Council’s latest Environmental Sustainability Report has revealed significant cuts to fuel usage within the organisation over the past 12 months.
The annual report is designed to help track Council’s key sustainability areas including electricity, fleet, water, biodiversity, waste and community engagement.
The publicly available document also provides a chance for council to lead by example in our community, which it’s hoped will encourage other businesses as well as residents to examine how they could be operating more sustainably.
One of the highlights of the 2018-2019 report is a seven per cent decrease in fuel consumption compared to the previous financial year.
The report also revealed an 11 percent drop in electricity consumption at its large market electricity sites, which include the Alfred Deakin Centre, Madden Avenue Service Centre, Deakin Avenue Service Centre, Mildura Arts Centre and Red Cliffs Depot.
This was a result of a raft of energy efficiency projects and behavioural change among staff.
Other steps over the past 12 months included an increase in environmental education activities which help build capacity within the community to value and care for the environment.
These included events at Mildura Eco Village and participation in Clean Up Australia Day and National Tree Day.
Councillors’ approval of a kerbside organics collection service last year was another positive step which will divert organic material from going to landfill.
While the annual Environmental Sustainability Report shows where Council has made progress, it importantly also shows where improvements can be made, or where new challenges need to be overcome.
Councillor for Environment and Farming Sustainability Anthony Cirillo said water usage was one of these areas.
“Our farming sector is obviously the hardest hit by the ongoing drought, however we’re also seeing evidence of its impacts in our own water usage, which has risen over the past 12 months due to factors including below average rainfall and additional sites requiring irrigation,” Cr Cirillo said.