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Council improves in 2011 State of the Environment Report

Shoalhaven City Council has recorded a number of notable improvements in its 2011 State of the Environment Report, with key indicators illustrating positive results compared to last year’s report.

The Council’s annual State of the Environment (SOE) Report provides a simple, easy to understand public record of the activities of government, industry and the community in managing and protecting the local and global environments.

Independently produced by Planet Footprint, the SOE Report provides a series of key indicators allowing Council to compare its performance against improvement targets and other local government areas.

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Paul Green welcomed Council’s improved showing on the key indicators saying it was important to keep working towards ecologically sustainable development.

“The SOE Report provides a good indication of the areas in which Council has made improvements, as well as where we need to work harder on sustainability,” said Clr Green.

Highlights of the 2011 SOE Report include –

• A decrease in Council’s corporate energy consumption from 1.44 gigajoules to 1.35 gigajoules per resident per day. The installation of renewable energies such as photo-voltaic systems and gas fired generators are offsetting Council’s energy consumption.

• A 24 percent decrease in Council’s corporate fuel consumption and a continued increase in the use of four cylinder vehicles.

• A decrease in Council’s corporate water consumption at Council assets from 4200L to 4040L per resident for the year.

• A 2.2 percent reduction in corporate greenhouse gas emissions on 2009/10 levels.

While Council has shown marked improvements in many of the key indicators there are still a number of areas where the organisation continues to score behind the national average.

This is mostly attributed to the Shoalhaven being such a large geographical area. Planet Footprint states that Shoalhaven is quite unique in that it possesses large numbers of community facilities, leisure centres, and caravan parks while also having a large distribution area for water and sewerage infrastructure.

It is important to take these factors into consideration when making comparisons with other Councils.

“I’m extremely pleased to see Council’s performance improve over the four corporate areas of reporting within the past financial year,” said Clr Green.

“A particular highlight has been the improvement of Council’s fleet team, who have been encouraging a change in use to the smaller more economical vehicles.”

The SOE report will be considered by Council’s Development committee on Tuesday 1 November.

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