A City with lower carbon emissions

We will work with our community and partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What we’re doing

Investing in our assets

  • Upgrading Council buildings to increase energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, including changing from gas to electricity where feasible.
  • Transitioning our fleet to zero emissions vehicles, purchasing 26 electric vehicles for our fleet.
  • Replacing approximately 1,500 streetlights with energy efficient LEDs.
  • Continuing to plan for an extended bike network. This includes the Garden City Bike Corridor with safer crossings and a separated bike path along Beacon Road and Swallow Street.

Working with our community and partners

  • Partnering with providers to install electric vehicle chargers on Council land, issuing permits to residents to install chargers for personal use and encouraging developers to include electric vehicle charging in new developments. Electric vehicle charging stations are also available at the South
    Melbourne Market rooftop carpark.
  • Engaging with businesses to support and facilitate their actions to reduce emissions, water and waste.
  • Partnering with other inner Melbourne councils to explore options that may facilitate greater access and awareness to renewable energy options for renters, apartment dwellers and businesses. 
  • Partnering with the Victorian Government on the redevelopment of the EcoCentre, so that a world-class building can support the delivery of sustainability programs.

Changing how we deliver our services

  • Participating in the Victorian Government shared eScooter trial.
  • Reducing emissions from Council services, leasing, procurement and investment.

What we have done

Recent examples of how we are fostering a City with lower carbon emissions:

  • Reduced gross carbon emissions by one-quarter between 2016 and 2021. Net zero emissions achieved for Council operations in 2021.
  • 359 megawatts of solar panels installed on Council buildings.
  • 26 electric vehicles purchased for our fleet.
  • Nearly 10,000 participants in our sustainability programs, including school travel programs, in 2020/21.
  • 100 per cent of operations powered with renewable energy through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP).
  • 11 Council-owned buildings switched from gas to electricity.
  • 771,672 kWh of solar power generated as part of the South Melbourne Sustainability Strategy since December 2019, avoiding approximately 800 C02-e in carbon emissions.
  • 140 small businesses accessed funding to upgrade equipment and reduce emissions through the 'Small Business Energy Saver program' with South East Councils Climate Change Alliance.
  • 50 per cent of funding from the Victorian Government to redevelop the EcoCentre due to advocacy efforts.

Net zero emissions

‘Net zero’ refers to a balance between the emissions produced, and the emissions taken out of the atmosphere.

We achieved net zero for Council operations in 2021.

We are committed to helping our community reduce emissions and offset those they produce. 

Our community emissions profile

  • Electricity: 59.1 per cent
  • Gas: 18.3 per cent
  • Transport: 13.8 per cent
  • Waste: 4.4 per cent

Source: Emissions snapshot for Port Phillip

Electric vehicle charging stations at South Melbourne Market rooftop