Adelaide City Council has delivered upon its twelve-year goal of becoming carbon neutral after achieving carbon neutrality certification from the Australian Government.

In its latest announcement, the City of Adelaide said its business operations over 2019/20 have been certified as being carbon neutral by the Commonwealth Government’s carbon neutral certification body Climate Active under its Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard.

This means the Council has now delivered on a goal set in 2008 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

Formerly known as the National Carbon Offset Standard, the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard enables businesses and organisations to certify that they have credibly reached zero emissions.

To achieve carbon neutral status, organisations must monitor, measure and calculate the greenhouse gas emissions generated by their activity – such as fuel or electricity use and travel.

They must then reduce these emissions as much as possible by investing in new technology or changing the way they operate and offset remaining emissions through the purchase of carbon offset units.

They must also have their source data independently verified to ensure that their calculations are accurate and transparent.

Certification is available for buildings, events, organisations, precincts or products and services.

In its own case, the City of Adelaide has measured its emissions since 1995.

To reduce emissions, the City has undertaken several initiatives.

These include:

  • Long-term 100 percent renewable electricity contracts across its operations
  • Upgrades to building energy efficiency.
  • Installation of large solar arrays on eight buildings including several UParks, Adelaide Central Market, the Council Depot and heritage listed Town Hall building
  • Recently purchasing its first fully electric plug-in passenger vehicle – adding to multiple hybrids and electric carts already used by outdoor teams.
  • LED replacements for all of Council’s 5,000 streetlights across the city
  • Choosing products based on social and environmental credentials
  • Recycling and diverting waste away from landfill for productive uses.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said the City was committed to environmental leadership and helping to address climate change.

“The City of Adelaide today joins a group of over 150 leading organisations in Australia who are carbon neutral – including Telstra, NAB, and Cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane,” Verschoor said.

“The Adelaide Festival is now a carbon neutral event, and there is a growing number of local companies following suit.

“We began measuring and managing our carbon emissions in 1995 and, in 2008, we set a target to be a carbon neutral corporation by 2020.

“In the process of becoming carbon neutral we have achieved operational efficiencies and reduced costs, that ultimately benefit our community and ratepayers.”