Zero Carbon Emissions Stragegy - Council targets

Under the One Planet Living framework, the City of Greater Geelong is working within the One Planet Living principle: Zero Carbon.

The aim of this principle is to make buildings energy efficient, supply energy through renewable energy generation and improve efficiency of Council’s vehicle fleet.

Support for a council emissions reduction target has been strengthened with the Victorian state government announcing it will:

  • legislate a long-term target for Victoria of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

  • set a renewable energy target for Victoria of 25 percent of electricity generated in the state to come from renewable energy by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.


The baseline to be used to set the emissions reduction target against is the 2014-2015 baseline: 23,135 TCO2-e.

Table 3: Council emissions reduction target baseline

Sector TCO2-e Percentage
Buildings – electricity
Buildings – gas

Action mix

The mix of actions listed below support the Zero Carbon principle and will help the City meet its emissions reduction target:

  • Energy efficiency upgrades: heating and cooling (HVAC) systems and lighting systems

  • Renewable energy installations: roof-top solar and large scale solar

  • Carbon offsets: independently certified and locally sourced where possible The City of Greater Geelong will be a Zero Carbon Council.

Net Present Value

Net Present Value (NPV) represents the cumulative total value of the initiatives for the 20-year period (2015 to 2035) by considering initial capital and expected cash inflows and outflows. It is expressed in real terms based on the dollar value of a chosen base year, in this case 2015.

A positive NPV shows that the investment results in a long-term saving, while a negative NPV represents a long-term loss (for example, offset).

However, it should be noted that NPV does not factor in indirect benefits of renewables such as reduction in peak demand, extended life of equipment and as such should be used as an indicative financial measure only.

Emissions reduction target – Council operations

Council will take actions to achieve the following targets:

Short Term:

50 percent emissions reduction by 2020 based on 2014-2015 emissions

Long Term:

75 percent emissions reduction by 2035 based on 2014-2015 emissions*

100 percent emissions reduction by 2050 based on 2014-2015 emissions*

The City of Greater Geelong will be a Zero Carbon Council.

* subject to review in 2020

Table 4: Council Greenhouse Emissions 50 percent Reduction Target

Description of Actions TCO2-e saved annually Financial Investment NPV (2035)
5 percent emissions reduction through energy efficiency and conservation
3 percent emissions reduction through roof-top renewable energy installations (530 kW)
42 percent of remaining emissions through annual purchasing of accredited offsets
+ $71,573 p.a.

Table 5 shows that eight percent of the reduction target is supported by an energy efficiency and solar program implemented across Council’s high energy consuming buildings. The remaining 42 percent of the target will be met by purchasing carbon offsets. The energy efficiency and renewable energy program of works has an estimated payback of 4.7 years and will provide financial savings to Council of $265,781 per annum when completed. When combined, the mix of emissions reduction actions has a positive projected return on investment in 2035.

Council is currently investigating reinvesting savings into energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to further reduce operational costs and provide financial stability for programs to meet Council’s emissions reduction target.

The eight percent portion of the emissions reduction target represents existing capital funding within the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 budget derived from previously collected landfill carbon charges.

Additional funding will be required through the Council budget process to pay for carbon offset costs.

It is important that Council transitions over time from purchasing offsets on an annual basis to investments in energy efficiency works and renewables to establish a net positive return on investment program.

Maintaining flexibility within the works program to take advantage of supporting funding including government grants as they become available will be important. This may allow for high capital investments projects such as large scale solar to be considered earlier if support funding becomes available.

Council is currently investigating Council staff accommodation options. This investigation may result in changes to building stock and baseline energy profile. The Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy will be updated with any change to Council building stock pending the outcome of the assessment. Any changes may also impact the works outlined in the Action Plan.

Emissions reduction - Community emissions

Council recognises that it can play a key role in enabling positive change in the community.

Council will build on the opportunities identified in the Low Carbon Growth Plan and will collaborate with key stakeholders to develop a Community Zero Carbon Action Plan.

This collaboration will identify new emission reduction partnership opportunities in the One Planet Principles of sustainable transport, zero carbon communities, zero waste communities, equity and local economy to deliver community emission reduction actions.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 26 May 2021