Skip navigation

City of Adelaide

Represented by Sandy Verschoor, Lord Mayor


How does your organisation address climate change?

The City of Adelaide Strategic Plan 2020-2024 commits Council to being a leader in responding to climate change and supporting our community and business to be resilient in the face of environmental challenges. Recent achievements that demonstrate the City of Adelaide’s commitment to addressing climate change include:

  • Announcement in February 2021 that the City of Adelaide’s 2019/20 business operations have been certified as carbon neutral by the Climate Active Program, delivering on the target established by Council in 2008 to be carbon neutral by 2020. The certification was one milestone in a suite of ten major projects that are ongoing to drive down emissions. They include an extensive program of tracking electricity and water use from our buildings, improving building energy performance, low emissions transport, and low-energy streetlights. A dashboard to explore the City of Adelaide's corporate greenhouse gas inventory is available on the City’s website. 
  • Commitment to be the first city in Australia to achieve ‘zero avoidable waste to landfill.’ To achieve this goal, Council adopted the Resource Recovery (Organics, Recycling, Waste) Strategy and Action Plan 2020-2028 in October 2020. 
  • Completion of an extensive Corporate Climate Risk Assessment in September 2020, using up to date climate modelling and considering governance and risk frameworks. The report combined multiple methodologies to assess climate risk and presented one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of any South Australian Council. A climate change adaptation plan is currently being developed based on the report findings.
  • Commencement of the City of Adelaide 9.5 year 100 per cent renewable electricity contract for all operations from 1 July 2020, that is saving money while creating regional jobs.
  • Installation of large solar on eight buildings, including several UParks, Adelaide Central Market, the Council Depot and heritage listed Town Hall building was completed in 2019 bringing the City of Adelaide’s total solar power capacity to over 1.1 megawatts.
  • Resolution by Council that “climate change poses a serious risk to the people of Adelaide, and it should be treated as a national emergency” in August 2019.

The City of Adelaide maintains and publicly discloses an inventory of community emissions, and reports both corporate and community emissions annually to the CDP, the international global disclosure system.

The City of Adelaide is a signatory to the international Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and through this pledged to contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement. And we participate in the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance -- a collaboration of leading global cities with aggressive climate change targets.

What is your organisation doing to create a better future?

The City of Adelaide has a stated target of carbon neutrality for the broader community, and a transition to low carbon and circular economies. The City of Adelaide and Government of South Australia are currently reviewing the progress made on the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan 2016-2021 and considering future next steps on emissions reduction. The Corporate Climate Risk Adaptation Plan currently being developed will guide Council’s efforts on climate adaptation in the organisation. 

As mentioned, the City of Adelaide recently adopted the new Resource Recovery (Organics, Recycling, Waste) Strategy and Action Plan 2020-2028. This strategy and action plan includes new commitments including the following priorities: 

  • Reduce food waste generation and increase diversion of food scraps going to landfill by 50 percent. 
  • Drive robust waste management education to all residents, businesses and users of our city. 
  • Collaborate with industry, academia and entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions and data collection methods to reach the Resource Recovery Vision.
  • Support methods to establish waste avoidance and reduction and improved resource recovery as central in business decision making, development applications, building plans, product design, manufacturing and waste systems design. 
  • Work internally and externally with different levels of government to drive long term fundamental change in consumption and waste management.

Read more about the City of Adelaide’s plan to reduce emissions here.