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City of Fremantle commits to procuring green energy for more facilities and buildings

City of Fremantle commits to procuring green energy for more facilities and buildings
August 15, 2023

With 14 of the City of Fremantle’s larger buildings such as the Fremantle Arts Centre and the Leisure Centre being powered by 100% renewable energy, the City is now in the process of procuring green energy for its other buildings and infrastructure.

The City has invested in solar and geothermal energy for many of their facilities and buildings, planted more trees, installed energy-efficient LED lighting, signed up for 100% renewable energy and have now adopted a net zero position that brings the City in line with federal and state governments

A net zero roadmap is currently under development for City of Fremantle to help further reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions, increase efficiencies and source renewable energies.

The City of Fremantle recently adopted a net zero position with a goal to reduce its emissions by 43% below 2020 levels by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050.

The net zero roadmap builds on the City’s previous work taking action on climate change. The City of Fremantle was one of the first local governments in Australia to adopt a carbon neutral position in 2009.

Work has also begun on creating an annual carbon inventory in accordance with current international protocols and standards for accounting which include measuring direct and indirect emissions.

The City began work on lowering emissions and recovering resources through the installation of solar panels, efficient lighting and building design, innovative waste strategies and its urban forest plan.

It has also long advocated for action on climate change and in 2019 council voted to call on state and federal governments to acknowledge that there was a climate and biodiversity emergency.

As technology has become more efficient and affordable, the City has been able to focus more on reducing its own emissions.

The Walyalup Civic Centre is powered by a 240-kilowatt photovoltaic array.

Between January and early August 2023, the array produced about 183,000 kilowatts of power, which is enough energy to power an average Australian home for 25 years.

The civic centre also uses crossflow ventilation to manage heating and cooling.

A geo-thermal ground source heat pump was installed in 2015 at the Fremantle Leisure Centre to reduce energy and gas use.

Since 2018, Fremantle’s waste strategies have stopped about 14,500 tonnes of material going to landfill.

The FOGO system alone has redirected nearly 9,800 tonnes of green and kitchen waste into compost.

The Fremantle Recycling Centre has also managed nearly 2,900 tonnes of waste including recycling 394 tonnes of ferrous metals, 85 tonnes of e-waste and two tonnes of polystyrene.

LED street lighting upgrades are being rolled out in residential areas.

The City’s Urban Forest Plan exceeded its tree planting target with more than 1,926 trees planted in the 2022/23 financial year.

In the recent 2023-24 Budget, the City also transferred $250,000 to the Sustainability Investment Reserve for investment into carbon reduction initiatives, projects and programs.

Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge notes “The City of Fremantle has been at the forefront of addressing climate change and has used the tools and solutions that were available.

“The carbon credit market has changed significantly in terms of cost and credibility of some suppliers.

“The number and type of solutions now available that go directly to reducing our own emissions have increased significantly in recent years and the City is moving to keep pace with that change.

“Addressing climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetimes and how we tackle this monumental task is continually changing.

“Although the City has used carbon credits in the past, and will continue to use them where we cannot directly reduce our emissions, we have a preference for using our resources for direct emission reduction strategies and practices.

“As credible carbon credits become more costly, continuing to purchase them simply to retain a ‘carbon neutral’ status could be at the cost of doing real projects here in Fremantle that deliver carbon reductions.

“We are also committed to transparency about the level of emissions that we need to address, even to the extent of including those of our contractors.

“I believe that this approach is both ambitious and responsible.”

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