Case study: Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC) and Ironbark Sustainability joint project

Built environment Energy Transport Central Queensland

Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC) engaged Ironbark Sustainability to quantify the council’s corporate emissions and support planning around the transition towards net zero. Ironbark works with councils and their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, tackle climate change and embed sustainability actions.

RRC first worked with Ironbark to develop an inventory of the council’s corporate emissions. Ironbark then prepared a discussion paper to provide context on emissions reduction opportunities, outlining the strategic and operational rationale for increased action on climate change, and suggested next steps for RRC. This paper included:

  • climate science and climate change impact
  • Federal and State government climate change and energy policy information
  • carbon budgets and science-derived targets, including RRC’s science-derived targets for 2˚C and 1.5˚C carbon budgets
  • emission reduction pathway options for Local Government
  • global emissions reduction best practice and emerging trends
  • approaches to offsetting emissions.

Using the council’s inventory to identify priority areas, a cost/benefit analysis was then conducted, and emissions reduction opportunities were recommended. Ironbark then developed an emissions reduction pathway to demonstrate how the council’s emissions could reduce over the next ten years, as each action was implemented. The development of a cash flow assessment helped RRC to understand the scale of initial capital costs, operational costs, and potential ongoing savings of implementing the plan.

Throughout this process, RRC and Ironbark met regularly to discuss opportunities and recommendations, including a workshop with an internal working group to understand the feasibility of proposed actions.

RRC’s Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan is a key initiative as part of the overarching Sustainability Strategy (‘Towards 2030’) and the team is now undertaking project planning to implement the recommended actions.