Skip to main content

Sustainability Actions

Adelaide Hills Council is committed to ensuring that our activities, services and initiatives have minimum impact on the environment and support the community to be environmentally sustainable.

The Adelaide Hills is a beautiful place to live, work and visit, and we all know the importance of preserving and enhancing our local environment.

Adelaide Hills Council is committed to ensuring that our activities, services and initiatives reduce our ecological footprint and are kinder to the environment.

At a local level, there are many simple actions everyone in our community can take to become more environmentally sustainable and help protect our local environment from the impacts of climate change.

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:

Climate Emergency Declaration

In March 2019, Adelaide Hills Council became the second council in South Australia, and 13th 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. Read more about the declaration in the media release at the link below.

Climate ready developments

As natural hazards intensify, living expenses like energy, mortgages and insurance will get more expensive for climate vulnerable homes — that is, homes located in high-risk areas and not built to mitigate the 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.

Biodiversity Strategy

The Biodiversity Strategy 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.

Water Management Plan

The Water Management Plan to identify ways to improve water efficiency and management including the reuse of treated wastewater to irrigate ovals, incorporation of a central irrigation system and new and improved irrigation systems.

Corporate Carbon Management Plan

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.

Energy Reduction Program

An Energy Reduction program has resulted in solar PV panels being installed on Council's main buildings and at the site of the Birdwood Community Wastewater Management System pumps, as well as the roll out of LED street lighting across the district.

Waste and Resources Management Strategy

The Waste and Resources Management Strategy 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 depot at Heathfield. The depot has recently benefited from the addition of a household chemical and paint collection point, giving residents even more options for safe and sustainable waste removal.

Resource Recovery and Recycling Strategy

The Resource Recovery and Recycling Strategy aims to increase the amount of recycling material placed in recycling and green organic kerbside bins and therefore reduce materials going to landfill.

Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island has been developed to help build a community that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Greener fleet vehicles

To reduce our carbon emissions and overall impact on the environment and as we work towards our goal of transitioning to electric vehicles, Council has made changes to our vehicle fleet by so far replacing nine high fuel usage cars with ’greener’ hybrid vehicles.

These vehicles are more fuel efficient than conventional cars, release lower carbon dioxide emissions and also save money. Council continues to explore the benefits of transitioning to an electric vehicle fleet and investigate replacement of trucks with the latest fuel efficient options.

To facilitate the use of electric vehicles, the community is also taking action by installing electric charging stations in front of the Organic Market, Stirling; Adelaide Hills Business Centre, Woodside; Applewood in Gumeracha; and National Motor Museum, Birdwood.

The South Australian Government offers financial incentives to support the uptake of electric vehicles, including $3,000 subsidies and three-year registration exemption for the purchase of eligible new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Circular economy trial

Council signed 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.

Sustainability grants

Sustainability grants are available through our Community and Recreation Facilities grants for improvements or upgrades to community facilities. These grants may include solar PV panels, LED lighting upgrades, energy and water efficiency improvements.

Collaboration with community groups

Council also works with specific groups in the district that influence sustainable living, such as our Sustainability Advisory Group, the Uraidla Sustainability Fair, Imagine Uraidla Sustainable Action Group, 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.

More information

For more information about Council's sustainability initiatives, please contact:

Sustainability Officer
(08) 8408 0400

Subscribe to
stay up-to-date

Full Name