 6,366 tonnes of CO2-e in one year.
With 133 full-time equivalent staff at the time, this equated to around 48 tonnes for each full-time Council employee.
Council's Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) identified a long list of actions required to decarbonise as much as possible and ultimately achieve certified Net Zero by 2035, or earlier.
These actions apply across the organisation, and relate to buildings and facilities, streetlights, fleet and plant, office waste, staff commuting, and contractors.
Council’s emissions profile has been established in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Australian Government Climate Active Organisational Standard. Emissions categories (and associated emissions sources) follow the GHG Protocol framework.
We will be seeking carbon neutral certification through the Australian Government’s Climate Active Program, by applying to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources (DISER). This incurs annual certification fees and additional periodic auditing requirements.
Certified organisations can use the Climate Active Certification Trademark, which provides a credible stamp of approval for environmental stewardship.
Climate actions in our Community
In addition to taking action to reduce Council's own emissions, we are also undertaking a range of actions to support our community to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
For example, our Community Sustainability Grants Program has been supporting local community groups since 2018 to install solar PV systems and improve energy efficiencies at community facilities.
Indigo Shire is very fortunate to have a number of trailblazing community sustainability groups such as Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY), Totally Renewable Beechworth, Totally Renewable Indigo North, and a number of local Landcare groups and networks. We recently supported the installation of Indigo Shire's first public high-speed EV charger installed in Yackandandah, a project led by an alliance of TRY, Indigo Power and Yackandandah Community Development Company. Council is also supporting a second public 50 kW EV charger being installed in Beechworth in 2023 by Evie Network.
Council is also a member of a number of key local and regional climate partnerships including the Goulburn Murray Climate Alliance (GMCA), a partnership of North East Victorian councils and other key stakeholders that has been addressing the challenges of climate change as a region since 2007. In October 2021, Council signed up to the Cities Power Partnership.
The Indigo Environment Advisory Committee (IEAC) has been providing Council with invaluable advice on environment and sustainability matters since 2010. The IEAC plays an integral role in the development of Council's strategies and plans relating to the environment and our response to climate change.
Useful Indigo Shire Council resources
- Climate Change Policy (2019)
- Environment Strategy (2019)
- Climate Emergency Strategic Action Plan (2020)
- Climate Change Adaption Action Plan (2017-21)
- Towards certified Net Zero, a summary of Council's Emissions Reduction Plan (2021)
- Better Build Toolkit - Home renovation guide - Indigo Shire Council (2011)
- Better Build Toolkit - New home guide - Indigo Shire Council (2011)
- Better Build Toolkit - Commercial and community guide - Indigo Shire Council (2011)
Useful external resources
- Sustainability Victoria
- Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY)
- Totally Renewable Beechworth (TRB)
- Totally Renewable Indigo North (TRIN)
- Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment & Water (DEECAW)
- Victorian Government Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action (DEECA)
- Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE)
- Solar Victoria
- Green Vehicle Guide
- Better Building Finance