We all care about our environment and how we live in the world. We are committed to ensuring that its activities and services are more resilient to the impacts of climate change and reducing our ecological footprint. There are many things that everyone can do at the local level to become more environmentally sustainable.
In March 2019, Adelaide Hills Council became the second Council in South Australia, and thirteenth in Australia, to declare a Climate Emergency. The decision reflects Council's preparedness to provide leadership for our community in addressing the unprecedented threat of climate change. You can read more about this declaration here.
As natural hazards intensify, living expenses like energy, mortgages and insurance will get more expensive for climate vulnerable homes – that is, homes that are in high-risk areas and have not been built to mitigate those risks.
The Where We Build What We Build project aims to encourage building or retrofitting of homes that are climate-ready, by demonstrating that the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. Read more about this project here.
We are striving towards more efficient use of resources, reduction in energy and water use, conservation of biodiversity, reduction in waste, increase in resource recovery, and use of local provenance food, and are undertaking numerous actions including:
- A Biodiversity Strategy that outlines Council's commitment to biodiversity conservation. The document is aimed primarily at managing biodiversity values within its reserves and road reserves, reducing the impacts of key threatening processes, and strengthening the natural resilience of ecosystems and their ability to recover from disturbances.
- A Water Management Plan to identify ways to improve water sustainability.
- The adoption of a Corporate Carbon Management Plan to assist Council's understanding of its current corporate carbon emissions footprint and how, over time, this can be
meaningfully reduced in a financially responsible manner.
- An Energy Reduction program resulting in solar PV panels being installed on the Woodside Library, Coventry Library (Stirling), Stirling Office, Torrens Valley and Summit Community Centres, and Heathfield Depot, as well as the roll out of LED street lighting across the district (click here for more information about the benefits of switching to LED).
- A Waste and Resources Management Strategy that has resulted in a reduction in waste to landfill through initiatives such as the introduction of green organic waste bins and drop off days, and a resource recovery centre at Heathfield. This depot has recently benefited from Green Industries SA's addition of a household chemical and paint collection point, giving residents even more options for safe and sustainable waste removal.
- A Resource Recovery and Recycling Strategy that aims to increase the amount of recycling material placed in recycling and green organic kerbside bins and therefore reduce materials going to landfill.
- A Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island to help build a community that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
- Changes to our vehicle fleet by replacing high fuel usage cars with ’greener’ vehicles such as four cylinder cars and hybrid cars.
- Improved water management and conservation.
- Recycling and reuse of road and building materials.
- The reuse of treated wastewater to irrigate ovals.
- Trialling of steam weeding.
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding in a trial of circular economy; prioritising the purchase of goods made from recycled materials in order to increase demand for this product stream. Read more about this here.
- Active recycling of organisational mobile phones and accessories, and the encouragement for the community to do the same through our MobileMuster drop off points in libraries and service centres.
- The Adelaide Hills Council district was awarded MobileMuster's Top Collector Award for South Australia in 2020.
Council also works with specific groups in the district that influence sustainable living, such as our Sustainability Advisory Group, the Uraidla Sustainability Fair, and the community’s Transition Adelaide Hills.
SUSTAINABILITY ADVISORY GROUP
The Sustainability Advisory Group consists of Council Members and community members who have specific expertise in one or more sustainability areas, such as climate change, energy efficiency, resource recovery, water management and building resilient communities. The group meets quarterly and helps facilitate Council’s sustainability initiatives and overall performance by discussing future directions and potential initiatives. For more information or to become a member, contact our Sustainability Officer on (08) 8408 0400.
TRANSITION ADELAIDE HILLS
Transition Adelaide Hills was formed in 2009 to help the region move towards a more resilient and sustainable future. It is an active group of local people focused on grassroots, community solutions to sustainability. For more information or to become a member please visit their Facebook page.
OLD SCHOOL COMMUNITY GARDEN
The Old School Community Garden is a local community meeting place where fresh organic produce can be grown and harvested, community members can share their understanding on gardening and sustainable living, residents can engage in healthy outdoor play and quiet reflection.
The garden is located at 100 Old Mt Barker Road (Stirling). For further information, including opening times, please visit the Old School Community Garden Facebook page.