In 2018, we commissioned the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne to investigate the environmental impacts of urban lifestyles in the City of Port Phillip.
This research is reported in the City of Port Phillip Eco Footprint report.
Two key aspects were explored:
1. The city’s current and future environmental footprint – the natural resources required to support urban lifestyles and the greenhouse gas emissions and waste generated.
2. Opportunities to reduce this footprint and increase the sustainability of the city.
The research revealed:
- 48,294 square metres per person are required to support urban lifestyles in the City of Port Phillip, over four times the size of Luna Park.
- 3,808 litres of water are required per person per day, more than twelve times per capita household water usage.
- The average per capita carbon footprint is 29,798 kg per year, equivalent to the emissions generated by running twelve average passenger cars over the same period.
- An average resident of the City of Port Phillip will generate almost 12 kg of waste per day. This includes not only household waste, but also waste generated earlier in the supply chain.
- Overall, in 2018 the City of Port Philip requires 5,482 square kilometres of land and 155,775 million litres of water per year, and is responsible for the production of 3.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and 503,709 tonnes of waste per year.
- In 2050, in a business as usual scenario, the city’s total environmental footprint per year would increase to 6,183 square kilometres of land, 262,650 million litres of water, 4.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and 1.2 million tonnes of waste.
- Potential strategies to reduce the environmental footprint of the City of Port Phillip include better insulating homes, reducing unnecessary consumption of goods and services or recycling existing goods, reducing consumption of environmentally intensive foods such as red meat, switching to renewable electricity generation, reducing car use, reducing consumption of imported goods and divesting superannuation and investment portfolios away from fossil fuels.