City of Parramatta Council has achieved Milestone 5 of the global Cities for Climate Protection Program (CCP) and has committed to CCP Plus, which aims to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve emission reductions, a variety of programmes have been designed to assist residents and industry reduce environmental impact.
The Parramatta Climate Action Plan is a guide to climate change management that specifies climate action targets and defines 29 specific community actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Parramatta.
City of Parramatta runs numerous education programmes for schools, community groups and businesses on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease energy use and resource consumption, and educate about waste issues. Projects include:
- ecosmart community program: in conjunction with Western Sydney project involving both sustainability audits and environmental awareness for residential properties in the area
- 3 CBDs programme: in conjunction with North Sydney, City of Sydney and the Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability (DEUS) to undertake a greenhouse gas reduction project with commercial office tenants in the three largest cities
- energy smart homes: education kits and awareness campaigns developed for the residential sector
- CBD Building Greenhouse Pilot Project: a scheme targeted at reducing greenhouse emissions in commercial office buildings in Parramatta’s CBD
- community workshops on energy, solar, waste, composting, recycling, growing food and sustainable living skills
- free sustainability assessments for households and businesses
- discounted compost bins and worm farms
- Cool Parramatta: education program on extreme heat
- Our Solar Future: a solar bulk buy program
- Save Power Kit.
Through the provision of fresh, nutritious food and opportunities for exercise, community gardens provide health benefits to all. Community gardens also increase the opportunity for social connectedness and intergenerational and cultural exchange through a collaborative, common venture. Experiential learning, workshops for gardeners and the public, and environmental education programs can be facilitated through community gardens as well.
The City of Parramatta supports community gardens and understands that these require substantial community involvement for planning, decision-making, garden management and day-to-day activities. Establishing and maintaining effective community gardens is encouraged as it significantly increases the wellbeing of individuals and the broader community.
School Environmental Programs
City of Parramatta facilitates the delivery of a variety of environmental programs for primary and high school students by partnering with the following community groups.
- SALSA (Students As LifeStyle Activists) Program: a peer educational program designed to motivate high school students to increase physical activity, improve diet and lead a healthier lifestyle. Council has partnered with Western Sydney Local Health District to encourage active, healthy lifestyles as a by-product of the natural environment and provide funding to support environmentally-focused student extension projects
- POWERful: Western Sydney University’s youth ambassador program which helps school students and their families make smart choices around energy and resource efficiency at home and school
- Sydney Pacifica: Australia's largest high school cultural festival for Pacific, NZ Maori and Aboriginal Indigenous students that will focus on Sustainability and Climate Change in 2017
- Keep Australia Beautiful Eco-Schools Australia: City of Parramatta will cover registration fees for the first 20 primary schools to sign up to the program in 2017 and provide $1000 to make the school action plan a reality
- Clean Seeds Network: free heirloom, organic seedlings for primary schools with any garden that grows food. The network aims to collect and share seeds from these plants to create a self-sufficient seed bank which decreases the need to purchase commercial seedlings each season. Free training in seed harvesting and storage is also provided
- Environmental Educators Network: join our Facebook group to discuss issues regarding gardening, activities, resource sharing, grants, and ideas. Be the first to know; join us!
Travel planning projects for local households include:
- free shuttle bus within the Parramatta CBD to encourage use of public transport and decrease car usage
- roll out of a network of on- and off-road cycleways
- Greater Parramatta By Bicycle map to foster cycling within the community
City of Parramatta is implementing an Environmental Management System across the organisation to reduce its environmental footprint. Projects include:
- retrofit of all major buildings with new energy efficient lighting
- new fleet policy with focus on 4 cylinder cars and LPG and the introduction of greenfleet to offset remaining greenhouse gas emissions. This includes running of 2 prius in the fleet
- conversion of a 9-tonne garbage truck from diesel to compressed natural gas, in partnership with the Australian Greenhouse Office Green Energy
- purchase of 25 per cent greenpower for our main buildings.
Greenhouse Abatement Actions
- Civic Place development of ABGR rating of minimum 4.5 Star for the new Civic Place redevelopment incorporating both Council’s building as well as commercial and residential space.
- Review of City of Parramatta car parks and energy use, in particular lighting, in collaboration with Integral Energy
- Canvassing options for energy efficient public lighting as part of Council Public domain improvements
- Retrofit of a childcare centre to demonstrate various sustainable practices and assets such as solar panels, rainwater tanks etc.