Surf Coast Shire Council has taken an important step in its Climate Emergency response, with the adoption of a policy that will result in improved environmental outcomes at Council’s facilities and buildings.
Council adopted the Environmentally Sustainable Council Facilities Policy at its November meeting. The policy will ensure climate change will be considered and positive environmental outcomes will be generated at new facilities, and during renewals and upgrades.
Major projects will utilise two rating systems – the Green Star and the Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard – which will support Council’s commitment to environmentally-sustainable design, construction and operation at its facilities.
Cr Kate Gazzard described the Environmentally Sustainable Council Facilities Policy as a key step on Council’s low emissions journey.
“Emissions associated with the construction and operation of Council facilities have historically been a significant contributor to Council’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions profile.”
“We recognise the policy means there are going to be more upfront costs to projects but ultimately, it will result in an overall cost reduction, with lower energy use and ongoing operational costs, knowing these facilities and buildings are going to be utilised by community members and visitors for years to come.”
Cr Gazzard was pleased to adopt the policy – an action of the Climate Emergency Corporate Response Plan 2021-2031.
“Thanks to this policy, we are going to see important outcomes including procuring renewable electricity for all new buildings, water efficiency, transitioning away from gas, and avoiding waste – both during construction and when the facilities are up and running,” she said. “It will all help as Council strives to become a carbon-neutral organisation.”
The new policy applies from 23 November 2021 onwards to all Council facilities and buildings including administrative offices, leisure and aquatic facilities, libraries, recreation reserve facilities, town halls, childcare centres, kindergartens, and works depots.
All projects must meet mandatory requirements such as being powered by renewable electricity and installing rooftop solar, avoiding new gas installations, promoting sustainable transport options, seeking to incorporate more recycled material in builds, and landscaping that considers future climates.