The 3 Council Regional Environment Program is a collaboration between Randwick, Woollahra and Waverley Councils aimed at reducing community water and greenhouse gas emissions across the three Local Government Areas (LGAs).
The 3-Councils are committed to taking a proactive approach to driving regional collaboration on sustainability. In the past, these Councils have concentrated on reducing their own corporate operations which are only about 1% of total water usage or greenhouse gas emissions of the region.
Previous programs highlighted several key challenges associated with individual Council led action on driving abatement across their community. These included:
- Limited human and financial resources available to each individual council.
- Limited mechanisms available to Local Government in areas of high potential impact such as transport, energy and planning legislation.
- Limited evidence based data on the potential impacts of the various mechanisms that are available to Council, limiting the ability to effectively prioritise projects.
- Lack of an accurate and consistent mechanism to define a baseline and track the impact of various Council led projects over time.
In order to address some of these challenges, the 3-Councils agreed to adopt a regional approach to tackling emissions and resource consumption across their communities, culminating in a tender to develop regional Greenhouse Gas and Water Reductions Strategies.
Central to the tender was a requirement for a data-led approach to defining and prioritising Council led strategies and the associated regional targets. It also required the delivery of a mechanism to monitor and measure emissions and resource consumption over time.
Kinesis was awarded the tender ahead of several other competitive proposals.
Description of solution
The methodology used to deliver these strategies have become the blue-print for Kinesis’ technology led approach to the development and on-going monitoring of various City emissions and water reduction strategies.
The utilisation of the bespoke ‘built for purpose’ software enabled Kinesis to streamline the associated time a cost of consulting while also providing a mechanism for the client to manage and monitor strategy progress overtime, avoiding the need for costly strategy review in several year time.
The delivery of these strategies followed a simple five step process (Figure 1):
1. Enable CCAP City to define current and future consumption
Key resource consumption data from utilities, transport agencies and Council were uploaded into Kinesis’ urban data analytics software CCAP City. This provided a comprehensive consumption baseline (as of 2011) broken down spatially, by sector (residential/non-residential), resource type and end-use. The future water and emissions profile (to 2031) was defined using the existing profile in combination with projected increases in residential and non-residential floorspace.
2. Identify total technical reduction potential
CCAP City was used to calculate the total technical emissions reduction potential by combining the impact from different technologies and policies against the land-use, urban form, consumption and transport patterns throughout the region.
3. Multi-criteria analysis
The total list of opportunities was assessed against several criteria in order to prioritise Council action to where it could have the greatest impact. This included defining the marginal abatement cost of each opportunity and comparing these to Council’s total influence over each opportunity. Total influence was identified through a facilitated workshop in which council stakeholders were asked to rank each opportunity against three key areas of council influence; Regional Leadership, Market Facilitation, Regulation/Control.
4. Define a shortlist of strategies and associated targets
Using the outputs of the multi-criteria analysis, Kinesis developed a final list key Council led strategies and policies. This included details on possible program execution as well as their short and long term emissions and water reduction potential. These were used to define appropriate targets that would be taken to Council for approval.
5. Monitor progress using CCAP City
As part of the tender contract, all three Councils agreed to licence CCAP City which provided them a consistent mechanism to monitor consumption over time and record the impact of various programs. The licence includes annual uploads of key data sets and associated training for key stakeholder to ensure the tool is used for analysis on an on-going basis.
On completion of the strategy development Kinesis delivered two separate graphically designed strategic documents to be taken to Council for final approval. Since the delivery of the strategies, the regional group of councils have begun to implement several programs based on the strategy including:
Solar My School
In February 2016, the 3-Councils established ‘Solar My School’ to facilitate the uptake of solar on schools and preschools. Currently, two schools have committed to installing large system (over 30kW) and over 15 schools are investigating the feasibility of installing solar, with the aim to install eight solar PV systems on schools in the Eastern Suburbs in 2016.
Enabling the Uptake of Electric Vehicles
The 3-Councils are currently undertaking planning for the rollout of an EV charging network across the Eastern Suburbs. Research shows that the availability of public charging infrastructure at convenient locations close to amenities is essential to driving uptake of electric vehicles as it provides reassurance to EV drivers that they will not be stranded with insufficient battery power.
A review of building performance targets
The 3-Councils have commissioned Kinesis to undertake a detailed review of the current performance standards for new developments for both residential buildings (mandated under the BASIX scheme) and non-residential buildings (mandated under section J of the National Construction Code). This provided a set of recommended targets for new construction in the region.