Our Net Zero Community

Climate change is affecting our lives. To avoid the worst effects we must all act now. 

As well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions from our operations, Council is supporting our community to reduce emissions to net zero by the 2040s – this means reducing emissions as far as possible, and then offsetting any remaining emissions.

Reaching our targets, and creating a cleaner, healthier and more resilient city is possible through the combined efforts of council, community groups, and businesses, and through the actions of individuals.

What can I do?

Individuals can play an important role. You can cut your carbon footprint and advocate for change. In Australia, 20% of our carbon footprint comes from household emissions.

The average Australian household (2.6 people) has an annual carbon footprint of approximately 15-20 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent). The United Nations states that to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, we must limit our per-person emissions to 2 tonnes CO2e per year.

To get started, calculate your carbon footprint with this tool from Carbon Positive Australia to see how you or your household compares to the Australian average. Discover the major sources of your emissions and decide which actions you want to take.

The top 6 impactful actions you can take to cut emissions

Climate Action Infographic

Eat a plant-based diet

  • Learn the benefits of eating mostly or entirely plant-based food
  • Challenge yourself to have Meat Free Mondays or shift to a vegetarian or vegan diet on weekdays
  • Try cooking a new plant-based meal one night a week, or every night for a week, or for a month with recipes from Vegan Easy or Veganuary
  • Learn about nutrition on plant-based diets from the Australian Government’s Health Direct website.

Walk, cycle and use public transport

  • Rather than drive, walk or cycle for any trips under 5Km’s and try using public transport for longer trips
  • Sign up to the Biketober cycling challenge (Registrations open around September) 
  • Attend a cycling skills workshop to gain confidence (Check our Events calendar)
  • Fly no more than once every three years.

Power your house with renewable energy

Switch to climate-friendly banks, super funds and investments

  • Discover if your bank and super fund are supporting a safe climate or investing in fossil fuels by looking at the Market Forces research
  • Learn the steps for making the switch and schedule a time to follow them
  • Consider whether your financial investments are in companies that are supporting a safe climate.

Buy less clothing and electronic devices

  • Try only buying 3 new good quality clothing items per year
  • Get second-hand clothing gems for a bargain at op-shops
  • Keep electronic devices for 5-7 years before upgrading.

Start climate action conversations

  • Engage with community and business leaders, politicians, and organisations by writing, arranging meetings, and utilising consultation processes to promote action on climate change
  • Train as a Climate Conversations facilitator or host a conversation to encourage friends, family and colleagues to take action 
  • Join a climate change action group or start a new local group.

Based on The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5°C World research which shows that lifestyle changes by individuals can cut global emissions by between 25% and 27%.

Our Live Well in Willoughby workshops and events can provide you with more information on what you can do to care for the environment. Sign up to our Live Well e-newsletter for event information and local news.

You can also encourage your place of work to become a sustainable business.

Find more information:

  • Fight for Planet A: The ABC tv series shows us how we can make a difference to help protect the world for future generations
  • The Climate Council lists ways to get involved and take action on climate issues and provides guides to talking with friends about climate change.