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Sustainability in Council

Environmental sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. Our Environmental Planning team is working to empower residents, businesses, schools and community groups in the City of Kingston to make changes, both big and small to create a more environmentally sustainable place to live and work. 

Our objective is to facilitate a shift towards lower impact environmental choices through behaviour change. This is underpinned by a number of strategies, policies, projects and events. 

Strategic Direction

Climate Change

The effects of a changing climate impacts our environment, community and the economy. It is widely understood that the warming of our atmosphere can result in increasing temperatures, more extreme weather events, and potential sea level rises. In Kingston climate change is contributing to a range of impacts on local beaches, biodiversity, infrastructure, residents and businesses. 

Climate and Ecological Emergency Declaration 

In late January 2020 City of Kingston declared a Climate Emergency, joining a number of other Councils Australia wide, representing close to a third of the Australian population.

In declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency Council recognises: 

  • that climate change is causing significant damage to the economy, society and environment and that a call to action is required to reverse current trends
  • the need for immediate action across society to restore a safe climate. A safe climate is defined as a climate that will allow existing and future generations, communities and ecosystems to survive and flourish. 

Council can lead this call to action by working collaboratively to build on the work already undertaken through Councils Climate Change Strategy 2018-2025, our membership of SECCCA, and our Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) program.

Kingston's Climate Change Strategy 2018-2025 articulates Council's Vision to: 

Build climate resilient environments, infrastructure, facilities and communities through the reduction of carbon emissions and an increasing focus on renewable energy generation.

Kingston’s Climate Change Strategy 2018-2025 identifies a number of target actions:

  • Reduce corporate emissions by 30 per cent by 2020
  • Corporate operations to be completely powered by clean and renewable electricity by 2050

See the Projects section below for a range of projects associated with reducing our emissions.

Integrated Water Cycle Strategy

The pressures that have been placed on the water cycle due to urbanisation are immense. In Kingston this has serious implications for water security, stormwater quality, flooding, groundwater quality, wastewater and poor waterway health. Read about Water management or view all Council Strategies and Plans for more information.

Urban Cooling

Council has developed an Urban Cooling Strategy which considers how materials and vegetation influence the urban heat island effect. The Urban Cooling Strategy was informed by research and modelling for the Kingston area, presented in the Urban Cooling Strategy - Technical background report. It builds on important work already undertaken regionally through the development of Living Melbourne.

The strategy has now been completed and adopted and sets out actions for implementation.

Community Buildings ESD Policy

Kingston is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. We can do this by ensuring our buildings are built to high environmental standards.  In August 2018 Council adopted a Community Buildings Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Policy. The Council Policy:

  • Details performance standards for all new Council buildings, refurbishments, maintenance and demolition
  • Outlines the minimum sustainable design targets, procedures and involvement of key sustainability stakeholders during each project phase
  • Includes an ESD checklist for project managers
  • Fully aligns with Council’s Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) Program.

Performance targets have been established according to project scale and type, with higher level targets established for large new projects.

Local Policy ESD Clauses

Our homes keep us sheltered and warm, and contribute to the aesthetic of our neighbourhoods. Homes that are designed and built according to tested environmentally sustainable design principles reduce the ongoing running costs of a home and help to make it more comfortable. 

In November 2018, Kingston became one of several councils to mandate Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) clauses in their planning schemes. The new clauses aim to ensure that straightforward and inexpensive tweaks to building designs occur early in the planning process. 

For residential developments of 10 or more dwellings and for all types of developments with a gross floor area more than 1,000m2 a Sustainability Management Plan.  As part of pre application advice proponents are encouraged to discuss with Council minimum sustainability standards. More information is available via the Kingston Planning Process page.


Reducing GHG emissions from street lights

Since early 2018 we’ve replaced over 7,000 of Kingston’s street lights with energy-efficient LED globes. As a result, the majority of Kingston’s street lights have been replaced with energy-efficient alternatives.

Our street lighting change-over program will:

  • save 55,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over 20 years – this is equivalent to removing over 600 cars from the road each year.
  • save ratepayers and Council $8 million over 20 years
  • improve safety and light levels in our local streets
  • reduce light pollution and glare.

It’s expected that the cost of the project will be recouped through savings after about 6 years. Read more about how Kingston is Lighting the way to energy savings.

Increasing renewable energy on Council buildings

The installation of solar panels on Council buildings is a key initiative aimed at helping Council achieve a 30% reduction in corporate emissions by 2020 – a target of Kingston’s Climate Change Strategy 2018-2025.

Solar systems have already been installed at the Parkdale Family and Children’s Centre, Westall Hub, Clarinda Community Centre and Library and Gerry Green Sports Pavilion. Combined with systems at Mentone Pavilion, Dingley Library and Edithvale Life Saving Club, over 150kW of generated energy will have been installed. More information about systems installed are provided below:

Reducing emissions from Council’s fleet

Since 2016, the number of vehicles in Council’s fleet, diesel and unleaded fuel use and associated emissions have decreased.

Facilitating Large Scale Renewables

Kingston has committed in the Green Wedge Plan (2012) and the Council Plan, to investigate the feasibility of large scale solar PV on closed landfills in the green wedge. 

Council will continue to facilitate the exploration of various options and ensure information is shared between parties where appropriate. In its role as facilitator, Council will seek to ensure all parties understand project opportunities and related benefits.

Environmental Upgrade Agreements

Environmental Upgrade Agreement Financing can be used to support a broad range of works to improve the environmental sustainability of Kingston businesses.

Residential Solar

Kingston will continue to investigate avenues to increase the uptake of residential solar, including solar and renewables promotion, solar facilitation for renters, solar purchase though rates for low income earners, and bulk buy schemes.


South East Council's Climate Change Alliance

Kingston is a member of the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA).  Nine local governments in the Bayside and Western Port catchment areas are alliance members and together strategically develop and deliver projects that assist communities respond to the impacts of climate change. To find out more about SECCCA and the projects delivered through the alliance visit the SECCCA website.

Association of Bayside Municipalities

Directly representing over one million Victorians, the ten Councils of the Association of Bayside Municipalities (ABM) are actively managing and maintaining the Port Phillip Bay coast to achieve the highest levels of community benefit by protecting and enhancing the social, economic and environmental values of the bay. The ABM provides a collective voice advocating for local, regional and state issues that relate to coastal management. To find out more visit the ABM website.

Getting Involved

Improving our Beaches

Kingston does a range of activities to protect and enhance our 13km of beaches. Please see the Foreshore page for more information.

Improving our Energy Efficiency

Kingston has access to information aimed at helping residents, businesses and community groups improve their energy efficiency. For more information, please contact the Environmental Planning Team by emailing

Improving our Waste Management

Kingston’s renegotiated waste contract will see more fuel efficient vehicles on our roads, better route planning to maximise efficiencies and higher rates of recycling. 

Visit Rubbish & Recycling for more information.

Providing Sustainability Related Workshops and Events

Attend a Kingston Sustainability workshop to gain knowledge and skills to make your life more sustainable and join our mailing list to receive our e-newsletter and be the first to know when we are hosting new workshops. For more information visit our Sustainability Workshops page.