Saving money and the environment


Redland City Council will hit its corporate greenhouse gas emissions target almost seven years ahead of schedule.

The Council pledged to cut its 1998 emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 but today (7 August) revealed it had already slashed emissions from its corporate building facilities and fleet by 24.9 per cent.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it was another significant environmental milestone for the Redlands, which this year also recorded a notable improvement on its annual Healthy Waterways report card.

“We have all but achieved our target seven years ahead of schedule which brings a range of benefits for residents,’’ Cr Williams said.

“This is a significant result for Council on the back of recent investment to reduce emissions that also deliver substantial cost savings to ratepayers.

“In the last three years alone, emissions from Council corporate buildings have been reduced by 761 tonnes and last year we saved $88,311 on our electricity bill over the previous year.

“But importantly it underlines our commitment to the beautiful environment of the Redlands to ensure it is the best place to live, work and do business for generations.’’

The result is thanks to an aggressive energy efficiency drive in Council’s main corporate buildings that led to a significant reduction in the electricity consumed in Council buildings.

Emissions by the Council fleet were cut by moving to more efficient vehicles when they needed replacing, opting for work vehicles with more seating capacity, switching to diesel fuel and driver education.

Last year’s closure of Council’s last operational landfill was also a factor; with Redlands waste emissions now only from closed landfill sites.

Council’s environment spokesman Paul Gleeson said the target was to now cut emissions from Council facilities and its vehicle fleet to 25 per cent of 1998 levels by 2050.

“This exceptional result has been achieved without buying offsets, as other councils have done,’’ Cr Gleeson said.

“Instead we opted to make our operations more efficient and energy conscious, with a direct benefit for our communities.

“The challenge now is to continue reducing emissions and we will focus on measures which will help us meet our 2050 target while continuing to cut costs.’’

Cr Gleeson urged residents to get a copy of the Council’s new brochure, A story of energy efficiency and smaller carbon footprints, which offers advice on how they also can reduce their carbon footprint and save money.

“The most cost-efficient thing we can do is conserve energy and be energy efficient. It will save you money,’’ he said.

Council’s annual greenhouse gas emissions are now 5102 tonnes (carbon dioxide equivalents – CO2-e); well down on the peak of 8,966 tonnes in 2008.

Council also has been actively helping residents reduce their carbon footprints by promoting recycling and offering bin options to help households reduce their general waste.

An electricity smart metre loan scheme also operates from Council libraries.

The brochure is available at www.redland.qld.gov.au.