What is Council doing to lighten our load on the environment and encourage sustainability? Learn about the projects Council is running to save energy, water and natural resources and reduce its waste.
Urban Heat Island Effect
The Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) describes the temperature difference between cities and their rural surrounds. Studies from around the world have shown that temperatures in highly urbanised areas are typically two degrees Celsius (0C) to 120C warmer than their rural surroundings. This is due to the increased presence of dense, dark and solid surfaces (e.g. roads, footpaths and roofs) that absorb heat over vegetation and canopy cover that act to shade and cool areas.
Council is collaborating with a number of stakeholders to better understand the UHIE and identify ways we can work together to mitigate and adapt to this challenge. These projects include:
1. Urban heat island mitigation decision-support tool
Campbelltown City is a participant in a multi-agency working party, facilitated by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL), which will develop an urban heat island mitigation decision-support tool (the Tool). The Tool will compile evidence from a number of existing and emerging studies to inform policy and decision-making relating to potential building and urban interventions for cooling streetscapes, precincts and cities. This is the first study of its kind that will also quantify the impacts of urban heat on energy consumption and human health.
2. Installation of temperature gauges
Three temperature gauges have been placed across the Campbelltown LGA for a period of 12 months to capture temperature information. This information will be used to support the development of UHIE policies and future initiatives.
3. Temperature sensors
Council, in partnership with Western Sydney University (WSU), has placed approximately 110 temperature sensors across the Campbelltown Local Government Area. The sensors will collect temperature information at 10 minute intervals for a three month period. At the end of the three months, information collected will be analysed by WSU to generate:
- detailed day and night time temperature graphs for the entire LGA
- localised maps of temperature distribution across the LGA
- streaming video clips depicting daily evolution of temperature variationspecial attention to heat wave events and their impact.
Access to this information will help Council to identify intervention and policy opportunities for reducing urban heat.
The Sustainability Committee is the peak group responsible for supporting organisational sustainability. The Committee meets a minimum of four times a year to discuss and facilitate a diverse range of initiatives.
Since their establishment, the Sustainability Committee have achieved considerable sustainability milestones, including the:
- installation of a new energy efficient air conditioning system and building management system at the H.J Daley Library, which is recording an average annual saving of just over $52,000 and 494,000 kWh
- installation of solar pool heating systems on all of its leisure centres, which are recording a collective average annual saving of over $69,000 and 580,000 kWh
- installation of 770 solar panels on the Civic Centre and Arts Centre, which are recording a collective average annual saving of just under $38,000 and 282,000 kWh •installation of solar hot water systems on 30 community facilities and child care centres
- installation of an 85 kilo-watt (kW) solar system at Greg Percival Library and Community Centre with an anticipated saving of just under $18,000 per year and 113,000 kWh (install for this system will commence next week)
- commitment to the purchase of white A4 paper with an 80% or higher recycled content for general office use
In October 2015, Council endorsed its first Sustainability Strategy(8MB, PDF) dedicated to organisational improvement. The Strategy aspires to the following vision, “Working together to achieve smart practices for a positive legacy”. We invite you to check it out and become a sustainability ambassador.
Sustainability Accounting Tool
The vast array of services and facilities that we manage makes identifying our environmental impact a very important and necessary challenge. To ensure sustainability is embedded across Council, we use something called the ‘Sustainability Accounting Tool’ (SAT). The SAT captures consumption and cost information for six key sustainability areas - electricity, gas, water, paper, waste and vehicle fleet. It enables us to easily see resource consumption and develop initiatives to improve sustainability performance.
Following the endorsement of our Sustainable Event Management Policy in May 2011, we have implemented a number of sustainable practices at some of our larger events over the past couple of years:
- community tree planting days to help offset greenhouse gas emissions
- use of photovoltaic solar power systems to power stage and lighting equipment
- environmental engagement workshops
- use of recycled paper
- use of biodegradable packaging and utensils
- use of water refilling stations
- use of recycle bins.
In 2012, we developed an Energy Management Plan (EMP) which identified our top 10 energy consuming assets and provided a list of 43 energy savings measures for implementation. These measures range from implementing education programs to installation of photovoltaic and co-generation systems. These top ten facilities have since seen a 5% reduction in electricity usage when comparing the 2013/2014 financial year against the 2012/2013 financial year. That’s equivalent to taking 20 homes off the electricity grid for a year.