Woollahra Municipal Council

The Woollahra Municipality is located in Sydney's eastern suburbs, about 5 kilometres from the Sydney GPO, and is bounded on the north by the Sydney Harbour foreshore. The Municipality has a population of approximately 52,000 people. The original inhabitants of the Woollahra area were the Cadigal and Birrabirragal Aboriginal people and Woollahra is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning “meeting ground”.

Woollahra Municipal Council is a customer service organisation, providing a wide range of services to residents and meeting the needs of our local community. Council employs over 400 staff in fields as diverse as planning and development, customer service, community services, environmental management and sustainability, engineering, horticulture and waste management.

“Achieving carbon neutral certification is a crucial step in taking responsibility for the emissions produced by Council’s operations.”

Type of certification


How long have you been certified carbon neutral?

Woollahra Municipal Council achieved Climate Active certification in 2020.

Why did you choose to go carbon neutral?

Council declared a climate emergency in September 2019 and is committed to taking action to address climate change. While we are working hard to lower our emissions, achieving carbon neutral certification is a crucial step in taking responsibility for the emissions produced by Council’s operations.

What are the benefits of your carbon neutral certification?

Our carbon neutral certification demonstrates our leadership and commitment to protecting the environment, setting an example for the community to do their part in reducing the emissions produced by the LGA as a whole.

What offset projects do you support?

We support a grid interactive solar photovoltaic power project in India.

Why did you choose this project?

Council approaches all sustainability projects from a triple bottom line perspective and beyond the environmental benefits, this project provides local communities with employment, lifting the economy and improving the quality of lives. By supplying new infrastructure and a reliable electricity feed, this project will also help new businesses grow in the area.

How can the community support you? 

Local residents can support this initiative by taking action in their own lives to reduce carbon emissions, which will reduce the total carbon emissions of the Woollahra LGA.

What else are you doing to reduce emissions?

In 2010, Woollahra Municipal Council set a 30 per cent emissions reduction target as part of its Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2025. Council has been steadily decreasing emissions through the implementation of a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives including:

  • solar hot water systems installed at six Council sites
  • solar photovoltaic systems installed at five Council sites
  • lighting upgrades for all large Council sites
  • lighting upgrades and sensor installation in all public amenities’ blocks
  • purchasing of GreenPower as part of Council’s electricity contracts.

Since July 2019, 30 per cent of electricity supplied to Council’s five large sites is supplied by the Mooree Solar Farm as part of a power purchase agreement. Further, Council has committed significant resources over the next three years to fund a street lighting upgrade program to replace inefficient streetlights with new, energy efficient light fixtures. As electricity accounts for roughly 50 per cent of Council’s total emissions, with street lighting being the largest individual contributor, these two initiatives will significantly reduce Council’s emissions.

In September 2019, Council formally declared a Climate Emergency and is committed to taking action to reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Accordingly, Council will continue to explore emission reduction opportunities such as energy efficiency projects, installation of renewable energy systems and transitioning the fleet to electric vehicles where possible.

What advice would you give to a business considering certification? 

We encourage any business considering carbon neutral certification to step up and show leadership in the transition to a low carbon future. Achieving carbon neutral certification represents an opportunity to show your commitment to doing your part in reducing your impact on the environment.

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