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Council is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of its operations.

This commitment is delivered through a comprehensive suite of existing environmental management programs and policies, standard operating procedures and protocols, key performance indicators and reporting.

Cities Power Partnership

Tweed Shire Council has taken the pledge to tackle climate change in our own backyard as part of the Cities Power Partnership. This is Australia’s largest local government climate network, with over 100 councils representing almost 11 million Australians working together to find local climate solutions.

Find out more about the program.

Visit the Australian Greenhouse Calculator to work out your household’s carbon footprint, and explore how your lifestyle contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Check out Council’s Energy , Waste and Transport pages for ideas to help reduce your emissions.

Renewable Energy Action Plan for Tweed Shire Council Facilities

Council has set a target to produce 25% of its own electricity from renewable sources by 2022, and 50% by 2025.

Council will meet its '25% self-generation by 2022' target by investing $5.2m and achieving $1m in annual energy cost savings through:

- energy efficiency improvements in streetlights, lighting, wastewater treatment and heating/ventilation systems

- installing 921.2kWof rooftop solar at 15 Council facilities.

To achieve its 2025 target of 50% self-generation of renewable energy, Council will investigate opportunities for larger solar and battery storage installations, looking for a positive return on investment. Currently, the estimated cost of $5.3 million for these projects and estimated $530,000/year savings suggests these initiatives are only marginally cost effective.

Find out more in Council's Renewable Energy Action Plan in the sidebar.

Tweed Shire Council Environmental Sustainability Prioritisation Strategy

Council has adopted an Environmental Sustainability Prioritisation Strategy to improve the way we protect the natural environment and reduce Council's environmental footprint.

The Strategy focuses on getting Council's own 'house in order' by describing:

  • a series of environmental sustainability principles that we use to guide our actions and decision making;
  • a set of project prioritisation criteria to evaluate and rank projects based on the extent to which they support ecological sustainable development principles; and
  • the lead actions that Council will pursue between 2015 and 2020 to build on its existing and ongoing environmental sustainability activities.

Download the Strategy from the sidebar for further details.

Procurement

Recycled Bench Seat
Recycled Bench Seat
Sustainable procurement refers to the purchase of goods or services that have a lesser or reduced affect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. Such products or services may include, but are not limited to, those which contain recycled content, minimise waste, conserve energy or water, and reduce the amount of toxics disposed or consumed.

Council is progressively implementing a range of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of its purchasing decisions. Examples of sustainable procurement initiatives include the use of recycled plastic products for park and street furniture, recycled office paper, low toxicity office stationery products, green cleaners and water/energy efficiency standards for white-goods and tap-ware.

Council’s Environmental Performance Schedule (57kB PDF) includes the criteria for purchases greater than $50,000. The Sustainable Products List (31kB PDF) includes the minimum standards for a range of energy and/or water consuming products.

Public Facilities

Tweed Regional Gallery Solar Panels
Tweed Regional Gallery Solar Panels
Council’s public facilities (e.g. swimming pools, art gallery, museums etc) are responsible for approximately 15 per cent of the organisation's greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts to reduce impacts include the following:

New Buildings

Council's Environmental Design Guidelines for new council facilities include requirements for energy and water efficiency, waste minimisation, the use of local natives for landscaping and design that reduces reliance on the motor vehicle for facility access. For further information please see Environmental Design Guidelines for TSC Facilities (57kB PDF).

Existing Buildings

Council's existing facilities are being progressively improved to reduce their environmental footprint, with a specific focus on energy and water efficiency, waste management and walking and cycling access.

Recent improvements include skylights and 20kW of rooftop solar incorporated in the Tweed Heads library upgrade, LED lights and motion sensors in Murwillumbah Civic Centre, and energy efficient high bay lighting at the Murwillumbah depot.

If you have a suggestion on how your local facilities can be improved, please contact Council's Sustainability Program Leader on 02 6670 2555 or email tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au.

Revolving Energy Fund

In 2000, Council installed energy efficient lighting in its main office in Murwillumbah. This initiative cut the annual lighting bill by more than 50%. At the completion of the project Council decided that savings made from energy efficiency initiatives such as this should be set aside to fund additional energy efficiency initiatives and the Revolving Energy Fund (REF) was established as a result.

The REF is now an integral part of Council’s energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction program for existing infrastructure.

Initiatives implemented under the REF (e.g. solar heating for swimming pools, energy efficient lighting retrofits, power factor correction systems) have reduced local greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 600 tonnes of C02 each year.

Vehicles

Council’s vehicle fleet is responsible for approximately 10 per cent of the organisation's greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts to reduce impacts include the following:
Fleet Bicycles
Fleet Bicycles

Bicycle Fleet

In 2008 Council introduced a bicycle fleet into its operations to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, provide leadership to the community, demonstrate the benefits of bikes for corporate travel and increase staff opportunities for healthy active transport. Staff can access bicycles at from the main office, depot and wastewater treatment plants.
4 Cyclinder Vehicles
4 Cyclinder Vehicles

Passenger Vehicle Fleet

In 2006 Council amended its lease-back agreement for passenger vehicles to encourage vehicle downsizing (i.e. smaller, more fuel efficient cars). Small and mid-sized vehicle options were improved and cheaper lease fees were established for these cars when compared to the traditional ‘company car’. Diesel passenger vehicles were also listed as an option for lease-back vehicles.

This initiative has proven to be very successful with more than 90 per cent of staff with lease-back vehicles choosing to downsize their vehicle and has been complimented by the decision of Council’s executive staff to downsize their own vehicles.
Hybrid Electric Car
Hybrid Electric Car

Hybrid Vehicles

In 2005 Council purchased a mid-sized hybrid fuel sedan for use within Council’s passenger vehicle fleet. The initiative sought to provide community leadership on reducing transport related greenhouse gas emissions while ‘testing the water’ on the suitability of hybrid vehicles in a non-metropolitan setting (e.g. servicing down time).
The performance of the vehicle exceeded expectations and proved very popular with staff. A second hybrid vehicle was purchased in 2007, followed by a third in 2008. In 2009, hybrid vehicles were added to the lease-back vehicles list.

Water and Sewer Services

Energy consumption associated with the treatment and transport of town water and wastewater is responsible for approximately 50 per cent of Council’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Efforts to reduce these impacts are focused on the delivery of initiatives in Council’s Renewable Energy Action Plan. Example actions include installing renewable energy generation, introducing energy efficient pumps and motors, reducing peak load consumption by pumping in off-peak times and designing networks to maximise the use of gravity for water and wastewater delivery.
Last Updated: 16 October 2018