City of Launceston endorses zero emissions plan

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The City of Launceston has endorsed a plan designed to allow the organisation to achieve carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy consumption for all Council facilities by 2025.

The Towards Zero Emissions Action Plan 2021-2025 sets out how the City of Launceston will achieve targets committed to in its 2019 Sustainability Strategy, including to power building operations with 100% renewable energy and operate as a carbon neutral organisation by 2025.

For more than a decade the City of Launceston has worked to reduce emissions and resource use across its diverse portfolio of community services and assets. The Council has undertaken a series of emissions reduction and capture projects including, but not limited to:

● The development of Australia’s first landfill gas capture and electricity generation facility, in partnership with LMS Energy;

● The roll-out of Tasmania’s largest kerbside food and garden organics collection service and dedicated composting facility;

● Upgrades to LED lighting in the Council facilities and over 4,800 street lights;

● Fuel reduction projects across heavy plant equipment;

● The addition of electric and fuel efficient fleet vehicles, and installation of electric vehicle charging stations across Launceston, and;

● The installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels across the Council’s facilities Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the Towards Zero Emissions Action Plan 2021-2025 built on this earlier work, and was designed to respond to the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency in 2019.

“We know from the findings of the City of Launceston’s Tomorrow Together community engagement program that residents are concerned about limiting our impact on the environment and moving towards more sustainable operations,” Mayor van Zetten said.

“While as a Council we’ve already made a lot of progress in this area, this plan sets the direction for the Council to 2025 and identifies a number of areas where we can take action within our organisation to reduce emissions.”

Key emissions reduction actions identified in the Towards Zero Emissions Action Plan 2021-2025 include:

● Transition the City of Launceston’s gas powered facilities to electricity

● Continue upgrading the Council’s facilities to increase energy efficiencies;

● Increase gas capture capacity and efficiencies in the existing landfill gas extraction system;

● Expand kerbside and commercial food and organics collection services across the City;

● Establish a construction and demolition recovery facility to increase material diversion away from landfill;

● Continue the electrification of the Council’s light vehicle fleet and trial alternative transport options for work travel such as e-bikes;

● Transition plant and equipment to electricity and battery power, and;

● Implement an Urban Forestry Plan to retain and increase canopy cover across the Council’s land.

“The Towards Zero Emissions Action Plan 2021-2025 focuses on a number of areas including waste avoidance and recovery, efficient facilities and zero emissions for transport and plant,” Mayor van Zetten said.

“While the City of Launceston’s operations are responsible for less than 1% of community wide emissions, the Council has an important role to play in leading the move to a low carbon future, working more sustainably, and sharing resources and knowledge with the community.”

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