19 March 2013 — The City of Melbourne has been certified carbon neutral.

Environment chair Arron Wood said the certification, by Low Carbon Australia against the National Carbon Offset Standard, showed the City of Melbourne’s commitment to a more sustainable future.

The City was delivering new waste management solutions, upgrading several council buildings by installing efficient heating, cooling and water systems and making improvements to Melbourne Town Hall to save on lighting costs, he said.

Mr Wood said the challenge now was to ensure Melbourne was one of the world’s most sustainable cities.

The Council was working with the city’s commercial building owners and high-rise apartment residents to reduce water and energy usage and better manage waste and recycling, he said.

“We are helping commercial building owners upgrade their buildings with energy efficient technologies through our 1200 Buildings program and unlocking funds through Environmental Upgrade Agreements. Wood said.

“In our efforts to be smarter about the way we capture and use water, we have undertaken extensive work to install stormwater tanks for our parks and improve irrigation.”

The City of Melbourne is also encouraging residents to take up a lower-carbon lifestyle by extending its bike network and encouraging walking and use of public transport.

Low Carbon Australia’s chief executive officer Meg McDonald said global leading cities like the City of Melbourne were responsible for “an extraordinary range of economic activities and services and are critical to our move to a low carbon future”.

“Quantifying the carbon footprint of such an organisation and reducing carbon emissions is a mammoth task, but one that can have substantial benefits for the environment, the city and for ratepayers.”