(CASE STUDY) Driving Environmental Investments with Emissions Modelling Tools
This case study outlines how a computer tool was utilised by Waverly Council in forecasting emissions, modelling responses to emissions reduction and driving environmental investments.
- Waverly is an inner eastern suburb of Sydney.
- 9 km2, with substantial foreshore areas and beaches including the iconic Bondi Beach.
- Predominantly residential with significant commercial areas.
- Population over 68,000 plus a high volume of daily visitors.
Community and Council each have 30% reduction goal for greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 based on 2003/04, and a goal of 30% renewable energy use in the LGA by 2020.
Following community engagement (2007) for the preparation of their long term community plan, Waverley Council recognised the need to prepare a long term strategic approach to environmental management that would support the community's goals. Council sought an approach that could inform their strategic investment decision-making and wanted to present detailed options for solutions to low carbon greenhouse reduction that were informed by accurate data. CCAP was their solution.
The same technology used by Kinesis to model potential emission reductions for major cities in Australia has been used, since 2008, for strategic decision making at Waverley Council (NSW).
CCAP takes the Cities for Climate Protection program to the next step. Built on the same methodology that was used to deliver the City of Sydney's Decentralised Energy Master Plan and Capital Cities Study, CCAP is a corporate and city-wide carbon management and sustainable land use planning tool. The tool has been designed to enable Waverley to understand the transport, energy, waste and land-use emissions profile across the LGA over time, and model the future impact of a wide range of emissions reduction policies and actions. Under a three year agreement, Council uses the tool for resource modeling, carbon and asset management, investment reviews and quarterly and annual reporting, thereby using it for ongoing strategic modeling of greenhouse projections and tracking actual achievements over time.
Having set a benchmark in 2007/08, council was able to identify what needed to be done to maximise resource conservation, then find the most efficient and cost effective way of getting to their targets. CCAP was used for preparing business-as-usual emissions projections for 2030 and 2050, and preparing target scenarios. It also showed what were the most appropriate and cost effective delivery strategies in order to meet target greenhouse savings.
Strength from using local detailed data to inform investment decisions
Waverley Council has a strong commitment to resource management and reducing greenhouse emissions, and is well respected in NSW for its leadership in strategic planning – shown here specifically with regard to greenhouse emission reduction. They use detailed greenhouse modelling and scenario options to present the business case for investment.
With CCAP, staff have presented a strong business case for Councillors and Senior Executives that identifies where Council should focus their energy investment and efforts with regard to their top 20 facilities; it has given Council confidence in allocating investment funds. CCAP will shortly be used to review the greenhouse and water savings for council’s top 10 facilities and subsequently consider investment options for the following 4 years.
CCAP is also being used to model a range of low carbon options for the redevelopment of Bondi Junction and opportunities that could be incorporated into the Development Control Plan to take up low carbon options.
Source: Storey H., Brennan M., Pillora S., Thomas, C. 2012, Local Action for a Low Carbon Future, Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government, University of Technology, Sydney. pp. 45-6.
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