The City of Perth aspires to Local Government sector leadership in sustainable practices. The City works across a diverse range of planning, project and policy areas to deliver development that facilitates sustainable environmental, social and economic outcomes.
To demonstrate progress, the City of Perth has committed to a number of programs to ensure the organisation is not only hitting milestones, but also disclosing and celebrating achievements.
Some of the programs we belong to, or participate in, include:
- Local Governments for Sustainability (previously ICLEI)
- World Energy Cities Partnership
- Carbon Disclosure Project (Disclosure Insight Action)
- Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
- CitySwitch Green Office
- Waterwise Office
- Waterwise Council
- WALGA’s Local Government Declaration on Climate Change
The City of Perth sustainability program demonstrates how the city can use its natural resources in a manner that sustains life and enables future generations to thrive. The City’s comprehensive sustainability program incorporates various portfolios to achieve this.
The City’s Environment Snapshot reports give an overview of some of the city’s environmental sustainability achievements:
Energy efficiency and renewable energy
The City of Perth has undertaken research and analysis of energy use across the city. The findings are included in the City’s Towards An Energy Resilient City initiative, along with themes to achieve energy resilience. The City’s Environment Strategy identifies renewable energy, energy efficiency and transport strategies to achieve the City’s targets:
Source 25 per cent of the city’s operational energy from renewable or low carbon sources by 2030.
Work with the community to achieve 20 per cent of citywide energy use from renewable or low carbon sources by 2030.
This initiative sits alongside the City’s Energy Resilient City Policy, which directs the city’s energy resilience actions towards its own operations and assets, and the roles the City can take to facilitate and support energy resilience actions in the community.
CitySwitch Green Office
CitySwitch Green Office is a no-cost, voluntary program designed to assist office based businesses to improve environmental performance, build internal capacity and create a sustainability workplace culture. A collaboration between capital city councils, the City has been delivering the program to businesses since 2008, with around one quarter of the City’s office space now participating in the program.
Commercial buildings account for just over half of greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Perth local government area. CitySwitch is a critical player in supporting businesses to reduce carbon emissions in the commercial office sector.
CitySwitch provides support, education, events and resources so that commercial offices can:
- Improve their energy efficiency.
- Increase their uptake of renewable energy.
- Procure carbon offsets to get to carbon neutral or net zero emissions.
- Reduce office waste and increase recycling rates.
- Reduce the use of takeaway coffee cups.
- Improve staff health, wellbeing and productivity through improvements to the internal office environment.
CitySwitch signatories commit to pursuing a five star or greater NABERS energy rating. Each year, signatories report their progress towards this target and awards are presented to recognise outstanding achievement in sustainability, both on a state and national stage.
To find out more, go to the CitySwitch website or contact the City of Perth to speak with the WA CitySwitch Program Manager.
Climate change mitigation and adaptation
Community engagement for the development of the City’s Strategic Community Plan identified climate change as a key risk. The City of Perth has already begun its important journey to reduce emissions, as well as identify, plan and adapt to the current and projected climate change risks for both its own corporate operations and risks that impact the broader community.
Within the City’s Environment Strategy a number of key adaptation and mitigation targets have been identified, these include:
- Reduce City of Perth operational emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.
- Work with the community to achieve 30 per cent reduction in citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
- All City of Perth Asset Management Plans incorporate climate response considerations by 2030.
- The City scores 50 per cent or above in disaster resilience as assessed by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction by 2030.
Additionally, the Environment Strategy outlines key objectives for the energy resilience focus area. This includes having improved energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and having high emission energy sources replaced with low emission and renewable energy sources.
The most appropriate methods for achieving these objectives and targets regarding energy consumption have been investigated through the City’s Towards an Energy Resilient City work.
Flood modellingUnderstanding the risks of extreme weather events is an important element to inform the City’s planning and decision making. For this reason, the City has begun to investigate potential flooding risks within the city. This mapping will consider current and future risks, incorporating the projected impacts of climate change. The City will continue to investigate and collect data to improve the City’s understanding of potential hazards associated with a changing climate.
In Western Australia, business customers use more than a quarter of total scheme water. In Perth, the finance, insurance, property and business sector, primarily made up of commercial office buildings, is the largest non-residential consumer of scheme water.
A study by Water Corporation and the City of Perth reviewed water use in office buildings in the Perth CBD. This study estimated water savings of 30 per cent of baseline water use, or 270 million litres per annum in water savings, could be achieved through water efficiency measures.
As a direct outcome of the study, the City of Perth partnered with the Water Corporation and the Property Council of Australia (WA) to launch the Waterwise Office program. The program seeks to drive improvements in water use in large commercial office buildings in the Perth metropolitan area. The objectives of the program are to:
- Establish baseline water use for the commercial office sector and set industry targets (benchmarks) to guide water efficiency improvements within the sector.
- Use industry benchmarks to recognise and reward individual sites that meet or exceed minimum water efficiency benchmarks.
- Develop a program of education, networking and continuous learning opportunities to drive industry towards a minimum industry standard for water efficiency.
The WaterWise Office program informs and supports building owners to improve their water use performance. This free program provides resources and recognition to owners and managers of office buildings that commit to improving water efficiency. For more information on this initiative, please visit the Water Corporation website.
Waste reduction and recycling
The Western Australian Waste Strategy: Creating The Right Environment is the blueprint for the way in which waste issues are managed in WA. The strategy employs best practice and continuous improvement, along with target setting, as primary approaches to drive this change through strategic objectives relating to knowledge, infrastructure and incentives.
The City of Perth Waste Strategy 2014-2024+ assists in the improvement of waste management, thereby reducing the potential for waste to impact on the environment across the city.
The City of Perth is committed to being a waste conscious city. Australians generate around 43.8 million tonnes of waste per year, and Western Australia has the highest per capita waste generation. Waste generation and management have many environmental impacts, these can include contamination of land and water, methane generation from landfills and the use of energy and resources required to develop the infrastructure and systems for collection, processing and disposal.
Waste can be managed in the following ways:
- Waste avoidance – reducing consumption and avoiding packaging.
- Waste reduction – composting organic waste (e.g. vegetable scraps).
- Waste re-use – mulching green waste or creating new products out of discarded items.
- Recycling – disposing of waste in the yellow-topped bins.
- Waste treatment – diversion of toxic, contaminated and hazardous waste from the waste stream.
- Waste disposal – sustainable waste processing and the control of illegal or unauthorised dumping of wast
For more information on waste minimisation and recycling in the city please visit the Rubbish waste and recycling page.
The City completed a Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Study in June 2017. The purpose of this study was to:
- Accurately map, describe and analyse existing green infrastructure and biodiversity assets within the city.
- Evaluate the ecosystem services provided.
- Identify gaps and opportunities to help green the city.
- Support the future planning, management and expansion of green infrastructure and biodiversity assets.
Several key sites within the city are critical for the expansion, connection and enhancement of biodiversity.
Threatened ecological communities
The presence of two threatened ecological communities, listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, have been recorded in the City:
- Banskia Woodland of the Swan Coastal Plain.
- Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh.
The Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh at Heirisson Island supports two ant species and a butterfly that are only present in this region because of the saltmarsh.
Urban Forest Plan
An urban forest is broadly defined as the collection of green spaces, trees and other vegetation that grows within an urban area, on both public and private land. It provides a range of social, environmental and economic benefits that enrich the quality of urban life. The City's Urban Forest Plan is a strategic action plan focused on promoting the long term health and resilience of the urban forest to help maximise the level of community benefits it delivers.
Flora and fauna
Interesting findings from the Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Study include a Brush-tailed Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), known to Whadjuk Nyoongar people as Coomal, spotted in John Oldham Park and five birds of national significance including the distinctive Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, (Calyptorhynchus banksia naso), known to the Whadjuk Nyoongar people as Karrak.
Building upgrade finance
The City of Perth and the Property Council of Australia (WA) have partnered in taking a lead advocacy role in lobbying the State Government to change legislation to allow building owners access to low interest, flexible funds to upgrade buildings and lower vacancy rates. Building Upgrade Finance (BUF) permits building owners and tenants to share expenses, driving down operational costs and collectively pursue improved business outcomes.
The City and the Property Council of Australia (WA) are currently planning a second submission to have the Local Government Act 1995 amended to enable BUF to be accessible.
For more information, including how you can help to advocate, please see the links below.
To join the City and Property Council of Australia (WA) in preparing a submission and/or prepare your own, visit the Local Government Act Review website.
Urban Forest Plan
An urban forest is broadly defined as the collection of green spaces, trees and other vegetation that grows within an urban area, on both public and private land. It provides a range of social, environmental and economic benefits that enrich the quality of urban life.
The City of Perth Urban Forest Plan is a strategic action plan focused on promoting the long term health and resilience of the urban forest to help maximise the level of community benefits it delivers. On 20 September 2016, the City of Perth adopted its Urban Forest Plan, following a period of public consultation. The Plan sets out a clear vision for the future planning, management and expansion of the urban forest with a focus on:
- Protecting our existing trees
- Increasing the level of canopy cover provided in the public realm
- Promoting sustainable water management to maximise the cooling effect
- Promoting balance and resilience in tree species composition
- Implementing a ‘whole of forest’ management approach
- Promoting awareness of the benefits the urban forest can provide.
The Urban Forest Plan aligns with the City’s overarching Environment Strategy which sets out the aspirations for Perth’s environmentally sustainable future.
The Urban Forest Plan will be underpinned by the development of a four-year implementation plan and monitoring framework containing detailed actions, priorities, partnerships and responsibilities required to support the delivery of the Plan’s vision and goals. The implementation plan and monitoring framework will be reviewed annually.
There are many ways that event organisers can reduce their carbon footprint on the planet and support our community to be healthy and resilient. Whether you are organising a large music festival or a small event at home with friends, there are steps that you can take to minimise waste, reduce energy and water consumption, prevent negative impacts on the environment, encourage good health and wellbeing and provide sustainable food and drink options.
In the City’s Event Planning Guide, you will find actions that you can take to make your event more sustainable. Many of these suggested actions are not legal requirements, however they mirror international standards for sustainable event management and will help you to achieve best practice, and make wise, ethical and responsible choices for your patrons and the wider community.
Running a more sustainable event does not necessarily mean it will cost more. In fact, there are many actions that will save you money. Event organisers are encouraged to take the steps that are practical for you and that fit within your budget to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Sustainable events can also be more attractive to sponsors, grants and other sources of funding. A sustainable event can be leveraged to gain more financial support.
When planning your event, remember that every small action you take to make your event more sustainable counts. Running a sustainable event is not an all or nothing equation. Everything you can do to make a difference to the planet and the community is valued and appreciated.
Recognition and awards
Gold Recognition, Waterwise Council recognition scheme.
Winner, Australian Water Associations WA Water Awards: Program Innovation Award.
CitySwitch Green Office Program, global award for the best Building Energy Efficiency Initiative.
2010 and 2005
City completed all five milestones of the Water Campaign, including completing a full inventory of the City’s water use; setting a target for water reduction; developing and implementing a Corporate Water Strategy; and completing implementation of the Strategy and achieving its targets
Finalist, Banksia Awards: Category 6, Environmental Leadership in Protecting Bush, Land & Waterways (Point Fraser Stage 1 project).
Commendation, Australia Award for Urban Design Excellence (Planning Institute of Australia): Public Domain Category (Point Fraser Stage 1 project).
Winner, Case Earth Award for Environmental Excellence: Category Two, Project $2 to $10 million, Western Australia (Point Fraser Stage 1 project).
Finalist, SGIO Western Australian Environment Awards: Category 5, Bush, Land and Waterways (Point Fraser Stage 1 project).
1999 – 2004
the City completed all five milestones of the Cities for Climate Protection (CPP) Campaign: completing a full inventory of the City’s Corporate and Community greenhouse gas emissions; setting a target to reduce Corporate and Community greenhouse gas emissions; developing and implementing a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Strategy; and completing implementation of the Strategy and achieving its targets.