Ku-ring-gai Council staff inherited a Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) target of 20% reduction on 2000 levels by 2020. Council needed to determine their progress towards the target as well as reviewing the relevance of the CCP framework and the achievability of the target.
A common rule for a good target is that they should be SMART:
Ku-ring-gai Council came up against a reasonably common scenario for councils: a target set by previous staff using an outdated reporting framework that is potentially unachievable or unrealistic.
The CCP framework was useful for councils as it broke down emissions into the three main categories of buildings, street-lighting and vehicles. However, current greenhouse reporting frameworks define emission in terms of scopes and operational control – for more information on this refer to the "GHG Reporting Frameworks & Parameters" document available via the Ironbark resources page.
To assess progress to date and update their target, Ku-ring-gai Council collaborated with Ironbark to:
- Conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory to understand their progress to date against their CCP target
- Determine how achievable the target was - given current planned actions to reduce emissions as well as issues such as population growth and planned new assets; and
- Calculate what further actions might be required to meet the target.
By addressing these issues Ku-ring-gai was able to develop a number of scenarios that looked at different ways of meeting the target for consideration by their executive team.